Digital Meat Thermometers For Grilling

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Today we’re going to be looking at digital meat thermometers for grilling. We’ll be looking at some different options to help you decide what it is you’re looking for.

You need to decide what type of thermometer you need, if you just want an instant read type of thermometer like the Lavatools PT12 Javelin  or whether you want a leave in type.

Obviously the more options you have, the more expensive the thermometer so maybe that will help you decide too, whether you want to make a large investment or pay a few dollars and not be too worried if it doesn’t last a long time.

Check out the Lavatools PT12 Javelin our top instant read foldable probe

Some of the questions asked are:

How do you read a digital meat thermometer

When using a meat thermometer you need to insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat, if it is thick enough insert it about 2 inches and avoid the bone area and the fatty areas where it will not give you an accurate reading.

When you’re using an instant read thermometer you only have to wait a matter of seconds before the temperature is shown, and you can check it at various points if you wish. If you want to use it to check on burgers you can insert the probe into the side to get a reading, if you’re checking a whole chicken insert the probe into the inner thigh near to the chicken breast but not touching the bones.

Most grilling thermometers can read in Fahrenheit or Celsius so you can change it depending on which charts you are following. I’ve attached a chart which shows temperatures in Fahrenheit if you want some guidelines to use.

Can meat thermometers be left in the grill

digital meat thermometers for grilling
meat temperature guide

There are leave in digital thermometers which consist of a probe which has a stainless steel mesh cable attached, this can be inserted into the meat with the door of the oven or grill closed over the cable. The ThermoPro TP16 is a leave in type, it is easy to set up and it also gives you a meat temperature guide pre-loaded and an alarm when you’re meat reaches a set temperature.

Can you calibrate a digital instant read thermometer

You can check your thermometer by using the ice water method. Fill a glass with ice cubes and cold water. Leave to sit for at least 3 minutes, stir the glass and insert your probe into the water. Don’t touch the sides of the glass, just keep the probe in the centre in the water. Your temperature should read 32 F or 0 C. If not you can take a note of the difference and adjust as appropriate, or if you have another digital thermometer that you know is correct you can check them both at the same time to make sure they have the same reading.

Can you put a digital thermometer in the dishwasher

Most thermometer and not suitable for cleaning in a dishwasher. The best way to clean the probe and handle before and after you use it, is to wipe it with either rubbing alcohol or lukewarm soapy water, then rinse with cool water, leave it to air dry.

Hand held Instant Read thermometers

One type of product that is used when people are grilling is the folding probe thermometer. If you use one of these it is usually a hand held with a fold away probe. They are very easy to use and relatively cheap to buy which is why they are the most popular buy.

The main issue with these types is the length of the probe, if it isn’t long enough, by the time you have inserted it into the meat your hand is getting closer to the heat. You can wear protective gloves but probe length is something to take into consideration. The other problem is that you are opening the lid of the grill or the oven door and letting out the built up heat while you are checking your food, which isn’t always the best option.

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Leave in Thermometers

Leave in thermometers come in different types, there is the type which has the probe attached to the base unit, these are great for checking the temperature without having to open the cooking area, it can usually alert you when the meat is at the doneness you want. The problem with this type of electric meat thermometer is the fact that it has to sit beside the grill, and if you aren’t sitting near it you have to go and keep checking it.

You can also get wi-fi leave in thermometer that you can keep near you while they are checking the meat, you can get a wi-fi unit which consists of a transmitter with the probe attached which goes beside the grill, you keep the receiver unit, which looks a bit like a walkie talkie, and you can clip it on your belt or at least keep it near you so you can be doing other things while the cooking is going on.

The ultimate of leave in thermometers especially if you’re looking for a digital smoker thermometer is the bluetooth multi-probe, you can check different types of meat even if they need to be cooked to different temperatures, as each probe can be set up to a different target temperature and you can even get an ambient probe which can monitor the temperature of your smoker, oven or grill itself. The receiver on this thermometer is an app on your phone or tablet, so again you can keep this by you while you do other things as well as the cooking. This is a more expensive option so probably more for the serious griller.


If you can decide how much money you want to spend and what style of thermometer you would prefer to use, it will help you when you start looking. If you’re just starting and want to come in at the cheap end with and instant read thermometer then we recommend the Lavatools PT12 Javelin

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