A great deal of us love our barbecues, steaks and fried chicken. To further enjoy our favorite meat, egg and poultry dishes, these foods need to be cooked well. Even your choice Angus beef steaks done the rare way requires proper temperature to rid it of dangerous bacteria that thrives on food like E. Coli and salmonella. One good way to ensure the best results is to use a meat thermometer on the food you’re cooking. The meat thermometer is a handy device used by chefs to prevent undercooking various meats. Know more about this kitchen necessity by reading the rest of this guide.
- Why is a meat thermometer needed?
Answer: The use of a meat thermometer when cooking meat is a dependable way to guarantee food safety. This device is also used to determine the preferred doneness of various meats, poultry and products made from eggs. These foods require a specific minimal internal cooking temperature to eliminate the presence of any harmful bacteria that the food might have.
- What is the required minimum internal temperature for cooking meat and poultry?
Answer: When it comes to cooking red meat like raw pork, beef, lamb, veal, chops and roasts, you will require a minimum internal temperature of 145-degrees F measured by using a meat thermometer before taking the meat away from the source of heat. For added safety and better results, you can also let the meat rest for around 3 minutes prior to cutting and eating it. You can also choose to cook your desired meats and poultry to higher temperatures. When it comes to white meat or poultry, make sure to cook these foods to a minimum internal temperature of 165-degrees F using a meat thermometer. You can also cook these meats in higher temperatures based on your preference of recipe.
- What factors should I consider when choosing meat thermometers?
Answer: When looking for the best meat thermometers, settle on what type of meat thermometer you need first—there are 3 primary types of meat thermometers. These types include the dial thermometer, the thermocouples and the digital instant-read type. These thermometers differ in terms of accuracy and the speed in which they can read temperatures. Dial thermometers are inserted into meats 2 to 2 1/2 inches. This type requires around 1-2 minutes before it can provide a reading. They can be left on the meat as well while oven-cooking. Dial thermometers are more recommended for bigger cuts of meat like turkey. The thermocouple thermometer requires to be inserted in the meat around 1/4 inch. It features a slim tip which easily penetrates thin and thick meat cuts. This type of thermometer also gives the fastest response time among meat thermometer types. However, they cannot be left in the meat while cooking. The digital instant-read thermometer is typically pierced in the meat around a half inch. It provides a fairly speedy response time and like thermocouples, cannot be left in the meat during the cooking process.
Our Top Picks
ThermoPro TP20 Digital Food Meat Thermometer
- Wireless digital meat thermometer
- Comes with dual probe
- Strong accurate probes
- Has USDA preset temperature settings
The ThermoPro TP20 Digital Food Meat Thermometer is equipped with USDA-certified temperatures and doneness levels for a good range of meats, poultry and fish thus you can be assured that these foods will be done well in a safer manner. The device does not require any set-ups—you can use it straight out of the box. The temperature settings and the timer are also stored whenever the thermometer is powered off plus it can provide both Celsius and Fahrenheit readings. Also comes with a bigger backlit LCD for easier readings.
Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- Takes temperature within 2-3 seconds
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Durable ABS plastic body
- Large, bright LCD screen
Stop undercooking your meat, poultry and fishes by using the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer. This one takes mere seconds when taking temperatures—it is outfitted with a speedy, high-quality probe that can present a precision of +/-1. It has a waterproof rating of IP67 too so it’s safe to wash after use. The device also makes readings easier for visually-challenged users thanks to its brighter illuminated LCD screen. Another highlight of this thermometer is its retractable design thus storage is not that much of a problem—it also includes a handy internal magnet and hang hole so it can be dangled on kitchen hooks or stuck on fridge surfaces.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products Food/Meat Instant Read Thermometer
- Shows true oven temperature instantly
- Higher temperature range
- Dishwasher-safe thermometer
- Has stainless steel built
The Rubbermaid Commercial Products Food/Meat Instant Read Thermometer will make sure your food is safe enough to consume. This is an NSF-certified food and meat thermometer that features a sturdy, dishwasher-safe 304 stainless steel body durable enough to withstand higher temps. The thermometer also presents a better range of temperatures to further display more accurate readings. It will not shatter during use and for safer storage, also comes with its own protective sheath.
Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- Very fast and accurate readings
- Bigger 2-inch auto-rotating ambidextrous display
- Has splashproof rating of IP65
- Features intelligent stabilization alert
The Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer provides accurate readings in a snap. Users will acquire stats within a mere 2-3 seconds—the data can be seen on the unit’s bigger 2-inch LCD display which rotates for easier handling. The thermometer also features intelligent stabilization alerts and a readout hold function with built-in magnet for simple storage. The durable built is supplemented by a splashproof rating of IP65. A good food and meat thermometer that both amateurs and chefs can rely on.
Habor Meat Digital Cooking Thermometer
- Truly precise and accurate
- Longer premium 304 food-grade stainless steel probe
- Has hanging hole
- Multi-use cooking thermometer
If you are the type who loves cooking a wide range of dishes, you can always trust a versatile cooking thermometer like this model from Habor. The unit features a longer probe, crafted from first-rate 304 food-grade stainless steel—its length also makes safer cooking and monitoring of your food. This one is a multipurpose thermometer as well since it can be used on milk, yogurt, candy and even bath water apart from meat, poultry and fish. Has a hanging hole for quick storage. Also provides Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.
SPHORD Meat Food Thermometer
- Fast temperature readings
- Precise to +/-1 degrees
- Wider range of temperatures
- Has IP67 waterproof rating
The SPHORD Meat Food Thermometer will be your faithful companion in preparing the most delicious grilled meats, poultry and fishes. It takes temperature really fast, is accurate to +/-1 degrees and presents a better availability of varying temps as well. This unit is already calibrated but it can be recalibrated if need be for the most precise readings. The thermometer is made from stronger ABS plastic and given a waterproof rating of IP67 so it can be washed under water without getting damaged. The data provided is perceivable too since it features a bigger, bright LCD screen.
Enjoy your meats, poultry and fish dishes without the worries by cooking them with a meat thermometer on hand. The meat thermometer guarantees that safety and doneness are both achieved to ensure flavorful foods that are safe to eat. We have listed the best in the market for meat thermometers—choose the one that you think best accommodates your needs.