The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually, sickening one in six Americans each year, hospitalizing 128,000, and causing 3,000 deaths. Eating undercooked meat increases your risk of getting a food-borne illness, such as E. coli, salmonella, or listeria. These little microbes can survive in the digestive tract of animals without making them sick, but if you eat them in undercooked meat, you can suffer from abdominal cramps, fever, and watery diarrhea. Unpleasant to say the least. For pregnant women, children, and those with chronic illnesses, food-borne illnesses can be even more serious, creating debilitating complications.
Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit, which is why we keep our meat cold prior to cooking, and why it’s important to make sure it’s reached the right temperature before taking it off the grill or out of the oven. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it’s best to cook all steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145-degrees Fahrenheit “measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.” All ground beef and other types of ground meat should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160-degrees Fahrenheit, and all poultry to a minimum of 165 degrees.
Indeed, there’s no way to know the temperature of your meat unless you measure it, which means you need a meat thermometer in your household. Which one is best? We recently reviewed dozens of them, looking at factors like ease of use, type of read-out, programmability, extra features (like timers and alarms), durability, and cost. All of these top-rated meat thermometers can be purchased online at Amazon.
We’ve identified the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer as our top pick. It’s fast, easy to read, and versatile, plus it comes fully bundled with bonus extras.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Meat Thermometers
|Best Meat Thermometer Overall||Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer||4.7|
|Best Wireless Meat Thermometer||ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer||4.5|
|Best Budget Meat Thermometer||Anpro DT-10 Meat Thermometer||4.2|
|Best Oven Meat Thermometer||ThermoPro TP-16 Wireless Meat Thermometer||4.4|
|Best Classic Meat Thermometer||GreenRain Mechanical Meat Thermometer||4.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change.
Best Meat Thermometer Overall: Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
If you’re looking for an all-around, easy-to-use, ultra-fast meat thermometer, go for the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer. It tells you the temperature of the meat in as little as 2-3 seconds and is accurate to +/- one degrees.
Use it on any type of meat, from chicken to beef to pork, as well as for baking, making candy, and checking beverage temperatures. The backlit LCD screen gives you a sharp readout, powered by one CR 2032 battery, while the auto-off feature saves battery power when the unit is not in use.
When you’re finished with the thermometer, simply wash it—it’s waterproof. The strong plastic body makes it durable, so you don’t have to panic if you drop it or happen to hit it with something. On one end you’ll find a large hang hole allowing you to can hang the product in a convenient place in your kitchen, or use the internal magnet to stick it to a metal surface.
Along with the thermometer, you’ll receive several extras including a foam-lined storage box, two batteries (one extra), a bonus eCookbook meat temperature guide, user’s manual, and four Velcro dots in case you want to hang your temperature guide on the wall. The manufacturer—Kizen—offers a 100% money-back guarantee, and provides their email address right in the description so you can contact them if you need to.
Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Backlit LCD screen is easy to read
- Fast and reliable measurements
- Auto-off feature saves battery power
- Durable and easy to hang in the kitchen
- Comes with a meat temperature guide and user’s manual
Best Wireless Meat Thermometer: ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer
If you simply don’t have time to watch over your meat (and who does?), the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer may be for you. This multi-functional product comes with one receiver and one transmitter, plus two probes, which you can use to:
- monitor both your meat and oven temperature remotely
- monitor two different types of meat at the same time
- monitor two different meals cooking in different cookers
There’s no sync-up required—it comes ready to use right out of the box with a simple interface and setup. Take the guesswork out of your cooking with preset USDA-approved temperatures for different types of meat already programmed into the receiver—which by the way, is splash-proof and has a built-in pullout counter-top stand and belt clip, along with a rubber sleeve case.
It’s perfectly made so you can tote it around while your food is cooking—go up to 300 feet away and still receive the data on the screen. The transmitter also has a wire you can use to hook it on the oven door or stand it up on the counter.
You’ll love the alarm function, as it will automatically alert you when your meat reaches the programmed temperature—no more worries about overcooking. There’s also a countdown and count up timer with two time duration options.
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Allows you to walk around, watch TV, or get other chores done while your meat is cooking
- Dual probes provide a variety of temperature-tracking options
- Easy to use straight out of the box
- Preprogrammed with preset USDA-approved temperatures
- Includes alarm and timer
Best Budget Meat Thermometer: Anpro DT-10 Meat Thermometer
Those who want a meat thermometer but don’t want to spend a lot should choose the Anpro DT-10 Meat Thermometer. It’s a good digital meat thermometer perfect for indoor or outdoor use, and it’s economical enough you’ll be able to get one for you and one for a friend.
Made of stainless steel with a silicone cap, it’s perfect for checking the temperature of any type of meat in any type of cooker—grill, oven, smoker, or BBQ—and it has an auto-shutdown to save battery power. The battery is included, amazingly enough at this price!
The readout is a little smaller than some, but it’s a bright LCD that shows accurate results within a few seconds. It’s got a long probe that will keep your hands safe while measuring, and it’s small enough to be portable—slip it easily into a shirt pocket while grilling in the backyard, for example.
You can also use this one for candy, bathwater, or beverages.
Anpro DT-10 Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Great digital thermometer for an economical price
- Bright LCD
- Auto shutdown saves battery power
- Portable—slip it into a shirt pocket when not using
- Battery included
Best Oven Meat Thermometer: ThermoPro TP-16 Wireless Meat Thermometer
If you like the idea of being able to check on your food without opening the oven door, choose the ThermoPro TP-16 Wireless Meat Thermometer. It allows you to leave the probe in the meat while it’s cooking, but to keep the actual thermometer outside of the oven where it’s easy to read. The product is highly convenient for oven cooking, but you can use it just as easily with other options, including the stove-top, grill, and smoker, or even to bake bread.
The probe is connected to the thermometer with a 40” stainless steel mess cable, and has a unique step-down design on the probe helps you gauge just how far to press it into the meat. You can use the preset USDA-approved temperatures for the type of meat you’re cooking, or set your own temperature settings manually.
The large LCD screen displays the meat temperature and the set temperature while the food is cooking. When it reaches the set temperature, the unit will sound the alarm so you know your food is done. Set the thermometer on the table, mount it on the wall, or use the magnetic back to stick it to your oven or another nearby metal surface.
Enjoy a one-year warranty on the product, or register it after purchase to extend that warranty to three years.
ThermoPro TP-16 Wireless Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Allows you to measure the temperature without opening the oven
- Large LCD readout that’s easy to read
- Alarm sounds when the food reaches the appropriate temperature
- The probe is made with a helpful step-down design
- The thermometer comes with a magnetic back
Best Classic Meat Thermometer: GreenRain Mechanical Meat Thermometer
Forget about batteries with the GreenRain Mechanical Meat Thermometer—it doesn’t need any. This is a classic, dial-style thermometer you can keep in the cupboards for decades and it will still work. It has a wide range of applications—use it to test the temperature of cooking meat, warm milk, candy, frosting, and any sort of deep-fried food.
The two-inch dial is large and easy to read, and you may be surprised by how quickly this little thermometer produces a measurement. The probe is a generous 12 inches, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your hand. The product is waterproof, has a durable laboratory glass lens, and comes with an adjustable stainless steel clip you can use to attach it to the side of a pan or other cooking utensil. You can also remove the clip if you want to.
Another convenient feature is the little adjustable red temperature indicator, which allows you to set the temperature you want to monitor so it’s easy to see when the meat is done.
GreenRain Mechanical Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Never needs batteries
- Large, easy-to-read face
- Generous 12-inch probe keeps hands safe
- Waterproof with an adjustable stainless steel clip
- Adjustable temperature indicator