If your cooking gets you hot under the collar or you struggle to get the precise temperature a recipe needs, then you could benefit from an oven thermometer. Even if your cooker is top of the range, there’s the chance that its internal thermometer is a little off or the oven has different ‘hot spots’ which can thwart your attempts at the perfect bake. By adding a second independent thermometer into the mix, you can bring your cooking safely back on track. An oven thermometer works at the heart of the oven cooking action, giving you a more precise temperature reading. And this precision means you are able to serve the perfect meal, without any guesswork as to whether the oven is hot enough.
To help you gauge the heat in your own cooking, we take a look at what we think are currently the best oven thermometers on the market.
The Best Oven Thermometer
With a wide temperature range, durable construction and dual measures, Rubbermaid’s oven thermometer is a top temperature performer. Reading from 20°C/60°F to 300°C/580°F, this is a versatile temperature gauge, that’s perfect for the busy kitchen. Made from tough NSF-certified stainless-steel, it has a shatterproof lens and easy to read dial face. For everyday cooking when food safety as well as successful baking is your concern, this is a great value thermometer that will stand up to plenty of heat in your oven, grill or smoker.
Easy-to-read °C and °F scale
Food-grade stainless steel; shatterproof lens
Wide stand plus hanging hook
Extreme temperature range
- BrandRubbermaid Commercial Products
- Weight2.4 ounces
Sturdy and with a super-clear dial, this large oven thermometer scoops our Best Price pick. Fahrenheit features as the larger view temperature, with Celsius smaller, but still readable enough to make this a versatile device, whatever the recipe. The temperature range is decent too – taking your cooking from 100 – 600°F, with designated warming, baking and roasting zones. With a stainless-steel construction and tough glass lens, the design means you can hang or stand the device at the center of your oven rack. A great price for a well-made kitchen thermometer.
Large 3-inch glass dial
Stainless steel body, stand and hook
100-600°F temperature range
- BrandTaylor Precision Products
- Weight2.88 ounces
Using NSF-approved stainless-steel, the Cooper-Atkins is a decent sized oven thermometer which covers 100 to 600°F. The glass dial is toughened and the black dial needles makes the temperatures clear to read. Inside the Fahrenheit readings you also get the option of Celsius to avoid the hassle of converting, although the text is smaller to read. Measuring 3 inches tall by 2 ½ inches wide, this thermometer won’t take up too much room in your oven but is easily seen through the glass door. A decent price for a decent oven gauge, although the stand could be a little wider.
100 to 600°F temperature range
Dimensions: 3 inches x 2 1.2 inches
Dual Fahrenheit and Celsius
- Weight1.6 ounces
The wide base and the two-way hook on the ProAccurate makes this one of the most stable oven thermometers. This temperature gauge from CDN is also made from commercial grade stainless-steel for a reliably long oven shelf-life. The temperature range is workable too, measuring from 150 to 550°F, with a secondary Celsius scale if needed. The red needle is chunky and clear without obscuring the numbers and you also get warm, moderate, hot and broil zones for speedy reference. NSF-certified, CDN have also thrown in a five-year warranty, for good measure.
Commercial grade stainless-steel
Wide base and two-way hanging hook
150 to 550°F temperature range
Warm, moderate, hot and broil zones
- Weight1.58 ounces
If reading the temperature through the oven door is a bit of an issue, then check out this large numbered oven thermometer from AcuRite. The oversized black numbers are clear to see, and the red dial pointer stands out. You do only get the temperature in Fahrenheit, but the range is wide, taking you from 150 to 600°F so ideal for everyday cooking. This is also durable gauge, made from stainless-steel and protective glass lens. The design also lets you hang or stand the thermometer on the oven rack. Add in warm, roast and broil zones and an NSF-certification, and the AcuRite is an excellent large view thermometer to count on.
Large digit dial for easy viewing
Temperature range 150 to 600°F
Three temperature zones
Stainless-steel with hanger and stand
- Weight1.13 ounces
Unlike the rest of the oven thermometers in our review, the Pro Oven is a bulb-style gauge which is slimline and fits neatly, even in smaller ovens. Sitting horizontally, the temperature of your oven is registered as the colored liquid in the bulb heats up, taking the reading from 100 to 600°F, with the Celsius equivalent underneath. You also get a heat guide, from slow to hot and very hot so you can judge your cooking at a glance. The backing is made from stainless-steel and comes complete with a secure hanging hook. This style of oven thermometer may be a little harder to read through the glass door than the larger round dial face style, but for smaller spaces it’s a good bit of kit.
Bulb-style horizontal thermometer
Measures from 100 to 600°F
Stainless-steel with hanging hook
NSF-certified and dishwasher-safe
- BrandTaylor Precision Products
- Weight0.16 ounces
There’s a lovely retro-style to our Premium Pick, which just reinforces the KT Thermo’s premium performance. Made from stainless-steel with a toughened glass lens, the stand on this oven thermometer is triangular for extra stability, and the ‘every angle’ hook fits effortlessly on the rack. The dial face is large – 3 inches in diameter – and the measurements are bold. This visible design means you do only get the temperature measure in Fahrenheit, but the range is everyday workable, taking your food from 150 to 600°F. For quick glance reference you also get three heat zones – warm, roast and broil – so you always know where you are with your bake.
