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Meat Thermometer vs. Probe Thermometer

I need a good thermometer for cooking roasts (especially with the holidays coming up) and I am torn between getting a meat thermometer (one that you leave in the roast) and a probe thermometer.

I'm leaning toward the probe, because of the coolness factor, but my practical inner voice thinks a meat thermometer would last longer.

Suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.


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  1. One of the Polder remotes. THe probe goes in the meat and timer sits on the counter and goes off when you get to the temperature

    1. I like to have both, actually. The regular old meat thermometer is good for other things-- like checking to be sure bread is done. And it takes less set-up. I have a Polder probe and it's great for chicken, meats, whatever-- I'd definitely recommend it.

      1. A basic meat thermometer is fairly inexpensive so you could get both. The polder is great, especially if you're grilling outside but want to be elsewhere. I like the one with the remote (which we don't have) so you can wander.

        1. I couldn't do without my Polder expecially when I'm doing a prime rib.

          1. Okay, a polder probe IS what I was researching. What model should I get? I'm not really willing to spend more than around $26 for it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ozzygee

              I just found a Polder remote thermometer at Marshall's for $14...Well I guess it's really just a probe with the unit on the outside..I had a fancy(pricey) remote thermometer from Williams Sonoma that died.. I didn't really use the remote part as I live in an apt..You sort of get a feel for how the temp rises when you can actually see it happen so you really don't have to be glued to the device if you don't get the additional remote..

            2. A Taylor for $10. Insert it, get the reading, react accordingly.
              What else could you need?
              I have two, use them all the time, clean up in nothing flat.
              I've given them away as presents to friends who don't know how to cook meat and changed their culinary lives.

              2 Replies
              1. re: EclecticEater

                I didn't want to get the instant read kind because I don't want to estimate when to take it out to test.

                1. re: EclecticEater

                  Ditto on the Taylor.

                  There's a reason that the bic-pen-like container sleeve has a pocket clip: Kitchen nerds (and chefs) clip them in their chest pocket and use them frequently.

                  Yes, it does require more attention to the roasting/baking task, and estimation is a part of that process, but that constant engagement can be part of the pleasure of bringing the whole meal together. Plus, you can quickly get several different readings from different parts of the specimen.

                  If cost is no problem, then get the top of the line digital probe with remote to monitor the task of large roasts. But get the Taylor too.

                2. We have both, kinda... We have a Probe Taylor (Target brand Taylor actually) and one of those pricy Foldy finger ones...

                  We like the Probe for items in the oven. Something that doesn't move and stays still... It's also great to have SUCH an easy way to check on temp and to have a warning when it reaches temp!

                  We line finger one for checking things on the stove or on the grill. The Probe gets tied up into things, so it was GREAT to have recently when we grilled up a bunch of sausages to check to make sure the sausages were DONE. :)


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dommy

                    I bought two last night on Amazon(for the exact reason you gave, actually). A Polder probe and a Polder dual temp meat thermometer.

                    I figured I can use the probe for moderate temp oven/smoker cooking and the meat thermoter for grilling and other high-temp cooking. (The meat thermometer also doubles as an external temp guage, which I thought would come in handy for grilling with the lid on.) I'll let you know how I fare with both.

                    Thanks for all your help!

                  2. I realize this is too late since you have already made your purchase. But If you are looking for a thermometer to instantly check steaks, burgers and generally stuff on the grill or pan, I would highly recommend the thermoworks thermapen.


                    An objective review: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

                    It is a little expensive but I think the thermapen is definitely worth the price and works as advertised. I haven't used a polder but having used a cheap pyrex thermometer that broke in less than two months and the thermapen there is no contest.