The Engineer’s Guide to Kitchen Thermometers

No self-respecting engineer/cook should be without a thermometer. Whether it be checking the internal temperature of your chicken or tempering chocolate, there are some things which can’t be left up to chance.

In the table below we’ll compare some of the basic types of kitchen thermometers and contrast their benefits and drawbacks.

TypeUsesProsConsRecommended Brand
Digital Probe
Probe can be inserted into meat and left in oven. Digital readout sits out on bench.Can be left in food whilst cooking.
Generally has an alarm to alert when a set temperature has been reached.
Difficult to read liquids.
Meat ThermometerDesigned for Cooking meat.
Cheap and reliable.
Can be left in meat during cooking.
Narrow range of measurement
Slow response time
Infra-RedSuitable for detecting surface temperature of pans, ovens and liquids.Non-contact - no need to clean.
Can measure over a large range.
Can only measure surface temperature. Not useful for measuring internal temperature of meats.
Instant Read
Probe folds out and can be inserted into liquid or meat to measure temperature.Recommended by many chefs and foodies, including Alton Brown.
Fast response (<3seconds).
Can measure over a very large range.
Can't be left in meat in oven.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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