The Best Digital Meat Thermometer of 2021 (Get Your Temps Under Control) [September 2021]

A digital meat thermometer is one of my key tools (maybe even the secret weapon) to cooking great-tasting food.

When you are cooking for others or yourself, it is important that you are cooking your food to a safe temperature

The best way to ensure you are cooking your meat to the perfect doneness (for both flavor and safety) is with a digital meat thermometer. 

“The thermometer that you use, is as important as the cut of meat, the rubs, and even the smoker or BBQ that you are using. Without the guarantee of the correct internal temperature, you are running the gauntlet”

There are two categories in this list of the best digital meat thermometers

The first is the best ‘leave-in’ style digital meat thermometer – this style of thermometer is typically a little more expensive and will may have some more features such as Bluetooth or WIFI. Since you are leaving this style of thermometer in your meat for the entire cook these features are a must.

The second category of thermometer is the ‘leave-out’ style of digital thermometer – this style of thermometer is designed to be smaller and simple to use without the tech features. By no means does this mean they are not as accurate or useful –  they just have a slightly different use case.

The Best Digital Meat Thermometer Comparison Table

Thermometer Model
(Clickable Link)
AwardCharlies RatingImage
ThermoPro TP-07Best Leave-In Thermometer4.8 / 5ThermoPro-TP-07
Thermoworks ThermapenBest Leave-Out Instant Read Thermometer4.8 / 5 Thermoworks-Thermapen
Maverick ET-733Runner Up Leave-In Thermometer4.4 / 5Maverick-ET-733
Lavatools ThermowandRunner Up Leave-Out Thermometer4.6 / 5Lavatools-Thermowand
ThermoPro TP-08Best High-End Thermometer4.6 / 5Thermopro-TP-08

The Best Digital Meat Thermometer of 2021

ADigital Meat Thermometer Inside a Pice of Meat on the Grill

When checking the temperature of bone in meat, ensure that you don’t have the end of the probe touching the bone. This will may give you an accurate reading.

Charlies 5 Best Digital Meat Thermometer Individual Reviews

#1 – The ThermoPro TP-07 Wireless Thermometer

The Best Leave-In Digital Meat Thermometer

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches
  • Waterproof: No, however it is splash proof
  • Accuracy: +/- 1.8 °F
  • Temperature Range: 32 – 572°F
  • Reading: Both celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Bluetooth / Wifi: Wireless
  • Remote Range: 300 Feet
  • Probe length: 6.5 inches
  • Receiver Display: 1.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Transmitter Display: 1 x 0.5 inches

What I Liked

  • LCD Display: I liked how the large, smart backlit LCD display changes color during the cooking process (blue->green->red).
  • Auto Off Feature: The auto off feature means the receiver will turned off automatically if it hasn’t received the temperature signal from the transmitter for more than 30 minutes.
  • Pre Set Temperatures: It was really handy that it came programmed with preset temperatures for cooking beef, veal, chicken, pork, poultry, lamb, ground beef, ground poultry and fish. It made it easy when I cooked veal (which i hadn’t done before)
  • Pre Set Doneness Levels: There are 5 preset doneness levels for programmed into the unit to. It made sure I was cooking my steak medium rare not well done!
  • Programmable Settings: I was also able to program my own temperature settings so I could have my meat the exact way I like it.
  • Countdown Timer and Alarm: This was handy for me for longer cooks.

Pros and Cons

TP-07 Pros
  • Its has an auto off feature
  • The high quality build results in great life longevity
  • Pre-set cooking temps for beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken and turkey
  • Accurate temperature readings
  • Great 300 foot range
  • The unit is ready to use right out of the box. No hassle or syncing required
TP-07 Cons
  • The app is not very user friendly took me a while to figure out the first time.

My Final Rating

I really like the large 6.5 inch probe. This is long enough to get into the center of even the biggest pork butts or turkeys.

The Bottom Line: For the modest price, I think you get a well designed wireless unit. It is durable, functions well and and all the essential features you need in a thermometer.


