Why Is A Digital Meat Thermometer Worth It

Is A Digital Meat Thermometer Worth It

Is a digital meat thermometer worth it? The answer is a resounding yes! They can be cost-effective, some are simple and easy to use. This critical kitchen tool that most home cooks and chefs can’t do without.

Overcooking meats will make them dry and unpleasant to eat. However undercooking meats especially chicken could make your family sick! Is your family’s health and safety worth the cost? Yes, of course, it is!

There’s no doubt that purchasing the best meat thermometer you can find for your needs is totally worth it! So an investment in a quality meat thermometer will pay off.

So, why take my advice? Good question, I’ve been cooking as a professional chef for over 25 years and have used some diverse kitchen gadgets!

If you’re like most people, you probably think of a meat thermometer as something that’s only necessary for cooking large cuts of meat like roasts or ham. But did you know that a digital meat thermometer is also a great tool for smaller cuts of meat, like chicken breasts, pork chops, sausages, and burgers?

They are versatile kitchen gadgets that can be used for more than accurately gauging the doneness of meat. Digital meat thermometers can also be used to check:

  • Cooking temperature of hot oil.
  • The internal temperature of your refrigerator at home or work.
  • Monitor the internal temperature of your oven or bbq when slow cooking meats.
  • The temperature of baby formula before feeding your child.
  • Poaching water for foods that need precise water temperature to cook like eggs.
  • Monitor the cooling process of meat, casseroles, and stews.

So, Why Is A Digital Meat Thermometer Worth It?

When you’re cooking a big dinner for your family, that classic Sunday roast chook. You spend the afternoon in the kitchen prepping and cooking. You rest your delicious-looking roast chicken, when you go to carve it up it is dry and stringy. Or even worse it is pink and bloody in the center!

You want to make sure everything is cooked perfectly. And to a safe temperature that won’t make you sick, like chicken or pork. That’s why a digital meat thermometer is such a handy tool to have in your kitchen.

You can easily and accurately gauge the internal temperature of whatever you’re cooking, without having to cut into it and risk losing all the precious juices.

So if you’re still thinking is a digital meat thermometer worth it? keep reading and I’ll share with you why they are worth it and why I use them at work and home. Also the best ways you can take advantage of this awesome kitchen gadget.

Maple and Grain Mustard Glazed Whole Ham
Maple and Grain Mustard Glazed Whole Ham

Digital Meat Thermometers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

Certain recipes and meats need a meat thermometer for reasons of consistency, verification, accuracy, assurance, and food safety. Overall, a digital meat thermometer is a valuable kitchen tool that is definitely worth its weight in gold.

You will need to use a meat thermometer. Aside from checking for doneness, all chicken products need to be cooked to 68 – 75ºC or 154 – 167ºF to kill unhealthy bacteria. The surest way to test this is with a digital meat thermometer.

They are much more accurate than traditional analog meat thermometers, most are easy to use, as you can simply insert the probe into the meat and get an instant reading. Some models will even beep or alert you in some way when it reaches the correct temperature you have set.

Using A Digital Meat Thermometer For BBQs And Ovens

You’re on the bbq at home catering for a large family party. The bbq is full of delicious meats, and you’re thinking about what is cooked and what needs to stay on for longer.

Use a digital meat thermometer that way you’ll know for sure, remove that guesswork and stress of serving the family over or undercooked food, you’ll never live it down!

If you’re slow cooking a whole brisket on your bbq or in the oven, you’ll want to monitor the entire cooking process. Purchasing a meat thermometer that is bbq and oven safe will give you the assurance that your brisket is perfectly cooked.

You spend 8 hours slow cooking brisket, you won’t want to stuff it up! Is a digital meat thermometer worth it? Sure is!

Best BBQ And Oven Safe Meat Thermometer

ThermoPro TP25

Wireless remote digital cooking meat temperature probe.

  • The ThermoPro TP25 remote thermometer is made for consistency, accuracy, and food safety this one is for meat lovers and barbecue enthusiasts like myself.
  • There is a transmitter that the probes connect to and a receiver app on your phone or laptop.
  • What is awesome about the dual probe technology is that you can monitor two pieces of meat at the same time. Or monitor one piece of meat as well as the internal temperature of your barbecue or oven. Also, you can monitor one piece of meat throughout the entire cook in two places. Like a beef brisket at the point end and the flat-cut end ensuring the brisket will be evenly cooked.
  • This is the best meat thermometer for oven use and the best meat thermometer for bbq cooking.
  • The ThermoPro TP25 is easy to use, just put the batteries in, turn it on and the transmitter and receiver app are relatively easy to connect.
  • It is pre-programmed with USDA-approved endpoint temperatures for various types of meat like chicken, beef, lamb, pork, veal, and more.
  • There are also endpoint temperatures for rare, med-rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done.
  • You can read the temperatures in Celsius or Fahrenheit whatever you prefer.
  • The ThermoPro TP25 has a very high heat resistance which can stand up to 300ºC or 572ºF.

