HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Digital oven thermometer, but just for temp, not food

tonbo0422 Jun 4, 2010 03:05 PM

All the digital oven thermometers I've seen have a metal probe to stick in your food. I just want to know what the temperature of my oven is without opening the door.

The trouble with those metal thermometers that you hang from a rack inside the oven is that they're just too hard to read when they're inside the oven -- at least in mine. Is there no digital thermometer that is outside the oven but tells you what the actual temperature is inside the oven without being inserted in food?

  1. bushwickgirl Jun 4, 2010 04:20 PM

    Sadly, it seems that there is no such type of thermometer on the market, and it's what the world truly needs. I cannot see the temp dial unless I practicaly crawl into the oven. I'm hoping a more thermometer savy poster will prove me wrong, but I've never seen anything other than the probe/timer models.

    There are a few brands that have oven thermomters with 3-inch dials, which is a small improvement.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl
      tonbo0422 Jun 4, 2010 05:37 PM

      Hmm. How about an analog thermometer, but one you can stick to the glass of the oven door? I know that wouldn't be the ideal place for an accurate reading, but hanging some one-inch dial in the gloomy depths of the oven just seems so 1800s. It's incredible no one has thought of this.

      I do very few roasts and such -- more like oven-roasted potatoes, pastas, pizza . . . sticking a metal probe into a pizza doesn't make much sense to me.

      *sigh* . . . but thanks anyway!

      1. re: tonbo0422
        bushwickgirl Jun 4, 2010 05:44 PM

        I also think it is incredible they don't exist, and we're stuck with the 19th century models. Well, we have more than a few engineers posting to chowhound; we can only hope one will see this thread.

        1. re: bushwickgirl
          RichardM Jun 5, 2010 09:58 AM

          I would consider it a miracle if they did. An electronic LCD or LED display has an upper temp limit of about 120F. How long do you thing it would last at 450F or even 350F

          1. re: RichardM
            bushwickgirl Jun 5, 2010 10:10 AM

            If we're talking about the same thing, most of the LED or LCD remote thermometers with probe have a range of anywhere from 0 to 400-500°, depending on the brand.

            You know, I have no idea how long they'd last, and I assume you can't use a digital remote with probe to read an ambient oven temperature, either for prolonged periods or sucessfully; obviously some new or different technology is needed here.

            1. re: RichardM
              sunrider Feb 12, 2011 12:20 AM

              I think we're talking about putting the readout on the outside of the oven (where the controls are), with only the temperature probe inside!

      2. enbell Jun 4, 2010 04:32 PM

        Here is a Cooks Illustrated link that may be helpful

        6 Replies
        1. re: enbell
          tonbo0422 Jun 9, 2010 10:57 AM

          Looks like I've found what we're looking for: the Maverick BAKER’S OVEN THERMOMETER. It's available at Amazon and eBay for pretty cheap.

          1. re: tonbo0422
            bushwickgirl Jun 9, 2010 11:43 AM

            Excellent, and the price won't break the bank. I guess "Baker's Oven" was the magic term.


            1. re: tonbo0422
              roxlet Jun 9, 2010 12:24 PM

              I actually have this at home, and it worked pretty well except that the device that is supposed to attach to the oven rack doesn't really work too well.

              1. re: tonbo0422
                enbell Jun 10, 2010 06:20 PM


              2. re: enbell
                iluvcookies Jun 11, 2010 01:58 PM

                enbell... these are for instant read thermometers for food temp, not oven thermometers. Great link though!

                1. re: iluvcookies
                  enbell Jun 24, 2010 06:19 PM

                  Woops! Sorry, thank you :)

              3. roxlet Jun 9, 2010 12:23 PM

                I've been using a probe thermometer as an oven, and I think I killed it. Also, the one I have won't go over 400F and just says HI after that. Right now, it doesn't seem to want to go over 250, so now kind of useless...

                1. Robin Joy Jun 10, 2010 12:41 AM

                  How about using a conventional metal thermometer to judge the accuracy of your oven control? Doing this, I know that I need to set about 20C below the actual temp. I require.

