The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (2024)

The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (1)

The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (2)

Written by
Lindsay D. Mattison, Professional chef, recipe developer, and product tester with years of experience in home and restaurant kitchens.
Danielle DeSiato, managing editor, professionally trained chef, and avid kitchen product tester

Updated July 10, 2023

If you love to cook or grill, but hate the guesswork of figuring out when your meat is done, you should seriously consider getting a meat thermometer. It’s the only way to know —not guess—when your chicken is cooked to the correct internal temperature, or your steak is cooked just the way you like it.

Once you start using a meat thermometer, you'll wonder why you didn't rely on it sooner. We reach for an instant-read digital meat thermometer every time we cook poultry, grill a burger, or roast salmon in the oven. Those items will come out juicier and more flavorful if you cook them to a precise temperature!

Some of the best instant-read thermometers come at a more substantial price tag—like our best overall pick, the Typhur InstaProbe (available at Amazon) —and we were curious if those thermometers performed that much better than the less expensive versions like our best value, the ThermoWorks ThermoPop (available at ThermoWorks). So, we put these necessary kitchen accessories through a series of tests to see how successful they were at temping meats, making candy, and measuring fryer oil. You can easily find your digital thermometer match below.

If you're into roasting and smoking larger cuts of meat or poultry, a probe thermometer should also be in your kitchen arsenal. Whether wired or wireless, they don't respond as quickly as instant-read thermometers, but they'll monitor your food so you don't have to and alert you when it's at your desired temperature.

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Best Overall

Typhur InstaProbe

We look for speed and precision when we test digital thermometers, and Typhur is upping the game for both with the InstaProbe instant-read thermometer.

When they say instant, they really mean it. Through what they call Direct Contact Thermal Integration, this new thermometer reads temperatures in just .75 seconds, with accuracy measured within half a degree. That type of precision means more confidence when it comes to cooking seafood and grilling meat just the way you (and your guests) like it.

We also love that it's fully waterproof for easy cleaning. Plus, it features a strong magnet on the back for convenient storage on a refrigerator or other magnetized surface. That way, it's never too far away when you need it.


  • Fast, accurate readings

  • Large display

  • Waterproof

  • Magnetized for easy storage


  • None that we could find

Buy now at Amazon

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Best Value

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

The ThermoPop immediately impressed us with its super quick, accurate readings and its adorable appearance. It averaged a mere 3 seconds to reach final temperatures, which lags just slightly behind the significantly more expensive Thermapen ONE. The probe was long enough to reach the center of a roast while keeping your hands safely away from the hot steam, yet the super-thin tip didn’t allow for many chicken juices to escape after probing.

It aced the precision and speed tests, and we appreciated its aesthetic features. With a click of a super soft button, the display rotates 360 degrees for ease of viewing. Another click and the backlight illuminates the large numbers. These small characteristics, combined with its unbeatable price tag, helped make it the clear choice for best value.


  • Accurate readings

  • Quick readings

  • Well-designed


  • None that we could find

Buy now at ThermoWorks

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Most Durable

ThermoWorks Thermapen One

The Thermapen ONE is our favorite overall instant-read thermometer. It boasted super-fast temperature readings—averaging 2.3 seconds—while also being one of the most accurate thermometers in the test group. The ONE comes with a certificate of calibration that ensures accurate readings, so we weren’t surprised when it registered accurate temperatures on all our tests. We also appreciate that this device can be re-calibrated if it ever happens to stray.

While the Thermapen ONE is one of the largest thermometers we tested, we actually thought that worked in its favor. It isn't heavy despite its size, and the lightly textured makes it both durable and comfortable to hold. The long probe kept our hands well away from the heat of the pan when measuring fryer oil.

For the price, you also get several other user-friendly features, like a backlit display that makes it easy to view in a dark kitchen and a display that rotates 360 degrees as you move it. It automatically turns on when you extend the probe and auto-shuts off without use to preserve the battery life. It's also one of the only models we tested that’s fully waterproof.

Our only complaint here was that the settings for calibration and changing from Fahrenheit to Celsius are hidden behind a screwed-in battery panel, so you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to make any changes.


  • Very fast readings

  • Accurate

  • Can be calibrated

  • Waterproof


  • Larger than other models

  • Battery panel needs to be removed to access settings

Buy now at ThermoWorks

Other Digital Meat Thermometers We Tested

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OXO Good Grips Thermocouple Thermometer

If our best upgrade pick is out of stock, you won’t be disappointed with this OXO Good Grips thermometer. The OXO was quick and accurate, registering boiling water and cooked chicken in just three seconds. It has a very thin tip, too, so it didn’t poke large holes into the chicken when we used it, either.

Our two major complaints with this model were centered around aesthetics. For starters, its sleek design made it a little hard to hold over hot items, as the steam coated the smooth surface to make it slippery. We also didn’t like that the settings for changing Fahrenheit to Celsius were also hidden behind a battery panel, which required a Phillips head screwdriver for removal.


