INSTANT-READ THERMOMETERS

Published Sunday, June 01, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

With an instant-read thermometer, you'll never again overcook a steak or undercook a chicken. Our test cooks use our top-rated instant-read thermometer many times a day.

PRODUCT NAME DESCRIPTION ACCURACY SPEED FUNCTIONALITY PRICE
Highly Recommended
  Thermoworks Super-Fast Thermapen 211-476

Simply the best: fast, accurate, and easy to use. The Thermapen also has the widest temperature range (-58 to 572 degrees).

      $89.00
Recommended
  Maverick Redi-Chek Professional Chef's Digital Thermometer DT-01

While this no-frills model is rated to only 302 degrees, it accurately registered temperature in 350-degree frying oil. While every reading was accurate, the lack of a calibration function might spell trouble down the road.

      $12.99
Recommended
  Polder Instant-Read Thermometer 371

This looks much like the CDN Q2-450 (complete with short probe), but its response time was four seconds slower. Otherwise, very serviceable.

      $15.00
Recommended
  Fieldpiece SPK1 Thermometer

The swing-out pocketknife-style probe makes for comfortable high-heat temperature measurements, which the broad range permits (-58 to 392 degrees). No calibration function.

      $19.95
Recommended
  Comark PDT300 Thermometer

While this thermometer does offer a self-calibration button and produces speedy readings, its short probe and limited range (-58 to 300 degrees) makes taking temperatures for deep-frying and candy-making out of the question.

      $19.95
Recommended with Reservations
  Taylor Classic Instant Read Thermometer 9840

Slow response time is the biggest concern with this thermometer. No calibration function.

      $9.95
Recommended with Reservations
  Thermoworks RT-301 Thermometer

A relatively low maximum temperature of 248 degrees and the lack of a calibration function are drawbacks.

      $14.00
Recommended with Reservations
  DeltaTRAK 11000 Thermometer

The slow response time is this thermometer’s biggest flaw. It does, however, come with a calibration function and a probe of adequate length.

      $25.00
Recommended with Reservations
  Cooper-Atkins Waterproof Digital Thermometer DPP400W

Its relatively poor showing in accuracy tests is a practical flaw; a calibration function would help. The short (2 3/4-inch) stem is a more serious drawback, as is the slow response time. The tiny buttons can be hard to manipulate.

      $24.00