                  Without a sweet tooth I never bake, but I believe that baking requires precise temperatures. However did bakers manage 100 yrs. ago?!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Robin Joy
                    roxlet Jun 10, 2010 03:49 AM

                    Since I have had my oven at home re-calibrated a couple of times, I was told by the technician that all ovens cycle within a range. So a 350 oven can cycle be between 325 and 375 and still be considered an accurate 350 oven. Having an oven in Cairo that has absolutely no thermostat, I have learned to open the oven door slightly when it gets too hot and to fiddle with the controls when it gets too cold. I imagine that is not dissimilar to the way bakers managed 100 years ago. 100 years ago there were places where there were few home ovens and bread and other foods were brought somewhere to be baked. But it there was a home oven, the owner was likely savvy on how to subtly adjust the oven to be a low, medium or high heat.

                    1. re: roxlet
                      tonbo0422 Jun 10, 2010 10:25 AM

                      yeah; it's just my control-freak nature to have to know that when I put the oven on 500• it's actually putting out 500•, and exactly how much that temperature falls every time I open it!

                      I mainly want it for pizza, which, if done right, can take as little as seven minutes to bake.

                      I know that with home ovens this kind of fussiness is unnecessary, as there will be a rare home oven that actually produces the exact heat you've got it set on, but at least it's good to know if you're dealing with a generally "cold" or "hot" oven so you can adjust all cooking accordingly.

                      I will pick one up (they're selling for $16.09 on eBay -- http://tinyurl.com/29ooe9z -- sorry, don't know how to make links on this board) and I'll let you know how it does.

                      1. re: tonbo0422
                        roxlet Jun 11, 2010 12:00 AM

                        What I understand about home pizza making is that you need to have a pizza stone in the oven and to pre-heat the oven for a good long time -- maybe as much as an hour. In addition to giving the pizza a better crust, which I'm sure you know, the pizza stone helps to maintain a constant temperature in the oven since it retains so much heat.

                        1. re: roxlet
                          tonbo0422 Jun 11, 2010 02:13 PM

                          Yep, I sure know that. I've had great success preheating the stone for an hour, but on broil the whole time. I find that the first pizza always comes out the best -- I can do it in as little as six minutes on 500• -- but then the subsequent pizzas always take longer unless I leave the oven door closed for at least five minutes after each one. But when I used the old-style in-oven thermometers, they always read that the interior was at around 350• when it had been preheating for an hour on 500!

                          So I really want to see exactly what's going on in my oven and I figure a remote thermometer will do the trick. Or not.

                  2. k
                    knet Jun 12, 2010 08:27 AM

                    I use a traditional oven thermometer by Taylor - the kind that attaches to the rack but since it IS hard to read I have adopted the habit of laying it flat on the oven rack and it is easy to read. It seems pretty accurate.

                    1. t
                      tonbo0422 Jun 24, 2010 09:59 AM

                      Update: I received my Maverick Digital Oven Thermometer (www.maverickhousewares.com) and it's working perfectly. Only to say that my oven is hotter than I thought!

                      I set the oven on 450• F while seasoning a cast-iron pan. After about 15 minutes the temperature was 450• (the unit has an alert that will beep if it goes above a preset temperature) but then the temp went all the way up to 500•!

                      I lowered the temp to 400• and now we'll see what happens.

                      But it works perfectly, even comes with its battery already installed! The sensor has a convenient clip that clips it to the rack inside the oven. The sensor unit has a magnet or a hanging bracket.

                      Very nice! I believe the total cost with shipping was less than $30.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: tonbo0422
                        bushwickgirl Jun 24, 2010 12:24 PM

                        Ok, gonna get one. Did you get the OT-03 model? Thanks for being a successful guinea pig for team chow.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                          Tinker Feb 11, 2011 12:05 PM

                          Looked the Maverick Digital ot-03 one up on Amazon and it is not worth buying. Need more recommendations on a large number oven thermometer that can be relied on.

                          1. re: Tinker
                            Robin Joy Feb 11, 2011 06:54 PM

                            Sure, mechanical oven thermometers, by which I mean something like this:


                            can be difficult to read, especially after they've been in the oven for a few months. However, how about just using a new one to nail the temperatures actually produced by each setting on your oven dial? Then keep a written reminder. Should only take a couple of hours and then you can store the thermo. and maybe recheck every 6 months or so.

