There is nothing worse than undercooked turkey or overcooked steak when you’re celebrating the holidays. While there are plenty of tips out there to help you get the perfect color and flavour for your proteins, one of the easiest ways to ensure you’ve serving properly cooked meat is using a meat thermometer. And don’t worry, the modern class of meat thermometers have come a long way from pop-up timers and analog thermometers that required you to open the oven door every hour to check the temperature.
A smart meat thermometer is a terrific tool for helping you gauge when a piece of meat has reached the appropriate temperature. They’re terrific for situations in which you need to be careful to reach a safe consumption temperature (like chicken), when you need to roast a large portion of meat (like holiday turkey), or when you get busy and don’t want to forget dinner and end up with charcoal. That’s because with new smart meat thermometers, you can have them alert you when your food is perfectly cooked, and some can even let you run multiple thermometers at a time so you can keep tabs on both the oven and the barbecue. Companion apps let you easily program your cook without fussing with tiny buttons.
Remember that tech can only do so much: always properly place your thermometer for the most accurate results. For large portions, like turkey, you will want to insert the thermometer about 2” or 2 ½” deep into the centre of the meat (and with a bird, ensure the thermometer doesn’t push through to the internal cavity). For smaller portions, like most steaks and chicken breasts, you’ll want to insert to the middle of the meat.
Available in 10 different colors, this highly accurate instant read thermometer is perfect for grilling and testing meats cooked on a stovetop. The Thermapen Mk4 gives you a temperature reading in two to three seconds, so you can quickly gauge how done your meat is without letting too much heat out of your grill, or allows you to know instantly if it’s time to pull the chicken breasts from the pan. Foldaway design is perfect for storage and prevents the tip from being as easily damaged. It is waterproof and can display temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius. Perfect for the home cook that likes to ensure every portion of meat is brought perfectly to temperature. Gift it to someone that uses a covered grill or often cooks smaller portions of meat.
Perfect for the BBQ aficionado, the Meater Smart Meat Thermometer and the Meater+ Smart Meat Thermometer are both wireless thermometers. Place them in the meat and pop it in the oven; these thermometers will talk to your cell phone and alert you when your food is ready.
Both use a dual-sensor probe to track internal temperature and ambient temperature using an app. Both options have built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to easily pair your probe with your app.
The app takes the guesswork out of knowing how to properly cook a piece of meat as it displays safe eating temperatures, and can help nail that perfect level of doneness for your preference. Both options come with an attractive wood probe charging dock, and the Meater+ comes with a signal repeater that allows you to pair with the probe up to 165 feet away. The app guides you through the entire cooking process for a number of preparations, which makes it perfect for those looking to get more serious about their cooking. A terrific gift for those that like to BBQ, or slow roast meats.
Perfect for those of us that want a remote probe that isn’t connected to our phones, the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Meat Thermometer is great for the host that wants to cook without being tied to the oven or grill. The device is made up of two parts; a probe and a base station that also functions as. A pseudo-alarm clock and allows you to set timers and notifications so you’re alerted when certain temperatures are reached. The probes remain linked with the base for up to 300 feet, allowing you to mingle with guests or go into the house, rather than needing to go check the thermometer. A great gift for the BBQ lover or the cook that is always hosting.
Probably among the least expensive options out there, the ThermoPro TP-16 has a probe that can be inserted into meat and left in while the meat cooks in the oven. A more economical option than the Meater probe (which operates in much the same way), the ThermoPro probe is attached to a digital readout by a mesh cable that can withstand temperatures up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has built in presets for many common protein types like poultry, fish, and beef. The best feature of this very affordable option is the ability to set your own ideal temperature and the device will set an alarm to let you know once that level is reached. At this price point it’s worth having around for preparing any large meal in the oven (can even be used for non-meat items like casseroles), and an ideal cooking implement for the holidays. A great stocking stuffer for any cook, it’s great for anyone that loves to cook in larger portion sizes.