In a perfect world, we would absolutely love to trust our ovens to accurately tell us the temperature that we have set them to.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Faulty control boards or inaccurate oven thermostats can cause over or under-cooking according to whatever recipe you are following.
What about pre-heating? How do you know exactly when your oven has reached the desired temperature?
Or maybe you just have an old oven that’s seen its golden days long ago and no longer performs as it once did.
Burned or gooey cakes, or some chicken dish that has been cooked to a crisp.
But rest assured, all these issues can be fixed by a relatively inexpensive item – the oven thermometer!
In this article, we look at the very best oven thermometers so you can accurately gauge your oven’s internal temperature, resulting in perfectly cooked meals.
What Makes A Good Oven Thermometer?
There are several factors when it comes to oven thermometers that we’ve considered in deciding our final rankings. These are by far and away the most important elements that make up any good oven thermometer:
There’s no point in getting an oven thermometer if it’s not accurate right? You’ll simply be back where you started. Oven thermometers should record temperatures as accurately as possible. Small temperature increments and large temperature ranges are beneficial when it comes to measuring the right temperature.
The dial face should be easy to read to figure out what’s going on. Large temperature readings, an accurate and easy-to-see pointer, as well as additional information such as zone markings and food guidelines all go towards making an easy-to-read thermometer.
On top of this, you may prefer a thermometer that also has Celsius markings if you are reading from cookbooks using the metric system.
You don’t want an overly cluttered face. After all, the last thing you want is not being able to make out the temperature behind a foggy or dirty oven screen.
Your oven thermometer should be easy to hang or stand on grates and racks, and be stable enough where you won’t be worrying about the face turning or the entire device simply toppling over!
Construction And Durability
Oven thermometers are relatively simple devices and it’s not surprising for them to last for at least 10 years.
All the models we’ve reviewed – barring the digital variation – are all made from stainless steel and feature heat-proof and shatter-proof glass. They are also NSF certified, meaning they are safe to use with food products.
When it comes to the size, we found a 2 – 3 inch diameter to be the sweet spot. Big enough to contain all the necessary information but small enough to fit comfortably in smaller oven spaces without obstructing the food.
The 7 Best Oven Thermometers In 2021
|Model||Temperature Range||NSF Certified?||Placement||Price||Dial Size||Shop|
|1. KT THERMO 3" Large Oven Thermometer||150°F - 600°F (40°C - 310°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$$||3"||Check Price|
|2. Taylor Precision Products 5932 Large Dial Oven Thermometer||100°F - 600°F (40°C - 310°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$||3"||Check Price|
|3. ThermoPro TP-16 Digital Oven Thermometer||32°F - 572°F (0°C - 300°C)||Yes||Magnetic and Back-Hook||$$$||2.25"||Check Price|
|4. Winco 3-Inch Dial Oven Thermometer||50°F - 500°F (10°C - 260°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$||3"||Check Price|
|5. AcuRite Oven Thermometer||150°F - 600°F (40°C - 310°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$$$||2.5"||Check Price|
|6. Cooper-Atkins Oven Thermometer||100°F - 600°F (40°C - 310°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$||2"||Check Price|
|7. Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer||60°F - 580°F (20°C - 300°C)||Yes||Hanging and Freestanding||$||2.75"||Check Price|
1. KT THERMO Large Oven Thermometer – The Best Oven Thermometer
At 2.75 inches, the KT THERMO oven thermometer finds the right balance between size and easy readings.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say this is one of the best dial faces we’ve seen. It has the zone markings, a tapered pointer and moves up in accurate increments of 5 degrees. The readings are large and easy on the eyes and start at 150°F all the way to 600°F.
We might add that a starting reading point of 150°F might seem a little high, but we’d be scratching our heads to find any cookbook recipe that recommends setting an oven temperature that low for baking or roasting.
You’re out of luck though, if Celsius is your ideal reading measurement. Though that’s part of the charm of this simple and easy-to-read face. You won’t have any trouble gauging the exact temperature through a murky oven window.
The base is wide enough to be stable and the entire thermometer is small enough to fit anywhere in your oven.
And yes, this oven thermometer is indeed accurate. The most accurate on our list when it comes to analog thermometers.
So do yourself a favor and make a small investment in the KT Thermo so your meals don’t needlessly have to be burned again!