Overall Rating: 4.8 / 5


Thermoworks Thermapen MK4

The Best Instant Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 1.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Battery Life: 3000 hours (with AAA battery)
  • Stabilisation time: 2 – 3 seconds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Accuracy: ±0.7°F
  • Temperature Range: -58 to 572°F
  • Reading: Both Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Probe length: 4.3 inches
  • Display: 1 x 1.5 inches with a 360° rotating LCD screen and intelligent backlight

What I Liked

  • Great temperature range: The MK4 has an impressive temperature range of -58.0 to 572.0°F. This is a really great all-round thermometer.
  • Ergonomic Shape: It has the classic Thermapen shape and operation.
  • Battery lasted a long time: The Thermapen MK4 is powered by one AAA battery and boasts an impressive 3000 hours of use. I have had mine for years and I’ve never had to change the battery
  • Super quick read time: Consistently gave me reads correct temperatures in 3 seconds or less.
  • Lights up depending on how dark it is: I found the display quality good. It detects low light and automatically turns on for ease of use, which is very handy when I was outside cooking at night or put it into the oven.
  • Waterproof: The Thermapen MK4 is waterproof up to 1m fully submerged in water. I have dropped it in the sink before and it still works perfectly
  • The Construction Quality: For a thermometer that is so cheap the quality is fantastic. Definitely one of the best thermometers to be manufactured in the United Kingdom.
  • Easy To Read Display: You will find the display large and easy to read, which also rotates.

Pros and Cons

MK4 Pros
  • The fantastic battery life
  • It is designed very well and has a great hand feel
  • The extremely wide temperature range
  • Auto rotating display is great for getting the probe right into those hard to access cookers and cuts of meat, and for use with both the left and right hands
  • Autosleep function
  • High accuracy
MK4 Cons
  • It is on the more expensive side for an instant read thermometers but I think its would last you longer than other instant reads.

My Rating

The MK4 is the best instant read thermometer on the market today.

It is one of the faster instant read thermometers I have tried, from insertion it takes around 2 seconds to give an accurate temperature which I think is great!

Having the added security of it being waterproof is a huge bonus. Few instant read digital thermometers are. This makes it good to have around the kitchen or barbecue area.

The Bottom Line: I would recommend the MK4 as your go-to in the kitchen, BBQ pit or in with your camping equipment.


Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5


Maverick ET-733 Dual Probe Thermometer

The Runner Up Leave in Thermometer

Specifications

  • Main Unit Dimensions: 2.5 x 1 x 4.7 inches

  • Transmitter Dimensions: 2.5 x 1 x 4.7 inches

  • Waterproof: No, however, splash resistant

  • Accuracy: ±2°F

  • Temperature Range: 32ºF to 572ºF

  • Reading: Both celsius and fahrenheit

  • Bluetooth / Wifi: Wireless

  • Remote Range: 300 foot

  • Meat Probe length: 6 inches

  • Secondary Probe Length: 6 inches

What I Liked

  • Dual Probes: The two 6 inch probes are extremely convenient, espeically for large cuts of meat lie when I need to probe my brisket, this one works well. I found most secondary probes are far smaller or only designed for the grill/ bbq temperature.

  • Pre Set Meats Settings:  I liked that the ET-733 is loaded with pre programmed cooking temperatures as set by the FDA for beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey.

  • Bonus Game Meat settings: It even has additional settings for less-common meats like deer, elk, moose and rabbit for the really adventurous eaters out there. Sometimes we buy venison, so this is handy for that.

  • Doneness Settings: You can also set your preferred doneness level for the presets to Rare, Medium Rare, Medium and Well done. This ensured my steak was cooked perfectly medium rare each time!

  • The LCD Screen: The wireless receiver has a nice large LCD screen, built-in stand and a backlight for use while cooking in the evening and afternoon.

The ET-733 is an updated version of the classic Maverick ET-732.

It has the additional of a secondary 6 inch probe and a bigger base unit.

I felt like the extra large 6 inch probe is a welcomed design upgrade.

I feel the ET-733 has an advantage over other units that have a smaller secondary probe. Two large probes is a big bonus.

I also like the having the pre set temperatures (even the most adventurous of meat eaters out there.)

The Bottom Line: If you are looking at the Maverick ET 732 – go right ahead and spend a little more and go for this bad boy. The extra long probe is worth it. You will not be disappointed.


Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5


Lavatools Thermowand Thermometer

The Runner Up Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer

Specifications

  • Battery Life: 4000 hours

  • Food probe Length: 2.75″

  • Temperature Range: -40 – 482ºF

  • Accuracy: ± 0.9°F

  • Water Resistant: Splash proof

  • Reading: Celsius or fahrenheit

  • Warranty: Lifetime manufacturers warranty

What I Liked

  • Auto Shut Off: I found that after around 60 minutes this thermometer automatically shuts off. It also automatically shuts off when closed. This helps keep the battery life up – I used this flat out for years and the battery is still going!

  • Magnetic Backing: This is just genius. Thy have lined the back with a magnetic strip so you will never loose it. Perfect for keeping on the fridge, on the BBQ/smoker, around the camp site or on the side of your truck while tailgating.