                            1. re: Tinker
                              bushwickgirl Feb 12, 2011 03:19 AM

                              I actually bought the Maverick Digital OT-03 and never received it "lost in the mail." I did get my money back, though. I read further not so stellar reviews on the product and Maverick Thermometers in general, and decided to go with the Taylor Connoisseur line oven thermometer, which has a 2 1/2 inch viewing dial and is easy to read with the oven light on. I think I paid about $15 for it. I've had it now for 6 months, so far so good, and have been able to ascertain that my oven runs about 25 degrees hotter when set at 350°, given the accuracy of the oven thermometer.

                              Since the purchase, I've adjusted the oven temp accordingly and can maintain a steady temp, relative to the gas cycling off and on, throughout the entire baking period. I now do what Robin Joy suggests, store the thermo elsewhere and check the oven temps periodically.


                              1. re: bushwickgirl
                                Birmingham Jun 25, 2011 02:45 PM

                                Now that you've had it awhile, what do you think? I've only just today decided that I'd better get one as all my cakes are getting done way ahead of time and I can't figure out what's up.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl
                                  Birmingham Jun 25, 2011 08:55 PM

                                  I added this to my Amazon wishlist--then I noticed the reviews weren't all that good. Main thing is hard to read/hard to attach. What say you?

                                  1. re: Birmingham
                                    bushwickgirl Jul 9, 2011 03:33 PM

                                    It's still great, and I have been able to adjust oven temps accordingly. I noticed that my oven runs 25° hotter, as I mentioned above, so it was invaluable for better accuracy. As far as attachment, no problems; it has a few different attachment options, and the dial is really big enough for me to see without opening the oven. In all, a worthwhile purchase.

                                    I'm happy.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                                      Birmingham Jul 9, 2011 03:41 PM

                                      Oh I'm so glad you finally saw this. I've been waiting to order but I'll do it now. (And hope I don't get a lemon.)

                                      1. re: Birmingham
                                        bushwickgirl Jul 9, 2011 03:56 PM

                                        I've been away from CH for awhile. Can't write about food ALL the time.

                                        Hope so too (no lemons). Enjoy and have it make your baking successful!

                                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                                          Bada Bing Jul 9, 2011 04:27 PM

                                          Perhaps I may speak for others: we missed you.

                                          1. re: Bada Bing
                                            bushwickgirl Jul 9, 2011 04:38 PM

                                            Oh my goodness, and thanks, I have missed all, and you are definitely on the list, Bada!

                                            That's very touching, made my rather crappy day. God bless.

                                            1. re: bushwickgirl
                                              Bada Bing Jul 9, 2011 07:24 PM

                                              You deserve good days! Fingers crossed that the crappy ones are few and far between from now on.

                                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                                bushwickgirl Jul 9, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                Thankee, and certainly for you too.

                                          2. re: bushwickgirl
                                            Birmingham Jul 10, 2011 07:48 PM

                                            Just want to verify: this is the Taylor 503 Connisseur Series?

                                            1. re: Birmingham
                                              bushwickgirl Jul 12, 2011 12:05 AM



                                  2. re: Tinker
                                    dakjek Jun 7, 2011 04:47 AM

                                    Posting this really late, but what about the one below?


                              2. c
                                cajundave Jun 25, 2011 04:23 PM

                                This is the new dual probe thermometer from Maverick. One probe for the meat and one for the oven/smoker. Both probes can handle 716 degrees and the temp will display to 572. It is 52 bucks on Amazon.


                                I bought this for my smoker but it will work for the oven. It addresses many performance issues the last dual probe had.

                                I measured the probes accuracy by putting it in boiling water. It read 211 degrees. Only one degree off! The manual...


                                If someone knows a better one for cheaper....don't tell me, I researched this forever!

                                1. d
                                  Dave5440 Jul 9, 2011 11:59 PM

                                  For about a 100$us you can get a thermocouple thermometer accurate to 1\2 deg that reads 2 zones simultaiously

                                  Show Hidden Posts