For a simple model that gets the job done, our test-kitchen pros loved the Taylor Precision Products Digital Instant Read Thermometer. This little gem comes in fun colors (easy to find in a drawer full of stainless steel), has an on-off switch to prolong battery life and clips snugly on your apron strap— all for a killer price. $8, amazon.com
Out of all our winners, the Williams-Sonoma Thermocouple Thermometer has the brightest LCD display, the narrowest point (to help juices stay in your meat) and the widest temp range—from -40 degrees all the way up to 572 degrees. Plus, the probe folds in to prevent stabby accidents. $70, williams-sonoma.com
Quick And Easy
The Escali Gourmet Digital Thermometer was the fastest of the bunch, taking only three seconds to read our meat’s temperature—precious time saved when the oven door’s open. Bonus: The probe’s protective sheath has a handy temperature cheat sheet printed on it, because, honestly, who can remember all those numbers in the heat of the moment? $20, escali.com
Chic And Sleek
Our testers couldn’t resist the elegant, minimalist Rösle Barbeque Thermometer. “It was hard to give this one back,” says test-kitchen associate/resident design geek Charles Grayauskie. “I really loved the cool, straightforward design and easy-to-read window.” $55, rosleusa.com
Welcome to the future! Download a free app and you’ll get temp readings from the Weber iGrill 2 right on your phone. You can be off enjoying your own party (up to 150 feet away) and get an alert when your meat is 10 degrees away from done. Built for grills, this Bluetooth-enabled gizmo works great in ovens, too, and there’s a mini version with fewer probes for half the price. $100, weber.com
GOOD TO KNOW!
Carryover heat can make or break a meal, so take big roasts out of the oven when they’re 10 degrees shy of done, and smaller things, like cutlets, when they’re five degrees away.