Which oven thermometer is best?
Ovens can differ from the temperature you set by up to 50 degrees. However, when baking, keeping the oven at a precise temperature is critical for achieving perfect muffins, souffles and cakes. If you suspect that your oven is not reaching the heat that you’re setting it to, an oven thermometer is a must-have kitchen tool. The best oven thermometer is the AcuRite Stainless Steel Oven Thermometer. A highly reliable and very durable thermometer, the AcuRite has a temperature range of 150-600 degrees Fahrenheit and is easy to use.
What to know before you buy an oven thermometer
Why use an oven thermometer
Ovens only read the temperature from one spot within the large interior, not accounting for hot spots, temperature cycles and the position of the heating elements, which can all affect the temperature. By placing your oven thermometer wherever else you plan on placing your food, you can check the temperature of that exact spot. It can also help you check how accurate your oven is in general and ensure your oven is heating as it should be. For even more info on oven thermometers, check out this BestReviews article.
There isn’t an exact range that’s perfect for every cook, but the wider the range, the better. You may need to broil something at 600 degrees Fahrenheit or use a 50 degrees Fahrenheit setting to keep something warm.
What to look for in a quality oven thermometer
There are two main display types for an oven thermometer: dials and bulbs.
- Dials: Dials use an analog hand that creeps up and over a radial display along with the temperature. They are more widely available, but they are less accurate than bulb thermometers.
- Bulbs: Bulb thermometers use a liquid that rises in a tube to display the temperature. They are harder to read at a glance than dial thermometers, as their displays are smaller.
Most oven thermometers will have a hook on the top to attach them to the oven rack, preferably situated to prevent the thermometer from rotating its face away from your oven’s window. Most also have flat bases to stand them up on a rack should you prefer that option.
You might think food safety guidelines only apply to restaurants and food manufacturers, but food safety is equally important for the home cook. No one wants to give themselves food poisoning. Oven thermometers at home will provide the invaluable heating information you need to cook meat and seafood to safe temperatures.
How much you can expect to spend on an oven thermometer
Oven thermometers can be less than $5 but you can find great options between $5 and $10. The most “expensive” options tend to not exceed $15.
Oven thermometer FAQ
How can I tell if my oven thermometer is accurate?
A. With only one thermometer, it’s impossible to tell if the reading is off unless your recipes are regularly turning incorrectly. If you feel this is the case, you’ll need to buy two more thermometers and preferably of different brands. Put all three in the oven and if at least two of them give the same reading, that’s the accurate one.
Will my oven thermometer display the accurate temperature as soon as the oven has preheated?
A. Generally, no, any given oven thermometer will take a few minutes to display the actual temperature of the oven after preheating. If it still isn’t the temperature it should be after a few minutes, it’s likely that your oven is inaccurate.
Are oven thermometers waterproof?
A. While over thermometers are water-resistant, definitely do not submerge your thermometer in water. They’re usually water-resistant enough to withstand the steam and moisture of an oven in use without any problems.
What are the best oven thermometers to buy?
Top oven thermometer
What you need to know: AcuRite makes a steady, reliable thermometer with a wide temperature range.
What you’ll love: Oven thermometers should be easy to hang, and this one is a cinch.
What you should consider: This is a small oven thermometer with black type that can be hard to read through an oven window.
Where to buy: Amazon
Top oven thermometer for the money
What you need to know: This oven thermometer’s wide base makes it easy to balance on oven racks.
What you’ll love: This oven thermometer has one of the highest temperature ranges you can find, at 100–600 degrees Fahrenheit.
What you should consider: The dial is known to yellow, and thus become harder to read, with age.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This oven thermometer is very precise and perfect for using with a grill.
What you’ll love: The stainless steel construction is very durable.
What you should consider: It can take too long to come to temperature for some owners.
Where to buy: Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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