  • Temperature Range: The temperature range of -40ºF – 482ºF in only seconds is more than enough range for this little guy. For a quick read back up you really are not going to need a higher temperature than that.

  • Lifetime Warranty: There is not a huge amount of features you on this thermometer you wouldn’t expect a decent warranty. But Lavatools have given out a lifetime warranty on this little guy!

  • Splash Resistant: This is another reason why I love this thermometer. you don’t have to worry about getting this thermometer wet Obviously don’t leave it outside in a downpour or run it through the dishwasher but for everyday splashes you will be fine. Most of the more expensive models are not splash proof.

  • Antimicrobial: The thermometer is coated with an antimicrobial additive to inhibit 99.9% of pathogen growth.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Accurate and fast readings
  • Magnetic backing
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Celsius and Fahrenheit feature
  • 4000 hour battery life
Cons
  • The probe is a little small. This doesn’t get right into the center of bigger cuts of meat
  • The smaller probe also means that your hand does get closer to the grill so there is a higher chance of burns

I think this is the little back instant read up that everyone needs. I found it a very accurate, fast conveniently sized thermometer.

Everyone should have a backup like this in their tool kit or tailgating set up.

The Bottom Line: It does have a short probe but it’s super handy when I wanted a really quick read plus its really cheap.

This is the most reliable back up thermometer you are going to find.


Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5


ThermoPro TP-08 Dual Probe Thermometer

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches

  • Waterproof: No, however it is splash proof

  • Accuracy: +/- 1.8 °F

  • Temperature Range: 32 – 572°F

  • Reading: Both celsius and fahrenheit

  • Bluetooth / Wifi: Wireless

  • Meat Probe length: 6.5 inches

  • Secondary Probe Length:3 inches

  • Receiver Display: 1.3 x 1.5 inches

  • Transmitter Display: 1 x 0.5 inches

Key Features

  • LCD Display: The large, smart backlit LCD display changes color during the cooking process (blue->green->red).
  • Dual Probe: The dual probe system lets me simultaneously keep track of two different temperatures.
  • Pre Set Temperatures: The unit is programmed with preset temperatures for when I was cooking cooking beef, veal, chicken, pork, poultry, lamb, ground beef, ground poultry and fish.
  • Pre Set Doneness Levels: There are 5 preset doneness levels for programmed into the unit to perfectly cooked rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well done meat.
  • Programmable Settings: You can also program your own temperature settings so you can have meat the exact way you like it. Program your own temperature settings manually.
  • Countdown and Count Up Timer and Alarm: Pre program your times and set an alarm so you never overcook your meat again. This is especially good for when I was doing longer cooks.
  • Wireless Thermometer: Its allowed to accurately cook by monitoring both my internal temperature from 300 feet away.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • The dual probes allow you to monitoring both your meat/s and oven temperature remotely
  • Appears to be waterproof and can handle being outside in heavy rain
  • Comes with very clear instructions on how to setup
  • The temperatures polls every 5 seconds or so, you can be confident that you’re getting an accurate reading
  • The large LCD is easily read and has a great backlight
Cons
  • The unit has no pre set temperature settings

The ThermoPro TP-08 is the big brother to the TP-07.

It came with an extra probe which came in handy when cooking a few different cuts of meat.

The ability to add in your own preset levels is a great feature I thought.

Like the TP-07, the TP-08 is one of the easiest devices to set up, insert the batteries and away you go.

It is a little more expensive that its younger brother, for the extra probe I think its worth it.

The Bottom Line: The TP-08 is another great thermometer by ThermoPro. Its constructed well and has the essential features to set and forget cook.

This thermometer would have been higher on my best digital meat thermometer list if it was a little cheaper.


Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5


Analog Vs Digital Thermometers

Digital thermometers offer an extremely precise temperature reading. Traditionally, analog thermometers have been used in kitchens and backyards worldwide. These have worked in the past however, they have only been able to give you an approximate reading. Which makes it incredibly challenging to get that perfect succulent smokey brisket or pork butt.

The beauty of the digital thermometer is that you can receive an accurate, to the degree temperature reading, this is what you need for getting perfectly cooked meat. Plus it is also safer, as you don’t want to serve undercooked meat to your friends or family.


It can be overwhelming when selecting a digital thermometer. Nowadays there are 1000’s of features ranging from your standard thermometer with just a probe to high-tech models that include Bluetooth and can be controlled from 100’s of feet away. Pretty cool stuff, but not necessary for the vast majority of backyard chefs out there.