2. Taylor Precision Products 5932 Oven Thermometer – The Best Budget Thermometer
Taylor Precision Products has earned an excellent reputation in manufacturing long-lasting and durable oven thermometers.
The ‘5932’ thermometer is no different. Made from stainless steel and corrosion-resistant, it’s built to last and is a small investment for something that will be helping you take accurate temperature recordings for years to come.
The best thing about this thermometer is really the face design. At 3″, it’s plenty big for easy readings. Accordingly, Fahrenheit temperature readings take the spotlight by being displayed larger than Celsius readings. The numbers are consistently the same size, and the dial indicator is thin, so it doesn’t obstruct number reading.
Increments are 5 degrees which leads to greater accuracy, and real-world results do indeed show that this oven thermometer is accurate.
The gradient colors are handy as well and tell you roughly what temperatures equate to the style of cooking (warming, baking, and roasting). Logically, there is visually a more red color palette as the temperature increases.
You could hang it or stand it – it’s stable either way and for less than $10, it’s a real steal. The only drawback is it’s a little on the large size, so if you need to put it in small spaces, you might consider another thermometer.
3. ThermoPro TP Oven Thermometer – The Best Digital Oven Thermometer
When it comes to oven thermometers, the tried-and-true non-battery editions are the most popular, and for good reason – they are easy to use, intuitive and reliable.
However, that doesn’t discount digital thermometers.
In comes the ThermoPro TP.
Being a digital variant, it does offer exact temperature readings, climbing by increments of 1°F so you’ll exactly know what temperature your oven is at.
It also sports one of the lowest operable ranges of 32°F and will reliably measure up to 572°F.
It also gives you two options for temperature monitoring. You could either insert the probe directly into your desired food or let it hang nearby. The former will give you more accurate readings.
The magnetic back allows you to attach this device to most metal surfaces, as you won’t want to place it inside your oven. The loop on the back also gives you the ability to hang it on any nearby hooks.
You can set your desired temperature and when reached an alarm will sound. It’s a pretty nifty feature and means you can do other things around the kitchen without being worried about overcooking your meal.
The ThermoPro is also an instant-read thermometer. Seconds after inserting the probe you are ready to go. Perfectly cooked meals? Here we come!
4. Winco B001B4KUPY 3-Inch Dial Oven Thermometer – An All Rounder
If you’re really looking to make every dollar count, Winco offers the best budget-friendly oven thermometer.
At less than $10, you won’t be breaking the bank with a durable and NSF-certified thermometer.
This model improves on previous iterations with a larger 3-inch dial and similar to our reviewed Taylor thermometer, the numbers are consistently sized and a zoning color scheme exists which tells you what temperature ranges suit what food items.
There is also a nifty HACCP guide right there on the dial! This guideline provides safe temperature and time ranges in relation to bacteria growth.
It hands and sits well, but unfortunately just like the Taylor thermometer, also can be a bit too big for small spaces.
And you’re out of luck if you need Celsius readings!
5. AcuRite Oven Thermometer – Excellent Dial Face
This thermometer is nothing but a solid and reliable piece of measuring equipment.
AcuRite has forgone Celcius readings to create an uncluttered face that is very easy to read, even behind a foggy oven screen. The dial also features a useful zoning indication from warming to broiling.
At 2.5 inches across, it does border on the smaller side, but the base stretches out beyond the dial to create enough stability.
Such a smaller size also enables you to easily place or hang this device in the most cramp oven spaces. You definitely won’t be obstructing the view of whatever it is you are cooking.
Indeed, this thermometer is perfect for those wanting something smaller but still being easy to read, which can’t be said for other models we’ve reviewed.
Most importantly, the AcuRite records temperatures just ‘right’ and represents one of the most accurate thermometers on our list.
As far as other thermometers go though, you can expect to pay about double the price.
So yes, although an excellent performing thermometer, there are other, more affordable options that offer little discernable difference.
6. Cooper-Atkins 24HP-01-1 Oven Thermometer – Great Budget Pick
For a no-frills oven thermometer, the Cooper-Atkins is right up your alley.
It starts measuring from a low 100°F, up to a blistering 600°F. And yes, this one actually comes with celsius markings as well!
While the dial hand does move accurately, you can only read in increments of 25°F which is significantly greater than every other thermometer on this list.