Where To Put Meat Thermometer In Chicken

The best way to ensure your whole chicken is cooked through but not overcooked is to use a digital meat thermometer.

When inserting the probe of the thermometer into your chicken, aim for the thickest part this can be the top of the breast in the center, or into the leg where the leg meets the body.

Make sure the probe is inserted all the way into the meat without touching any bone as this will give an inaccurate reading. The target endpoint temperature should be 68 – 75ºC or 154 – 167ºF.

Deep Frying With A Digital Meat Thermometer

Not everyone has a benchtop deep fryer, I don't. So if you want to cook French fries, battered fish, or crumbed foods you'll need to use a pot and heat the oil.

You are heating oil in a pot, ready to fry some French fries crispy and golden. The oil looks hot you carefully place the fries into the oil and they just sit there... You realize the oil is nowhere near hot enough. When they are finally cooked they are a clump of oily gluey mess! They're not fries anymore just pieces of soggy oily potato.

You decide you want to cook beer battered fish, you make your batter. Coat your beautiful fresh fish in the batter and carefully place it into the hot oil. With horror, you realize the oil is way too hot and starts to foam up.

The batter on the fish starts to burn you remove the fish, drain it and cut it open only to find the fish is way undercooked almost raw, what a waste of food and time!

You spent all that time in the kitchen cooking only to have it all go wrong. Now, is a digital meat thermometer worth it? Yes, it's an excellent investment!

Best Instant Read Meat Thermometer

Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer

Waterproof ultra-fast meat temperature probe.

  • What can I say I think this is one of the best digital meat thermometers out there. Best value meat thermometer.
  • The Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer is available in 3 colors black, deep red, and light red. Black is the best color.
  • Fast, accurate instant-read meat temperature probe. Standout features are a rotating screen with a backlight, which also has an enormous temperature range.
  • This is really easy to take endpoint temperatures with the sharp probe tip that easily slides into cooked meat to quickly get an accurate read.
  • When I'm checking meat the results come back in 2 - 3 seconds.
  • The Kizen thermometer is accurate +/- 1 ͦ and can read temperatures from -50ºC to 300ºC or -58ºF to 572ºF.
  • The Kizen is waterproof under running water, so it makes it easy to clean, you won't have any issues.  It is highly durable and resilient.   

How To Tell If My Meat Thermometer Is Accurate

Meat Thermometer Calibration
If you’re unsure your digital meat thermometer is accurate, there are ways to calibrate it.

In the first method, fill a glass with iced water, let it stand for 30 seconds, and insert the probe into it, the thermometer should read 0 – 1ºC or 32 – 33.8ºF.

The second method is, to boil a pot of water with the water boiling insert the probe, the thermometer should read 99 – 100ºC or 210 – 212ºF. Make sure the tip of the probe doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, this will give a false reading. Be mindful - this method will not work at high altitudes as the water boils at a lower temperature.

Calibrate A Meat Thermometer
Calibrating A Thermometer

These are the two common methods that are used in the food industry to calibrate digital thermometers. This is something that you can easily do at home. Gives you peace of mind knowing that your thermometer is accurate.

Nothing worse than having a meat thermometer that isn’t accurate. This can lead to undercooking or overcooking of meats. This will also lead to you doubting your temperature probe. Not to mention a food safety risk.

Most good modern digital thermometers will be accurate between +/- 1º. So, what do you do when your meat thermometer doesn’t calibrate correctly? Try one or both of the calibration tests again outlined above. 

If your temperature probe still isn’t calibrating correctly, first check the battery if that’s fine. You can see if you can get it repaired or the easiest method is to just buy a new one. 

Best Way To Temperature Check Baby Formula

Checking the temperature of baby formula before feeding your child is essential. Why? Because it is accurate. Sure, you can do a couple of drops on the inside of your wrist test.

However, if you’re like me my hands and arms are constantly working over hot flames, being a professional chef. So the drops on the wrist test don’t work so well for me as everything just feels cold.

It is so important to make sure that the formula is at the right temperature before feeding it to your baby. The last thing you want is for your baby to scald their mouth and throat if the formula is too hot. Or, have an upset tummy, gas, and other problems because the formula is too cold.

Simply insert the clean probe of the thermometer into the formula and wait a couple of seconds, it can be that easy. Is a digital meat thermometer worth it? Resounding yes! an excellent investment!

I would definitely recommend a digital meat thermometer to any parent!