The bottom line is that digital thermometers are far more accurate than the traditional analog thermometer, it just comes down to how many bells and whistles you need to get your meat to the perfect temperature.

I always get asked by friends and family what unit I am using – I am currently using the Genesis ii lx s-340. Why am. I using it? Check out the Genesis ii lx s-340! When it comes to tracking my temperature I always use the Weber bluetooth thermometer. I think the products work really use together.

Need Help Picking The Best Digital Meat Thermometer?

When choosing a digital thermometer you can be overwhelmed with features and additional bells and whistles.

Who would have thought that something as simple as a temperature measuring device could be so confusing?

It doesn’t matter what brand or model the thermometer is, when buying a digital thermometer there are six key factors that you should take into account:

  • Speed: Speed is a key factor in selecting a thermometer. You want a thermometer that can give you a reading fast.

    Some thermometers claim to give an instant reading, this is a bold claim and something that you should watch out for. You should be looking for a thermometer that can stabilize within 3 – 10 seconds. For those who use overs, smokers, and closed grills it is important to get a thermometer with a faster stabilizing time so less heat escapes from the cooker while checking the temperature of your meat.

  • Temperature Range: Selecting a thermometer with a large temperature range is important. You don’t want to be limited to what you can cook, or the style of cooking because your thermometer cannot read the temperature you plan to use.

    A decent thermometer should run between 30°F to 400°F. However, it is possible to get an all-purpose thermometer with a broader temperature range.

  • Durability: Thermometers can be a delicate piece of equipment. Make sure that the thermometer that you buy can withstand the elments. Think will you be taking your thermometer on a camping trip? Will it be staying in the kitchen utensil draw? Will it be left out with your BBQ until it is used next?

  • Warranty: A quality brand should provide you with a warranty against manufacturing faults, be wary of a brand that is not prepared to stand behind their product. After all, if it breaks due to a defect, that is not your fault.

  • Accuracy: Above all, your digital thermometer should be extremely accurate. After all that is the number one thing your thermometer was designed to do. The key to cooking the perfect cut of meat is getting the temperatures right.

  • Functionality: Do your research before buying. There are some features of a thermometer that you will and will not need:
  1. Do you need a thermometer that reads both Fahrenheit and Celsius?

  2. Do you need a thermometer that displays to the degree, or do you want a 10th of a degree?

  3. Do you need Bluetooth or smartphone capabilities?

  4. Do you need a screen that rotates?

  5. Do you need a thermometer that has preloaded temperatures, or that you can preset your own temperatures? Or do you just need a good old fashioned thermometer that reads temperature and has an easy to read display?

Why Should You Buy A Digital Meat Thermometer?

The answer is quite simple really. You need a digital thermometer in your life.

That is because it is a low cost solution to significantly improve the quality and safety of the meat that you are preparing.

With a digital thermometer, you will have an accurate reading within seconds to the precise internal temperature of your meat. Removing any uncertainty and guesswork from your cooking experience.

The last thing that you want when you are cooking a smoked boneless pork loin is for it to come out too early and be undercooked.

Instant Read Leave-In Digital Meat Thermometer Break Down

As the name suggests a leave-in digital meat thermometer is designed to be left in while you cook.

This style of digital meat thermometer is best for long cooks. Especially when you want to keep a close eye on the internal temperature of your meat.

You will find that the leave-in style of digital meat thermometer usually has Bluetooth or WIFI connectivity. This enables you to connect and monitor your cook through your smart phone or tablet. This allows you to keep an eye on your cook from the comfort of your couch or man cave!

The leave-in style of digital meat thermometer is often a little more expensive than the leave-out style, this is because there is a little more tech going into them – not because they are better or more accurate. 

Instant Read Leave-Out Digital Meat Thermometer Break Down

The leave-out style of digital meat thermometer is best for those who;

1. Need to quickly check a temperature of a cook
2. Make sure that your steak is cooked to perfection. 

These thermometers are often smaller, lighter, a little less ‘techy’ and cheaper than the leave in style. However, this does not mean that they are lower quality or delivery inaccurate readings. 

A leave-out digital meat thermometer is a must have in any kitchen, backyard or bbq tool kit – there is no excuse why you shouldn’t have at least one. 

They are great for camping, tailgating and to store in the RV to ensure that you are always cooking food safely to perfection! 

Wrapping it Up

Like I mentioned earlier thermometers are essential to your BBQ! So you must have the best digital meat thermometer possible.

It could mean the difference between your brisket being juicy and succulent or going in the bin! Not only that, you don’t want to risk your friend’s and family’s health!

Happy smoking

Charlie

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *