Now now, there’s no need for harsh words. What exactly is it that you hate about your oven? Did it burn your dad’s birthday cake to a crisp? Does it consistently take way longer to cook your favorite casserole than it should? Or maybe it’s display isn’t working anymore, and you just can’t see WHAT the temperature is?
Relax! There are two words that can repair this broken relationship with your kitchen: oven thermometer. Yes, an oven thermometer can help with all of these problems. Oh, you didn’t know that you could buy an aftermarket device like this? You sure can!
So, before you order yourself an expensive new appliance, read these oven thermometer reviews and consider a less drastic game plan. Let’s look at our 10 favorites, followed by some common FAQs.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
CDN DOT2 ProAccurate Oven Thermometer
With both a wide base and a two-way hook for hanging, this model can be placed anywhere you need it in the oven. The face is 2 ¼-inches in diameter and the indicator needle is large and bright red, making it easy to read.
The numbers and indicators themselves are also large, so you can clearly see the precise temperature every time. America’s Test Kitchen says that this is the best oven thermometer to use and that holds a lot of weight with a lot of cooking professionals.
Unfortunately, it takes longer than expected before reaching the final temperature, making the cooking process last even longer than it needs to. It also doesn’t respond well to a change in the temperature. So, if you bake one thing at 300 and then move the dial up to 400 for another dish, it can take quite a while before this oven thermometer displays the desired temperature.
Rubbermaid Commercial Oven Monitoring Thermometer
- Necessary for food safety: Thermometer...
- Extreme temperature range: Thermometer...
- Perfect for any kitchen: Designed for...
- Many uses: This product is perfect for...
- Durable material: Stainless steel...
This oven thermometer is made of stainless steel, which means it’s extremely durable. It’s approved by the NSF too, which means you can be sure that it’s of the highest quality. The display has indicators for both Fahrenheit and Celsius units, so it’s suitable for whatever recipe you’re following, wherever you live. Thankfully, it’s also very easy to clean too. It’s one of the more accurate oven thermometers on the market and is reasonably priced. A solid choice for any home or commercial kitchen.
The display face is a bit busy. While it’s nice that it has both Celsius and Fahrenheit indicators, this makes for a crowded visual. In particular, it can be hard to tell the precise temperature on this oven thermometer when you’re using the Celsius scale. The hook for hanging it on the rack is not reliable either and it often falls off with even the smallest of nudges or vibrations.
It’s also not waterproof, so you have to be careful not to submerge it when cleaning. Don’t expect it to last much longer than a year and a half either. Luckily, it’s usually priced low and so won’t cost much to replace.
Taylor Precision Products Classic Series
- The extra-large, 3 1/4-inch dial...
- This freezer/refrigerator thermometer...
- The Oven temperature ranges from 100...
- Stainless-steel construction provides...
- This unique design can be hung from a...
With a large display face of 3 ¼ inches, large numbers, and red indicator needle, chefs will have no trouble reading the temperature through the glass of the oven door. It measures heat from 100 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s also a color arc that goes from faded to bright and bold, indicating the extreme temperature changes. This is helpful when glancing at the temperature, making it easy to gauge the general temperature while waiting for the oven to warm up.
While its large face is great for visual purposes, it makes the device a bit large for use in a conventional toaster oven. Space is already an issue in a toaster oven, so adding a large oven thermometer can make things rather tight. Also, the glass front can get dark and grimy rather quickly, and since it’s not waterproof, washing it can be tricky. The printing inside the glass often fades too quickly too, and users have said it’s not as accurate as other models.
Cooper-Atkins Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer
The Cooper-Atkins version has a base is 2.275 inches wide, making it quite stable and sturdy no matter what’s happening in your oven. It also does well responding to temperature changes and quickly catches up to show you the current temperature. The background is white, offering better contrast for the numbers and dial needle.
Also, there’s an HACCP reference dial on the screen, making this one of the very few oven thermometers to include this feature. It was the top-rated oven thermometer by Cooks Magazine for a long time, thanks to reviews by the American Test Kitchen, so this unit is one that you know you can rely on.
Despite the great contrast between the white background and black numbers and indicators, the numbers themselves are very small and therefore hard to read. The shadow from the thermometer’s own edge often obscures the indicators, especially if it is hanging instead of standing. The metal hook for hanging on the oven rack is not well made and can bend easily. So, although this model is on the inexpensive side, you may have to replace it often due to hook breakage.
