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probe oven thermometer

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a reliable oven thermometer? I want a digital unit with probe which you insert into the food. The temperature is displayed on a small monitor attached to the probe. For roasting, baking etc., the monitor is kept outside the oven so you can read internal temperatures without having to open the door. I have a Polder which is semi-useless as the temperature is usually wrong.

According to online reviews most of these thermometers fail early because the probes wear out or melt or something. If anyone has had good experience with one of these thermometers I would appreciate hearing about it.

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  1. Amazing. I've had a Polder for several years and it performs perfectly. I wouldn't do a prime rib without it and I've never had one come out anything but perfect. It's really the only one I would use.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      Me too! My Polder must be 8-9 years old and is always accurate. I use it for frying too.

      1. re: Candy

        Wow, I'm so glad to hear that. I just bought a Polder for $12 at Marshall's yesterday. So far, I love it. It made deep frying some croquettes last night a real breeze. The reading is constantly updating, so I knew exactly when to turn the flame up or down. My old candy thermometer had a liquid reading. Two problems: the glass started fogging up after about a year of use, making it impossible to get an accurate read; and it read temperature slowly and I never knew how much to turn the stove up or down. The Polder, by comparison, is fantastically responsive and accurate.

        I'm keeping it (there's a magnet on the back) on the fridge as a handy digital clock and kitchen timer. I'm actually tempted to go back and get another one, it's so handy.

        Link: http://www.chezpei.com/2006/06/fish-c...

        Image: http://www.chezpei.com/uploaded_image...

        1. re: nooodles
          Bean Counter

          How did you "hold" the probe in the oil or did you just periodically check?

          1. re: Bean Counter

            I just put the probe in the oil and leave it there.

            1. re: Candy

              Me too. It worked fine even though the probe touched the bottom of the pan. I tried holding it suspended in the oil and taking a reading, and then dropping it so it touched the bottom. The reading didn't change, so I figured it stayed accurate.

              1. re: nooodles

                Try a binder clip. Clip to the side of the pot and thread the probe through it. Helps stabilize everything and hold the probe at the desired level.

    2. I haven't had any problems with the Taylor one that I got at Target a couple of years ago.


      1. Other posters have recommended Taylor and Polder, which are excellent companies. I have a Polder.

        My probe also needed to be replaced. The company said the probe can go in an oven, but not in a smoker/BBQ, which I had done. So they sent me a new one (I may have had to pay a few bucks for it, don't remember). Just check the instructions about what you can and cannot do with the prob, and save the receipt in case you need to call the company.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Darren

          I've had Polders for years and never had any real problems. I've replaced probes a couple of times when I've pinched the cables and gotten flaky readings.

          I'm not sure why the smoker would be a problem, I've used mine in the smoker with no problems. I usually use two, one to monitor the box temp and another one in a representative piece of meat.

          1. re: Larry

            The one I got actually came with instructions about how to use it in a smoker, but perhaps there's something you're not supposed to do? I didn't read that part carefully.

            1. re: nooodles

              Perhaps we have different models. My probe has two sensors, one for the meat and one for the oven temperature. the instructions clearly say not to use it in a smoker. But who am I to read instructions?

              1. re: Darren

                Ah, that is very different. Mine only has one probe which is inserted into the meat.

            2. re: Larry

              My Polder is way off. How do you get a replacement probe?

                1. re: toodie jane

                  The replacement probes are about the price of a new thermometer! No wonder some people are aggravated by early failure.

                2. re: willow

                  They are $15 at Amazon.

            3. Another ditto on the Polder. I don't use it all that often but when I do use it, it works fine after 10 or so years.

              1. My Polder will give me a wrong reading if I somehow don't get the probe positioned right. It was telling me last night that a 2-lb boneless pork loin was done after 20 minutes! I stuck my instant-read into the meat and it was barely warm, so I repositioned the probe at a more vertical angle, and tried to get the point exactly in the middle, and it worked perfectly.

                Back when I was cooking mostly fatty shoulders and the like, I hardly needed a device like this at all, but now that I'm cooking so much lean stuff being able to know exactly when the meat comes that 5-10 degrees short of done, so you can take it out and it won't overcook, makes the difference between tasty and blah.

                1. My experience mirrors a summary of all the comments. I have a Taylor, have used the probe in a BBQ and at first I would have to get a new probe almost every Q season. Following the advice of a poster on this site I took care not to pinch the probe wire in the smoker lid (an El Cheapo Brinkman) and its lasted me into the second season. So the lesson is, always have extra probes on hand and try not to pinch, bend, step on etc. the wire.

                  I have worked industrially with thermocouple probes and none of them really last very long, it is normal to have to replace them every so often depending on how much abuse they are subjected to.

                  1. When you are shopping around for one of these, you might want to look at the ones with a remote device that you can carry with you. It will signal at the pre-set temp. and is separate from the read out that stays by the oven. I can’t say if they’re good, bad, or indifferent. But you might at least want to know about them.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yayadave

                      I second this, my remote unit gets the most use. There's a new one out that predicts time til done. If I can get one of mine to fail, I'l have to bu a new one.

                    2. Many thanks for your comments. It seems I have a dud, perhaps because of a bad probe? It's malfunctioned since I got it, usually reading around 20 degrees too low when compared with my other thermometers (2 instant reading, 1 regular).

                      I guess it's worth taking a chance on another Polder, but this time I'll keep receipts etc. in case I get another bad unit.

                      I'm surprised that some people say they've used theirs for years without a problem while others have to replace the probes every year or so. This seems to be true of Taylor as well as Polder.

                      1. I've had less success with the Polder. Had a Taylor for several years before the probe started giving erratic readings. Replaced it with the Polder based on higher reviews and the probe only lasted a couple of years. Used and cared for both models the same way.

                        I think its just a crapshoot with either manufacturer. It is cheap enough to get a new unit. It just bothers the frugal/recyclable part of me to have a functioning base unit but no working probe. I suppose I can just stash them around for handy timers.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Jase

                          For the information of those in the Toronto area Canadian Tire this week is selling a Remote Grill Thermometer for $19.99. That's the best price I've ever seen.