We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Home & garden.

When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

8 November 2021

Best meat thermometers

We tested meat thermometers from Lakeland, John Lewis and more, to find the most accurate and easy to use, so you can avoid serving overcooked or undercooked meat to your guests
Joey Willoughby-Rainsford

After hours of effort, no one wants to serve tough, overcooked meat for a Sunday roast, Christmas dinner or Easter celebration. And you certainly want to avoid plating up undercooked meat that could be unsafe to eat. 

In September 2021 we tested 10 meat thermometers ranging in price from £7 all the way up to £99, from big brands including Lakeland, John Lewis, Oxo and Heston Blumenthal. 

Find out which meat thermometer is the easiest to use and the most accurate in our tests, so you can ensure your meat is cooked to perfection.

Pricing and availability last checked 8th November 2021.


Tips for living well - get our free Food & Health newsletter: shop savvy, eat well, stay healthy


The best meat thermometers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the meat thermometer results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see a list of the meat thermometers we tested in alphabetical order. 

Join Which? now to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendations below.

Apption Labs Meater+ Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer

Cheapest price: £98.99 at Lakeland. Also available from Amazon, Meater

Protective sheath: No (but comes with a wooden storage unit)

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 1x AAA

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: Up 275°C (527°F)

The most expensive in our selection, this meat thermometer from Apption Labs connects to your smartphone or tablet via an app, offering fully customisable cooking alerts. 

Read our full review to see if the Apption Labs Meater Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer is a life-changing gadget or an expensive gimmick by logging into your account or joining Which? now.

Gladworts meat thermometer cooking roasting probe

Gladworts Meat Thermometer Cooking Roasting Probe

Cheapest price: £12.09 at Amazon

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 2x AAA

Batteries included: No

Oven safe: No

The Gladworts Meat Thermometer sports a fork-shaped probe on the end of its plastic handle. It doesn't have a sheath or a case, but there's a ring on the handle to hang it up when it's not in use.

See what we thought of this meat thermometer and how it compared to more expensive thermometers in our tests. Log into your account or join Which? today.

Heston Blumenthal Precision Meat Thermometer

Cheapest price: £22 at Argos

Protective sheath: Yes

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 2x AAA

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: No

The Heston Blumenthal-endorsed meat thermometer from Salter is claimed to give accurate temperature readings up to five times faster than standard meat thermometers.

Were we impressed with its accuracy and speed? Find out fared in our tests by logging into your account or joining Which? today. 

John Lewis & Partners stainless steel kitchen meat thermometer

John Lewis & Partners Stainless Steel Kitchen Meat Thermometer

Cheapest price: £at John Lewis

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: N/A

Oven safe: No

One of two traditional meat thermometers in our tests, this John Lewis thermometer has a display that details all the temperature readings for each type of meat. 

See how it compared to the more hi-tech and digital meat thermometers in our test. Log into your account or join Which? today to gain instant access to all our reviews and Best Buy recommendations.

Lakeland oven probe thermometer

Lakeland Oven Probe Thermometer

Cheapest price: £14.99 at Lakeland

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 1x AAA

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: 260°C (500°F)

This meat thermometer from Lakeland has magnets on its back so it can easily attach to your oven and stay in close reach when you need it.

How did this probe style thermometer compare to the others in our selection? Log into your account or join Which? to find out.

MasterClass Meat Thermometer

Cheapest price: £6.79 at Amazon

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: n/a

Oven safe: No

Similar to the John Lewis thermometer, this MasterClass device has a clearly labelled dial on the front  with all the temperature readings for types of meat.

Find out if it's one you can rely on by reading our full review. Log in or join Which? now to find out.

Oxo Good Grips Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer

Cheapest price: £17 at Amazon

Protective sheath: Yes

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 1x CR2032 button battery

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: No

This meat thermometer from Oxo Good Grips is compact and neat. It comes with a sheath that doubles as a fact sheet for different meats and their ideal cooking temperatures. 

What did we think of this Oxo Good Grip meat thermometer? To find out log into your account or join Which? today.

Polder digital meat & poultry probe in-oven thermometer

Polder Digital Meat & Poultry Probe In-oven Thermometer

Cheapest price: £24.99 at Lakeland

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 1x AAA

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: 200°C (392°F)

With magnets on the back, this Polder meat thermometer can easily be placed on your oven so it's within reach when you need it. 

What did we find when we put this meat thermometer through our tests? Log into your account or join Which? today to get instant access to our reviews.

Thermo Chef Measuring Fork Digital Meat Thermometer

Cheapest price: £15.99 at Lakeland

Protective sheath: No

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 2x AAA

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: No

The Thermo Chef meat thermometer is programmed for six different types of meat and it can be adjusted to check levels from rare to well done.

What did we think of this feature and the meat thermometer as a whole? Find out by logging into your account or by joining Which?.

