Wanted: Good oven thermometer!
I'm looking for an oven thermometer to use when baking bread. I need to be able to read it clearly through the oven door (drafts are no good for proofing bread), and I DON'T need a probe. The catch is that all the ones that look suitable, analog or digital, have ranges from between 100 to 500 degrees. I need a thermometer that will accurately and clearly measure temps below 100 degrees. More specifically, bread rises best between 80-85, and that's what I need to monitor during the proofing. Yeast is picky: it won't grow under 80, and it dies off above 85. I'm desperate and I've looked until I'm blue in the face---Recommendations??? Thanks!
Look for smoker thermometers -- people smoke meat that low. I don't know why you don't like probes, though, as I use my probe-based thermometer for the oven and smoker. I like the alarm when the temp is too high or low and I like to be able to sit in the living room and watch the temp in the kitchen over or outside smoker.
I have one with two probes: one for the food and one for the oven/smoker. The Maverick ET73 comes with one for food and one for the oven. The one for the ovenhas a clip for the oven/smoker rack. It measures 32-392F (or maybe 572 -- I don't run it that high and I've seen both numbers).
They have a less expensive one that measures food and oven temp with dual-function probe. They also have other thermometers. And other companies also have probe oven or smoker thermometers. I like my Maverick and use it a lot.
Yeast will grow in cold temperatures. Many breads are risen for days in the refrigerator, with a more complex flavor as the payoff for the patience of the baker.
Since you're concerned about drafts (overly so, IMO), why not a probe thermometer?
Cooks Illustrated likes this CDN thermometer (100-600F). I got it because the magnet sticks it to the side wall, which is the only place it's legible given the location of my oven's light.