We can guess the reason for this is the small dial of only 2″. If you do have an average to small oven, then then this model is right for you.
It’s made well, it’s stable and it does the job well.
The best budget options are either this model or the offering from Winko. If you need something smaller or with Celcius markings, choosing the Cooper-Atkins is a no-brainer.
7. Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer – An Amazon Favourite
This oven thermometer has a crazy number of reviews on Amazon – over 30,000 to be precise, and is indeed an Amazon’s choice.
But does it live up to these ovations?
Well firstly, it’s got a lot of durability – a stainless steel construction and shatter-proof lens to be exact. Temperature ranges from 60°- and 580° degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 300 degrees Celsius.
The thermometer is of course battery-free and can be hanged from oven grates or racks making it ideal for grills, ovens, microwave ovens, toasters, and more.
That’s the good parts out of the way. The negatives are mainly associated with three things – size, design, and accuracy.
Starting with the stand, it’s quite small and lends itself to being unstable. It’s best to use this thermometer hanging rather than sitting.
At 2.75″ across, the dial is also small, and cramming in two temperature formats can make it hard or even confusing at times to get an accurate read.
Speaking of accuracy, the Rubbermaid over thermometer does an OK job, but we’d venture to say there are more accurate options on this list. So much for popularity!
Is an oven thermometer necessary to have?
This really depends on how accurate you want your baking and roasting results to be.
Many ovens struggle to record a consistent temperature at lower settings (below 350°F). So if you regularly bake, then getting an oven thermometer can be a real life-saver.
A 25°F difference is all it takes from going from a soft cake center to one that is hard all the way through.
How do I use my oven thermometer?
Using your oven thermometer is a simple process.
Firstly, pop the thermometer in the oven before you turn it on. You can either stand it on one of the racks or grills or let it hang, whichever suits you. Then preheat the oven. You probably want to wait about 15 – 20mins.
Once you see the temperature on the oven thermometer hit the desired reading, place your food inside. Go by the reading of the oven thermometer and not the oven itself. After all, that’s the whole point of the oven thermometer!
If the thermometer is reading a temperature that is higher or lower than the oven itself, adjust the oven settings.
Keep a note of the difference in readings and this will tell you how much higher or lower you should actually set your oven for next time!
For best results, ensure you place your oven thermometer as close to the food as possible.
How to calibrate your oven thermometer
Not all oven thermometers are made equal, and some may need calibration from time to time.
After all, constant wear and tear does take its toll.
Calibration is a simple process by which you can set your thermometer to be well…accurate again.
The best way of doing this is by recording the temperature with something that you very well know the temperature of.
Boiling water for example, reliably clocks in at 212 °F.
Note that not all oven thermometers are waterproof! If this is the case it’s best you buy another oven thermometer. Do keep in mind that calibration of an oven thermometer is usually only needed years after your initial purchase. Chances are, you’ll want to invest in a new oven thermometer anyway.
Follow these steps:
- Place your thermometer in boiling water and measure the temperature. You might want to do this several times to get an average. If the average temperature is not close to 212°F – give or take 5°F, it’s best you perform some calibration.
- Use a small set of pliers to adjust the screw on the back of the dial face to manually adjust the pointer until it reads the correct temperature.
- Then, test again to ensure it reads the correct temperature.
The best way of finding if your oven thermometer has become inaccurate is simply observing if your food is coming out under or over-cooked.
Can I use my thermometer elsewhere besides the oven?
Yes, you can pretty much use it anywhere you are cooking food. The closer to the food the better, as this will result in more accurate readings.
Although keep in mind that open space cooking areas, like a grill, will not be as accurate since the heat will be dispersing. For these cooking applications, we’d recommend using a probe thermometer.
How do I clean my oven thermometer?
Not all oven thermometers are dishwasher safe. For those that are not, the best way of cleaning it is with a soapy sponge and some warm water. Otherwise, an alcohol swab will suffice.
Can I leave my oven thermometer in the oven?
Yes you can.
Most oven thermometers are built to withstand higher temperatures than their actual readings. So it’s safe to leave them in the oven if you wish.
Keep in mind that the digital variation we reviewed should not be left in the oven. It’s meant to be placed externally, with only the probe going inside the oven.
As always, ensure you read the manufacturer booklet so you know exactly what temperatures your oven thermometer can withstand.