Best Versatile Meat Thermometer

Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo

Accurate instant read meat thermometer with easy-to-read temperature display.

  • The Javelin PRO Duo meat thermometer offers increased speed, internal reading within 2-3 seconds plus temperature alerts, and standard temperature holding.
  • Are you wanting to achieve the desired endpoint temperature? This little gem of a meat thermometer is an amazing little gadget for accuracy. Just flick out the probe and it will instantly turn on, handy for taking readings in tight oven spaces and at odd angles.
  • Slightly better than their 2019 model.
  • Bigger LCD screen and brighter backlighting, it is also quicker.
  • This temperature probe can temp check any food right up to 300ºC or 572ºF.

Monitoring The Entire Cooking Process

When I'm wanting to monitor meat throughout the entire cooking process. Slow cooking a wagyu brisket on the barbecue or in the oven. The ThermoPro TP25 would be perfect to achieve this. 

The multiple probes can be inserted into the raw meat and monitored through the app on your phone or laptop. Awesome meat thermometer I would recommend this to every BBQ pro and home cook.

The temperature probes are oven-proof and heat resistant so you won't need to worry about them melting into your meat or malfunctioning.

Endpoint Temperature Verification

If you are just wanting to achieve an endpoint temperature, The best meat thermometer to use would be the Javelin PRO Duo Instant Read. The meat thermometer probe can be inserted into cooked meat to give you an instant endpoint verification in seconds.

This meat thermometer would be perfect if you are cooking med-rare beef, well-cooked chicken, turkey, or pork. Wanting to achieve a goal endpoint temperature, in regards to food safety. The Javelin would be an excellent choice.

Cooling Cooked Meats

If you are cooking meat that you want to reheat the next day or you're wanting to serve cold, you can cook it to your desired endpoint temperature. Then monitor the cooling down process.

This way you know that your meat is cooling at an elevated rate so as not to produce harmful bacteria or pathogens which can be unhealthy when consumed. The Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer would be suitable for monitoring the cooling process.

Cooling cooked meats is a simple process, using your meat thermometer, let the meat stand out of the fridge until the internal temperature has reached 62ºC or 144ºF.

Then place it into the coldest part of your fridge or into your freezer if you have space. You want to cool the meat to 4ºC or 39ºF or below within 4 - 5 hours.  This can be done by temperature-checking the meat every hour or so.

This is an industry standard for cooling cooked meats.

Cleaning A Digital Thermometer

One of the most important factors when using your meat thermometer is cleaning the actual stainless probe. Washing it under hot water alone won't do.  

You've been using your meat thermometer to temperature check raw meats and cooked meats. This can lead to cross-contamination which will lead to potential food-borne illness.  

Now you don't want to make your family or friends sick from eating contaminated food. What you need to do is use an antibacterial surface or probe wipes to wipe the stainless probe after each use.

This will destroy 99.9% of any harmful bacteria or other microorganisms present on your meat thermometer stainless probe.

Cross Contamination: Defined as the transfer of harmful bacteria or other microorganisms from one surface to another. It can happen during any stage of food preparation at home or in a commercial environment.

For example - use your food thermometer to temperature check raw beef before cooking. Then proceeding to temp check the cooked chicken. Without cleaning the probe in-between each use.

 Antibacterial probe wipes
Antibacterial probe wipes

Taylor Precision Products Food Service HACCP Wipes

Perfect for cleaning your meat temperature probe.


The Final Probe

Professional chef or avid home cook, whatever you're wanting to achieve, the ThermoPro TP25 is the best digital meat thermometer and will be just right for you.

This is the best wireless meat thermometer and can check the endpoint temperature and monitor the temperature of the entire cooking process from start to finish. 

If you're a meat-lover or barbecue enthusiast the ThermoPro TP25 is the best digital thermometer out there.

You're looking for something that is going to take the load and handle some real-world pressure and stress. The Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer is the one for you.

Just want a food temperature probe to verify endpoint goal temperatures, that can handle some real-world pressure and stress. The Javelin PRO Duo will be excellent.

To cook food that is safe to eat you need the best food thermometer. Also for reasons of consistency, verification, accuracy, and assurance are just as important.

The food safety aspect is one of the main reasons to purchase a digital meat thermometer. Especially in the commercial environment, where food safety is key-critical to running a successful food business. And keeping your family healthy - not giving them food poisoning!

So now is a digital meat thermometer worth it, yes definitely!

Shannon is a professional chef and avid golfer (awesome combo); he has been cooking in commercial kitchens for 25 years and has been playing golf for nearly as long. Shannon followed in the footsteps of his mother and grandfather who were chefs. His love of food and cooking developed from an early age. Then a little later he picked up a golf club and never looked back. That’s when his passion for cooking and golf was born.