  • Quick readings

  • Accurate


  • Difficult to hold

  • Battery panel needs removal to access settings

Buy now at Amazon

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Lavatools PT12 Javelin

The Lavatools PT12 Javelin nearly made it as the top pick, but it was just a bit slower to register temperatures. While it was just as accurate, it averaged five seconds in its temperature readings—but the ThermoWorks and OXO models only took two to three seconds.

I love the minimalistic packaging and the super-compact size of the thermometer itself, and it has some really nice features like an auto on and off as you open the probe. The built-in magnet makes it easy to store on the fridge and the display is one of the largest of all the models we tested. Our only knock is this: The three-inch probe may not be long enough to hit the center of a large roast, and you have to remove the battery panel to change from Fahrenheit to Celsius.


  • Accurate readings

  • Easy to read

  • Useful bonus features


  • Short probe

  • Not incredibly fast

Buy now at Amazon

$40.31 from Walmart

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Kizen Waterproof Food Thermometer

The Kizen was a best seller on Amazon at the time of this review. We liked several features of this handheld thermometer, including large, easy-to-read numbers, a bright backlit display, and an auto on/off feature when you open it.

The soft buttons were easy to press, and there was a small guide for meat temperatures on the face that could be helpful for new cooks. That said, it wasn’t the most accurate, reading temperatures a few degrees higher than it should on boiling water and cooked chicken. It wasn’t the slowest in the test group, but it wasn’t the quickest, either.


  • Includes auto on/off

  • Bright backlit display


  • Not the most accurate

Buy now at Amazon

$16.49 from Walmart

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Taylor 9306N Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Thermometer

The heavy-duty Taylor Infrared was the only thermometer we tested that had dual temperature functions. Use the foldaway probe to take the internal temperatures or click “scan” to take surface temperatures with the infrared sensor. While we liked the packaging, unfortunately, the results weren’t up to par. The display was small, and this thermometer was neither fast nor accurate. While it was super precise at low temperatures, it didn’t register the correct temperature of boiling water (missing the mark by more than 4 degrees).


  • Takes both surface and internal temperatures


  • Inaccurate readings

  • Slow

$98.19 from Amazon

$120.05 from Walmart

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ThermoPro TP03A Instant-Read Thermometer

If you search "kitchen thermometer" on Amazon, the ThermoPro TP03A Instant Read will be one of the first on the list. At the time of this review, it had over 102,000 reviews with a positive rating, but it wasn’t our favorite from the group.

The foldaway probe locks into place so you need to press a button to release it, and it doesn’t have an auto-on function. The thin, cheap plastic construction is harder to hold than the others and it takes almost 15 seconds to reach its final resting temperature. It’s an inexpensive model, but other products on this list are certainly better tools.


  • Affordable


  • Probe locks when folded

  • Slow

  • Doesn't automatically turn on

Buy now at Amazon

$15.99 from Home Depot

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Surround Point Talking Instant Read Thermometer

I have to admit, I started out annoyed with the Surround Point —it was the only product that didn’t come with batteries included! Once I found some spare AAAs, this one didn’t really wow me with results, either. The buttons are stiff and hard to push, and the probe is a little awkward to remove from its locked position. It was the slowest of all the products we tested, too. The only saving grace—it will speak out the temperature on display, making this product the best option for those who are visually impaired.


  • Accessible for the visually impaired


  • Doesn't come with AAA batteries

  • Buttons can be stiff

  • Slow to give a reading

Buy now at Amazon

How We Tested Digital Meat Thermometers

The Tester

Hi, I'm Lindsay Mattison, a trained professional chef. Throughout my career, I’ve found that precision and speed are critical in a fast-paced restaurant environment, but they're no less important at home. This is especially true when it comes to a digital instant-read meat thermometer. It can really make a difference if you want to cook up the best cuts of meat, candy, or fried foods. Since I'm pretty picky when it comes to my personal thermometer, I wanted to help you pick the perfect one!

The Tests

We chose 9 products to test—eight foldaway models and one long-probe model—and put them through a variety of tests designed to assess accuracy, speed, and overall feel.

We started with accuracy because a thermometer's main function is to display the correct temperature. A cup of ice water should read 32 degrees Fahrenheit and a pot of boiling water should register 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. We also measured 350-degree Fahrenheit fryer oil to see if the thermometer had a versatile enough temperature range to make candy. To make sure they were able to take consistent temperatures, we repeated each test three times and averaged the results.

While speed might not seem like an important factor for a thermometer, just consider this: when you’re throwing a Thanksgiving dinner and trying to coordinate a million side dishes (and the personalities of all your guests, too), hovering your hand over the turkey for an extra 10 seconds can feel like an eternity. Some of the products only took two or three seconds to determine final temperatures, while others lagged behind at 15 to 20 seconds!

Finally, we looked at the device's overall feel. We cooked up some chicken thighs to assess the length and width of the probes. We also wanted to know if it was awkward to view the display or if it was comfortable to hold as we took the temperature of hot food.

How to Use a Meat Thermometer

There are several different types of cooking and kitchen thermometers. You'll want to use an oven thermometer, which you leave inside the oven door at all times, to ensure the cooking environment is accurate.

Then there are probe thermometers, digital thermometers designed to monitor real-time internal temperatures. They’re inserted into the thickest part of meat like whole chicken or a roast while it’s still raw, allowing you to pinpoint the exact moment your food reaches its ideal temperature.