Thermospatula silicone spatula and thermometer

Thermospatula Silicone Spatula and Thermometer

Cheapest price: £14.99 at Lakeland

Protective sheath: Yes

Temperature reading: Both °C and °F

Batteries needed: 1x LR44

Batteries included: Yes

Oven safe: No

This interesting thermometer from Thermospatula has a spatula attachment, so it's not only suitable for measuring the temperature of meat, but also for making homemade jam or tempering chocolate. 

Our rigorous tests looked at accuracy and ease of use. Read our full review and see if wee recommend it by logging into your account or joining Which? today. 

Types of meat thermometers

Types of meat thermometers

When shopping for a new meat thermometer there are a few different types to choose from:

  • In-oven thermometers: This type of meat thermometer is heat resistant and can remain in the meat while you cook it. This type of meat thermometer can be ideal if you don't want to remove the meat from the oven to check it. 
  • Analogue thermometers: These meat thermometers can be a bit on the bulky side and therefore not great for smaller pieces of meat such as a drum stick or chicken thigh. 
  • Probe thermometers: As the name suggests these come with a probe which you insert into the meat. They normally are connected by wire to a magnetic reader which you keep outside the oven. 
  • Instant read thermometers: With these types of thermometers you take your meat out of the oven to do the reading. Some will just tell you the temperature but others show both the current and required temperatures for the meat and the way you want to cook it.
  • Thermometers with app: New and hi-tech, this type of thermometer is often a probe that remains in the oven while your smartphone or tablet displays the reading for you. 

Temperatures and timings for cooking meat

Temperatures and timings for cooking meat

The UK Food Standards Agency says, 'before you serve pork, poultry and minced meat, make sure it is steaming hot and cooked all the way through. When you cut into the thickest part of the meat, check that none of the meat is pink and that any juices run clear. In a whole bird, this is the area between the leg and the breast.'

Below you can see the safe internal cooking temperatures and cooking times for beef, lamb, chicken and pork.

Type of meat
Internal temperature
Cooking times
Beef, rare54 °C (126°F)10-15 minutes per 450g
Beef, medium rare57°C (135°F)20 minutes per 500g
Beef, medium60°C (140°F)25 minutes per 500g
Beef, well done71°C (160°F)30 minutes per 500g
Lamb, medium rare55°C (131°F)25 minutes per 500g
Lamb, medium60°C (140°F)Half or whole leg: 25 minutes per 500g, plus 25 minutes
Lamb, well done71°C (160°F)Half or whole leg: 30 minutes per 500g, plus 30 minutes
Boneless leg: 30 minutes per 500g, plus 30 minutes
Part boned shoulder: 60 minutes per 500g, plus 30 minutes

Dangers of undercooked meat

Eating undercooked food is not only less enjoyable, but can also increase the risk of getting food poisoning from various nasty bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli.

To avoid these microscopic horrors you need to make sure you cook your meat thoroughly. Applying heat is the best way of destroying bacteria, parasites and microbes.

The UK Food Standards Agency says, 'cooking causes the proteins in bacteria to break up so they no longer function and the bacteria die. This is why cooking removes the risk from harmful bacteria that are in some food.

'Bacteria usually grow in the ‘danger zone’ between 8°C and 60°C. Below 8°C, growth is stopped or significantly slowed down. Above 60°C the bacteria start to die. Time and temperature are both important because proteins need to be heated up for a long enough time for them all to be broken down.'

How we tested meat thermometers

How we tested meat thermometers

To find out which meat thermometers in our selection were the best, we put our whole selection through the following tests.

Build quality

Our researchers examined each meat thermometer. They checked the products for any flaws and examined how well made they are. The best meat thermometers had easy to press buttons, clearly labelled or identifiable parts and had no sharp edges or gaps.

Accuracy

To test the accuracy of each meat thermometer we compared them against a platinum-resistant industrial standard thermometer.

The platinum resistance thermometer we used had a temperature measurement range from -70°C to 250°C. They are used both for precision measurements of the highest accuracy and for routine industrial work.

Each thermometer was used to measure the temperature in Celsius of cold tap water, warm tap water, boiled water and boiling water. The readings were compared to the readings of the industrial thermometer taken at the same time. The closer the reading of the thermometers in our selection to the industrial thermometer the better they were considered to have done.

Readability

We also checked each thermometer to see how easy the screens were to read while using them to cook food. 

The readability of each thermometer was compared to the rest of the selection. The more clearly the information was displayed the better we considered the thermometer. 

Ease of use

Each thermometer was used to get a temperature reading from a roast chicken, joint of beef and joint of gammon. We judged the thermometers on how easy it was to insert and remove the probes into the various meats. 

Durability

To test the durability of each thermometer they were each dropped five times from a kitchen counter (about 90cm off the ground) to a linoleum floor.

After they were dropped they were examined for any damage and checked to make sure they still worked. 

How we choose the meat thermometers

To be considered for our selection each thermometer needed to be probe-based (inserted to get the reading, instead of an infrared scanner) and sold by at least one major UK retailer.

We purchased all the products we tested. No food was wasted to bring you these results.