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Nov 18, 2004 07:29 AM

Meat Thermometers

  • b

I know this has been kicked around in the past, but a search didn't help me.
It's time to quit relying on the old probe with a dial on the end. I need an instant read thermometer. I remember reading that there are some bad ones, so which are the best? What are the features I will love?
Which are the most accurate?

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  1. k
    King of Northern Blvd.

    I use a remote thermometer from Williams and Sonoma. It is fool proof. The only thing now is that i don't know how long anything takes anymore as i just watch the thermometer and not the clock.....Cook's Illustrated did a test on them awhile ago I think but I can't seem to locate it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd.

      I don't have a remote one (wish I did), but I highly, highly recommend a digital probe thermometer. One that you can stick in the roast/bird/bread/whatever and monitor, with the oven door closed. I use mine all the time. And since you no longer have to keep opening the oven door to stick a thermometer in the meat, you won't lose all your oven temperature.

      I have a pyrex brand, that I got for around $25, I think. It is a basic model, but I've found it accurate. If you want a basic one, this would be fine.

      1. re: King of Northern Blvd.

        Here are recommendations, in order of preference, from Cook's Illustrated. They were rated on accuracy, response time, readibility, features and range. The top 2 had a response time of 10 seconds, while the others were around 30 seconds.

        I use one I got from a lab supply company (probably not marketed as a meat thermometer). It responds quickly with farenheit or celsius output to the 0.1 degree, is extremely accurate (purified water boiled at sea level reads 100.0 C), has survived several drowning mishaps in the sink, and cost me $20. Sorry, no model number, but it was from Fisher Scientific 3 years ago.

        The list:

        Owen Instruments Thermapen 5 [$59]

        Taylor Digital Pocket Thermometer, Model 9840 [$15, best buy]

        Polder Cooking Thermometer/Timer (Digital) [$30]
        - I think is a probe type that lets you monitor the temperature as it cooks.

        Cooper Digital Test Thermometer, Model DFP450 [$25]

        Taylor Bi-Therm Dial Thermometer, Model 60848 [$32]

        Taylor Instant Read Meat Thermometer, Model 5989 (Dial) [$15]

        Cooper Commercial Grade Test Thermometer, Model 1236-32 (Dial) [$9]

        Component Design Digital Pocket Thermometer, Model DT300 [$33]

        Maverick Redi-Chek Electronic Food Probe Thermometer, Model ET-3 (Digital) [$30]

      2. Taylor is a consistently reliable brand for the instant-read digital type. I forget the brand, but I most often use the kind with the probe, cable, and read-out unit outside the oven. That way you get a constant read on the temp without having to open the oven.

        1. This thermometer is fantastic, and relatively inexpensive. I wouldn't consider using anything else for spot checking.