How to choose an instant read thermometer?

Thermometers are the best way to ensure proper temperature, Instant read thermometers so named because it gives a temperature reading very quickly. An instant-read thermometer consists of a stainless steel temperature probe and either a dial or a digital readout.

Before buying a thermometer, it’s better to know some important points;

First one : You should read other customer reviews, if there are many common complaints, it’s better to check other thermometers. Be careful, sometimes product pictures and seller’s explanations can be misleading.

Main criterias for selection:


Most of the instant read thermometers not “instant read”. Because their measuring speed varies between 5-30 seconds.

If speed is most important criteria and you don’t care about price, your thermometer is “Thermapen by Thermoworks”. The Super-Fast Thermapen has been a favorite instant-read cooking thermometer worldwide. Accuracies better than ±0.7°F. Improvements in the probe technology now yield a blazing fast speed of 3 seconds to a full temperature reading.


There are many thermometers in market which have very short usable life. Some of them are made of  easily breakable cheap plastic.

Easy to read:

Sometimes because of poor design, the digital read-out screen is very small and difficult to read. The larger the digital read-out, the easier it will be to read.

Probe length:

If probe too short then you need something to protect your hand from heat.

Temperature Range:

Wide range may cover all cooking and chilling temperatures including deep frying.

Waterproof / Diswasher safe / Splash resistant:

Kitchens are busy places where it is possible to drop your thermometer in a sink or let it slip into a pot of soup. Water proof thermometers can tolerate contact with water and other liquids so they last longer.

But don’t use dishwasher, instant read thermometers especially digitals NOT suitable for dishwasher.

Splash resistant means if the item in the oven spashes on the thermometer it will not break.

Ovenproof :

An instant-read thermometer is different from a meat thermometer or oven thermometer. An instant-read thermometer is used for taking a quick temperature reading of an item, but you don’t leave it in the food while it cooks. A meat thermometer is inserted into a piece of meat before roasting, and is left in the roast during cooking. Most of instant read thermometers are NOT ovenproof.


Many thermometers need to be calibrated to be considered accurate, but some do not require calibration or simply cannot be calibrated. Calibration ensures that a thermometer is accurate when you use it to test food, holding, or cooking temperatures. Most of the time, calibration to within +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit is considered acceptable. Make sure to note whether the thermometer you choose will need to be calibrated at regular intervals to make it more accurate.

Auto shutoff:

Almost all of digital instant read thermometers have auto shut off feature.


Price range is between 4$ to 100$ for instant read thermometers.  You get what you pay for, if you buy cheapest one, you may  waste your money.

As a result, before buying an instant read thermometer decide important criterias for you, check and compare product features and other users comments.

The table below provides information about best instant read thermometers.

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