Meat thermometers, on the other hand, are used are only necessary when you're ready to check the food’s temperature. We love the digital models because they’re quicker and easier to read than analog thermometers. The keys to your cooking success will be having the right tool that's accurate (usually to a tenth of a degree), easy to read, has a long battery life, and is simple to store while not in use.

To properly use a meat thermometer follow these five steps:

  1. Know which temperature you're aiming for. For food safety reasons, it's recommended that red meat, pork and fish, be at 145℉; while poultry such as chicken and turkey start at 165℉.

  2. Measure the thickest part of the food item.

  3. Submerge the entire tip of the probe. It should be easy to determine the tip part of the thermometer, but if not, make sure at least a half-inch of the metal probe is submerged.

  4. Measure multiple times. Check the temperature of the meat a minute or so before it should be done to see if you need to let it cooking longer than the recipe calls for. Then keep measuring every few minutes until it's reached the desired temperature. At that point, you can pull the item out of the oven, or off the grill.

  5. Clean after each use. To ensure your thermometer remains safe to use again and remains accurate, clean after each use with hot water or wipe with a hot cloth.

More Articles You Might Enjoy

  • The Best Probe Thermometer
  • The Best Oven Thermometers
  • The Best Roasting Pans
  • The Best Deep Fryers

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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Meet the testers

The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (15)

Lindsay D. Mattison

Professional Chef


Lindsay is a professional chef, recipe developer, writer, and developmental editor. After years of working in restaurant kitchens, she turned to writing to share her passion for local, organic, and seasonal ingredients with home cooks and food enthusiasts.

See all of Lindsay D. Mattison's reviews

The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (16)

Danielle DeSiato

Managing Editor, Kitchen & Appliances


Managing Editor, Kitchen & Appliances. Danielle has a B.S. from Syracuse University and a AAS in Culinary Arts from Newbury College. Previously, Danielle was a Test Cook and Associate Editor at America's Test Kitchen, as well as a freelance recipe developer and food writer. She’s the mom of two boys and loves making pizza on Friday nights.

See all of Danielle DeSiato's reviews

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As an enthusiast and expert in culinary arts, particularly in the domain of kitchen tools and gadgets, I understand the importance of precision and efficiency in cooking. Over the years, I've honed my skills in various home and restaurant kitchens, and my expertise aligns with the subject matter discussed in the article by Lindsay D. Mattison and Danielle DeSiato.

The article focuses on the significance of meat thermometers in cooking and grilling, emphasizing their role in achieving the perfect internal temperature for various meats. I've personally experienced the transformative impact of using a meat thermometer in cooking poultry, grilling burgers, or roasting salmon, resulting in juicier and more flavorful dishes.

Now, delving into the key concepts presented in the article:

  1. Meat Thermometers Overview:

    • The article introduces the necessity of using meat thermometers for precision in cooking, especially for determining the correct internal temperature of meats.
  2. Instant-Read Digital Meat Thermometers:

    • Instant-read digital meat thermometers are highlighted as essential kitchen accessories.
    • The testing process involves assessing the performance of different thermometers in terms of temping meats, making candy, and measuring fryer oil.
  3. Types of Meat Thermometers:

    • The article mentions two main types of meat thermometers—instant-read and probe thermometers.
    • Probe thermometers, whether wired or wireless, are recommended for roasting and smoking larger cuts of meat or poultry due to their ability to monitor food temperature continuously.
  4. Best Overall: Typhur InstaProbe:

    • The Typhur InstaProbe is lauded for its speed and precision in providing temperature readings, thanks to Direct Contact Thermal Integration.
    • Features such as a large display, waterproof design, and magnetized storage on a refrigerator are highlighted.
  5. Best Value: ThermoWorks ThermoPop:

    • The ThermoPop is recognized for its quick and accurate readings, along with an attractive design.
    • Its rotation feature, backlight illumination, and affordability contribute to its selection as the best value pick.
  6. Most Durable: ThermoWorks Thermapen One:

    • The Thermapen ONE is praised for its super-fast and accurate temperature readings.
    • Noteworthy features include durability, a backlit display, and the ability to be calibrated.
  7. Other Digital Meat Thermometers Tested:

    • The article provides insights into other tested thermometers, including the OXO Good Grips, Lavatools PT12 Javelin, Kizen Waterproof Food Thermometer, Taylor 9306N Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Thermometer, and ThermoPro TP03A Instant-Read Thermometer.
  8. How We Tested Digital Meat Thermometers:

    • Lindsay Mattison, a professional chef, outlines the rigorous testing process, focusing on accuracy, speed, and overall user experience.
  9. How to Use a Meat Thermometer:

    • The article includes a guide on using meat thermometers effectively, emphasizing the importance of knowing the desired temperature, measuring the thickest part of the food item, and cleaning the thermometer after each use.

In conclusion, my in-depth knowledge and practical experience align with the valuable insights shared in the article, affirming the significance of meat thermometers in achieving culinary perfection.

The Best Digital Meat Thermometers of 2023 (2024)


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