Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jun 23, 2009 10:11 AM

Is there a decent cheap'ish analog thermometer?

I was just wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a cheap but accurate analog thermometer? I've tried several that are non calibratable, and seem pretty inaccurate, the one I have now is showing boiling water to be 150° -160°F (I'm at sea level, Florida) Seeing as I can't find a decent one where I live I'll have to find something online.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can't imagine why you'd want an analog when you could get a digital starting at $15, that is much more accurate, easier to read, and faster to register.

    7 Replies
    1. re: kayakado

      Are they really that much better? I'm open to some suggestions on digital then as well, just never really tried one.

      1. re: comfortablynumb

        The analogs aren't "instant read" so meats especially or the oven itself is losing heat while you're waiting for the thermometer to get all the way up. Mine were about $15. While the thermapen'ish ones look snazzy, I can't justify a lot of money when these work fine for now.

        1. re: comfortablynumb

          I agree, go digital. The gold standard is the ThermaPen, but it's expensive ($80 or so). CI recently recommended the Comark PDT300 for its fast response time and it can be calibrated, but the temperature reading tops out at 300 degrees.

          1. re: Buckethead

            The Thermapen is not simply a "snazzy" $90 thermometer -- it's a true instant read (accurate reading in under 5 seconds) because it uses a thermocouple for much more accurate and fast readings. It also requires on about 1/8 in of immersion into food, which means it works on steaks and the like.

            1. re: mateo21

              I agree with you. I WANT one; I'm just trying to not spend money these days. Boo hoo. I would especially like it for pork chops.

              1. re: c oliver

                You can get a pen type digital at Target for about $15, The remote with cord and alarm are about $25. Neither one will break the bank and give years of use. I even stick the remote in pots of water on the stove for boiling corn and pasta. I can leave the room and go do other things and they won't get forgotten since the timer is set to go off @ 210° to remind you the water's ready. I never boil sugar without the digital remote. I've not ruined any batches of sugar for candy since I ditched the analogs.

                1. re: kayakado

                  Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely check out Target --- which is SO fun anyway :)

      2. I have been using a Taylor for years. It was not very expensive and I have checked boiling at 212 degrees in a pot on the stove and freezing at 32 using a glass of icewater. The reading is within a needles width of the number on the dial. Close enough for me. This is a model NSF-C2. It is a smallish dial,but good for what I use it for.

        1. Personally I can't wait to get a Thermapen but until then, I use a Taylor and a CDN, neither of which were terribly expensive and I check them once in a while in boiling water. Usually they can be calibrated by using a pliers on the bolt underneath. They both work fine but take longer than I'd like. Also use Taylor oven thermometer and Taylor candy thermometer for deep frying.

          1. The advantages of a digital thermometer are many, as folks here have already elaborated on.

            They also usually have a larger temperature range.

            A $15 Taylor will do you just fine.

            1. I've been considering this Cooper Atkins -- Dishwasher safe, sensor in tip, -40 to 450˚F, field calibration: