Nowadays, grilling has become an everyday thing in most homes. Let’s admit it; it is fun sitting outside and enjoying a sunny afternoon as you grill some meat, the experience is simply thrilling. Grilling or smoking meat can be fun, the only problem comes in when you overcook or undercook the meat. And since you are probably not as experienced as a chef, you cannot determine if the meat is ready by just a single look. That is why you need a thermometer to help you determine if the meat is ready. In this article, we’ll discuss the 5 best thermometers for grilling & smoking.
The sole purpose you intend to buy a grilling thermometer is to get accurate readings and cook your meat perfectly. Therefore, you want a thermometer that can make precise readings with little or no variations.
Speed is the second most important feature in thermometer. You want your thermometer to be instant; that is, it stabilizes in less than 10 seconds. You’ll need this speed, especially when grilling or reaching into a hot oven, as the temperatures there are not that accommodating.
The thermometers functionality will greatly enhance the cooking experience. You’ll need to have a clear picture of what you want. Do you want a simple thermometer with an easy design? Are you fascinated by technology? Whichever your answer is, there is a thermometer that will fit your needs and preferences.
You might also want a thermometer that can switch from °F to °C, as it will come in handy when preparing global recipes. Some thermometers can display the temperature up to the 10th of a degree, while others can be pre-programmed with the minimum cooking temperatures and will alert the user once the temperatures are reached.
Thermometers with wide temperature ranges are better especially if you intend to use your thermometer for more than one use. A thermometer with range is useful for both barbecuing at low temperatures and searing a steak at high temperatures.
Thanks to the continued advancement in technology, we now have digital thermometers that are not only more efficient but also accurate. While analog thermometers were seen as efficient, their range wasn’t as approximate as their digital counterparts were.
Like earlier said, digital thermometers offer more precise readings such that you can now hit the recommended USDA’s Minimum temp without much hassle. Digital thermometers are fancier than their analog counterparts, as they tend to be very helpful especially when dealing with finicky kitchen projects such as making cheese or tempering chocolate.
Not all meat is cooked under the same temperature. There are different optimum temperatures for various types of meat. You aren't required to know them right off the top of your head so don't worry, we'll give you a little cheat sheet to go over every time you want to confirm:
The ThermoPro TP20 looks good and durable. It is a digital wireless thermometer, which features dual probe to help it monitor food temperature from up to 300 ft away. This will enable the user to continue with the activities at hand without having to excuse themselves every now and then. Unlike the previous models, the ThermoPro does not require sync, which means that you will not have to go through the tedious process of setup.
The ThermoPro comes with large LCD displays for both oven and food temperatures. It also has a timer that is designed to provide a seamless and intuitive experience. The thermometer is also backlit for easy use especially in low light conditions. It is an ideal barbecue thermometer as it comes preset with temperatures for 9 different types of meat. It also has the various doneness levels that are recommended by USDA. It is important to note that the preset temperature can be reset according to your preferences.
Check out Henry Armitage's review of the ThermoPro TP-20 Below
As its name suggests, the Habor Instant Read Thermometer is super fast; it can read the temperature in 4-6 seconds. With such speeds, you will not have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your meat. The Habor thermometer is more accurate than the previous models as it comes with a thin probe tip and a super sensitive sensor chip. With these two features, the habor thermometer can now boast of a control error range of ± 1.8° F. With such performance, you are guaranteed of efficiency in your cooking or grilling.
The Habor thermometer comes with meat temperature chart that is printed on the backside of the thermometer. It comes in handy especially when cooking or BBQ. It also features a probe that is not only foldable but also long. The 4.8” probe will ensure that you do not burn your fingers when checking the temperatures. As for the foldable design, it comes in handy when storing it.
It is easy to use, as you will only need to follow two steps to get it started. It also comes with a button battery, which the manufacturer recommends that you turn off after use.
The Polder THM390-39 is considered to be one of the fastest thermometers as it gives accurate readings in less than 8 seconds. It employs the use of speed-read technology to achieve this feat. It makes it easy for the user to cook food at the right temperatures according to the doneness and meat type.
It has a temperature range of 32° F to 212° F. Its probe is thinner than most probes thus making it ideal for sampling meat as it makes smaller holes. It has a 10” probe that is not only the perfect length for use, but it also ensures that your hands are at a safe distance when checking temperatures.
It is designed to work in ovens, which means that you will not be required to slide out the whole pan just to check the meat temperatures. Its size, and user-friendly features have made it one of the most popular meat thermometers. You will definitely like its simplicity.
The GDEALER thermometer prides itself in its fast read of about 4-6 seconds. It has a large LCD display, an AUTO Shut-off & HOLD feature. It is quite light thus easy to carry around. It is not only ideal for outdoor cooking but also perfect for indoor kitchen use.
It has a wide temperature range of - 50°C to 300°C with a control error range of ± 0.1°F, which makes it very useful when grilling on a gas barbecue, deep-frying, making bread, cheese or even brewing beer. With its Auto shut-off feature, you can now save battery as it automatically shuts off when the thermometer stays on for more than 10 minutes without being used.
It has a stainless foldable 11 cm probe. It is quite easy to use, as you only need to pull out the probe then insert it into the food or meat and note the temperature readings. It comes with a temperature chart that you can use to confirm the perfect temperatures for your fish, lamb, beef, pork, steak, turkey or chicken.
Fast & Strong's review of the GDEALER thermometer is shown below.
The Lavatools Javelin Pro is a food thermometer for professionals that has both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings. It’s a top-of-the-line gadget, which has a 4.2” probe that extends up to 10.5”. This assures the safety of the hands while cooking in an oven or grill. It maintains a simple appearance on the outside and has an intelligent software under the hood, which lets you know when the temperature has stabilized. This is done through audible chime. It’s very noticeable antifogging 2″ backlit feature display comes in handy when you find yourself cooking in the dark. The power saver and MIN/MAX functions keep the instant-read running longer. You can turn on the power saver mode to disable features that sap your battery life.
The display is always clear because it has an antifogging coating that works even when checking boiling liquids. It is backed by magnet enabling attachment to the oven or refrigerator for storage and supports a limited 3-year warranty.
The best thermometer for grilling on this list is the ThermoPro TP20. It is undoubtedly one of the most superior barbecue thermometers and it offers good value for money. It’s simple enough for a novice to understand and get the job done right. The fact that it’s easy to use and its only downfall is that the probes may lose efficiency after some time, is easily solvable and the lifetime warranty makes it the ideal choice for you.