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What's behind our meat thermometer Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 46 models in meat thermometers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is a combined weighted score based on the accuracy, repeatability, response time and features scores of a model.
  • Type
    Describes whether the thermometer is a "folding", "fork" or wireless/remote design within the digital categories
  • Accuracy
    A score on how accurate the thermometer readings of a model were compared to a calibrated reference thermometer
  • Repeatability
    A score on how repeatable the temperature readings of a model were within and among the three samples tested of that model
  • Response time
    The time is seconds from probe immersion into a temperature controlled water bath to a steady sate accurate temperature reading.
  • Features
    This score reflects the presence or absence of convenience features.


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Recommended meat thermometers

Recommended meat thermometers are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
A meat thermometer doesn't cost much, but it can save hundreds of dollars in medical bills by ensuring that food is cooked enough to kill disease-causing salmonella, E. coli, and other bugs. If you're looking for information about meat thermometers, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports' meat thermometer reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our meat thermometer buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and meat thermometer reviews to help you choose the best meat thermometer for your needs.

Meat thermometer buying guide

Eating undercooked meat may pose health risks and overcooked takes the joy out of eating, so it's surprising that instinct often trumps a reliable meat thermometer. It t

akes seconds to use, but can potentially save you from food poisoning by ensuring that food is cooked enough to kill disease-causing salmonella, E. coli, and other bugs. Most meat thermometers we tested were accurate within 2 to 4°F of the reference thermometer and none was more than 5° off. Digital thermometers generally performed better, were more accurate, consistent, and convenient to use than analog. Analog thermometers were often more difficult to read, had the longest response times, and have few features. Go digital.

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