Large 3-inch dial for easy view
Toughened glass lens
Fahrenheit only – 150 to 600°F
Warm, bake/roast and broil zones
- BrandKT THERMO
- Weight2.39 ounces
If you prefer to cook in degrees Fahrenheit and want a straightforward temperature gauge, this large dialed thermometer from Winco could be for you. The 3-inch dial has easy-view numbers, from 50 to 500°F, making it good choice for most recipes. The Winco also aims to help you perfect your cooking time, with tips on the dial to guide you through cooling temperatures as well as the key baking zones. The downside of this information is that the dial is a little cluttered. However, the stainless-steel stand is wide and the handy hook is double sided for extra stability.
Easy-view 3-inch white-faced dial
Fahrenheit marked in 10° increments
50 to 500°F temperature range
Cooking zones and cooling guide
- Weight3.2 ounces
Best Oven Thermometer Buying Guide & FAQ
Why You Need an Oven Thermometer
If you have ever wondered whether you need an oven thermometer, here are the main reasons why:
- Built-in thermometers are not always accurate as they record the temperature where they are fixed inside the oven. But due to fluctuating temperatures, most ovens are not evenly heated, meaning you get ‘hot spots’. Adding an oven thermometer enables you to adjust and move the gauge to where your food is inside the oven so you get a much more accurate reading to ensure food is safely cooked through.
- They are also easy to use. As an oven thermometer can withstand high temperatures, they can be popped into the oven at the beginning and left until your bake is done. The large dial also means they are easy to read, even through the oven glass and can be either hung from the rack or placed on top.
Things to Consider When Buying a Cooking Thermometer
You will want to look for the following when choosing a new cooker thermometer:
Quality: Your oven thermometer should be able to take the heat so look for a well-built device that's both durable and designed to work with the temperatures you want to cook at.
Materials used: The materials used to make the thermometer need to be robust enough for high heat without cracking or risking contamination of your food. Stainless-steel is one of the best, just check it is food safe and ideally National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified.
Temperature gauge: Most oven thermometers measure temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius; opting for a device that measures both will save you time if you have a recipe you need to convert.
Temperature limits: Different recipes call for different oven temperatures so check the maximum temperature limit on the oven thermometer before you buy. While you may not always opt for cooking above 500° F, having a thermometer that can withstand these temperatures will give you more cooking flexibility.
Easy to use: You don’t want a complicated thermometer; you really just need to be able to pop it in the oven and be able to clearly read the temperature gauge. Easy maintenance is essential too, with simple calibration to ensure its accuracy and waterproof so you can keep it clean.
Different Types of Baking Thermometers
There are three main types of oven thermometers, dial, bulb, and digital:
- Dial thermometers
Dial thermometers feature a large dial display similar to a clock and use a pointer to indicate the temperature as it rises. Dial thermometers are easy to read, thanks to the large face and simple dial pointer.
- Bulb thermometers
These devices are similar to weather temperature gauges and feature a tube and bulb which indicates temperature via a color liquid which expands as the heat rises. They can be a little harder to read, especially at a distance.
- Digital thermometers
A digital oven thermometer operates differently in that instead of leaving it in the oven while cooking, you use it to check the temperature of cooked food. Via a probe inserted into the dish, a digital thermometer then displays the internal temperature of the food.
How to Use an Oven Thermometer
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions but as a basic guide to using an oven thermometer:
- Place or hang the thermometer in the oven, close to the middle of the oven where you can easily see the dial through the oven door glass.
- Turn on your oven, set the temperature you want to cook at and leave it to heat up. You will need to give the oven thermometer a few more minutes after the pre-set temperature light goes off, as it will heat up a little slower.
- Now compare the readings – if both the pre-set temperature and the oven thermometer match, happy days, you're good to cook!
- If the readings differ, you'll need to adjust the oven to match. For example, if your oven was set for 250° F and your oven thermometer is showing 200° F, increase your oven’s temperature. But if the thermometer actually shows a higher reading than the pre-set, then you will need to turn your oven down.
Best Oven Thermometer FAQ:
Q: How do I know if my oven thermometer is accurate?
A: A simple way to check that the accuracy of your oven thermometer is still on point is to use boiling water, as long as it is water-resistant. Water boils at 100° C (212° F) so start off by bringing a pot of water to a constant boil. Hold the oven thermometer in the water using tongs without letting it touch the bottom or sides and wait for it to register the temperature. A few degrees either side of 100° C is not uncommon but if it fluctuates more than this, you need to recalibrate. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for how to do this.
Q: Where is the best place to put a thermometer?
A: As food is best placed for cooking in the center of the oven, the oven thermometer needs to be placed as close as possible to where you intend to bake. The middle shelf is the ideal position, either hung from the shelf or positioned on top.
Q: Do I really need both Fahrenheit and Celsius on a baking thermometer?
A: You don't need both temperature readings but for sheer versatility and to save you having to convert temperatures depending on the recipe used, buying a dual temperature thermometer is a good idea.
Q: Are oven thermometers waterproof?
A: As you will need to keep your oven thermometer clean, it will need to be regularly washed so always look for a device that can be put into water. Some oven thermometers are even dishwasher safe, but most recommend washing by hand.
Our Top Pick
For a cost-effective, straightforward, and high-performing oven temperature gauge, you can't really beat Rubbermaid Commercial Products' oven thermometer. Made from food-grade stainless steel and with a large, easy-view dial face, you can either hang or stand this device in the middle of your oven. With its wide temperature range and readings available in both °C and °F, this is the ideal everyday kitchen thermometer to keep your cooking on track.