Oxo Good Grips Chef’s Precision Oven Thermometer
- Reliably precise oven temperature in one...
- For best results, place the thermometer...
- Two-point hook holds thermometer...
- Wide, angled base keeps thermometer...
- Large numbers for quick temperature...
The hanging implement is very well designed! It is much wider and has a two-point, A-shaped groove which allows it to fit snugly over the wider, width-wise rungs, or on any of the thinner, depth-wise rungs in your oven. There’s basically no chance that it will fall off! The angled base is also well made and keeps it steady as it stands on the rack, not moving as you take dishes in and out or open and close the oven door. The temperature indicators measure both Celsius and Fahrenheit with a clean, clear display.
Many users have complained about this device. It may be pretty, but it just doesn’t work properly. The temperature readings on this oven thermometer are way off, way too often. It’s just not accurate or consistent, which is surprising since Oxo is usually a dependable brand. Don’t let the name or sleek design fool you, this tool is not reliable.
Why an Oven Thermometer is The Best!
Have you ever used an oven thermometer? Ever wonder why you see them in other people’s ovens? There are many of ovens out there that produce inaccurate temperature readings, and this can make baking tricky! Professional chefs are particularly concerned about accurate temperatures and home cooks want to be as precise as possible, so the independent little oven thermometer has become a popular tool.
It can be pricey to call a repairman every time you suspect that your oven’s temperature is off! Having your oven calibrated once per year is always a good idea but picking up an oven thermometer to check the difference for yourself is a much more budget-friendly option. After buying the best oven thermometer that suits your needs, you can either continue using it or mentally adjust your oven’s displayed temperature and continue baking accordingly.
Appearance is Everything
An oven thermometer is quite a small device. It can be hung inside your oven or set on top of the racks. It has a dial on its face and indicator marks to show the different temperature grades. There’s usually a large needle that travels up and down the temperature scale, telling you the exact temperature of that area inside your oven.
You can get two different kinds of oven thermometers right now: dial and bulb. There don’t seem to be any digital thermometers on the market right now. Meat thermometers can be digital, and fridge/freezer thermometers also have digital options, but the technology isn’t available yet for oven-proof digital thermometers.
Bon Appetit magazine says that “When it comes to temperature, your oven is almost definitely lying to you. An oven thermometer is all you need to end the deception, once and for all.”
Even if your oven is off by 25 degrees, it can make a huge difference in the quality of your cooking. You can extend the time that your dish bakes for, but the best results come from a well calibrated, accurate temperature gauge. The folks at Cooks Illustrated did extensive testing and wrote a report, concluding that 25 degrees can make all the difference when baking popovers!
Despite what you might think, the temperature inside the oven isn’t consistent throughout the entire boxed area. Slate Magazine says that “A 350-degree residential oven is designed to stay between 330 and 370 degrees – and that’s if it’s well-calibrated, which few ovens are.”
Where’s the Hot Spot?
It’s also true that your oven’s internal thermometer only measures the heat at the spot where it is installed. Therefore, when you’re using an aftermarket device, it’s best to place it in the middle of the oven, since that is where the dish being baked is placed. Remember that different parts of your oven will measure different temperatures, so you want to check the exact spot where the food will be.
If you’re worried about areas of your oven being hotter than others, oven thermometers can help! Gather three or four of these tools and place them in different spots inside the oven, or you can take this advice from the Today Show: “Place the thermometer on the left and right sides of the oven as well as the front and back of your oven to see if you have any hot or cold spots. Let the thermometer rest in each location for 10 minutes before moving it to check for temperature changes, and use oven mitts when moving the thermometer.”
Other Uses for Oven Thermometers
Some people even like to use oven thermometers to help with grilling. Most BBQs come with a thermometer, and they are the perfect piece of cooking equipment to match a nice knife set. But these are usually low-quality, according to the Southern California Smoking Club. Instead, pop an oven thermometer or two on the grate and you’ll have a much more precise temperature, which leads to better-cooked foods.
Most grilling enthusiasts will use a meat thermometer, the kind with a metal spear that you stick into the meat and gives you the internal temperature digitally. These are great tools, but they serve a different purpose than the oven thermometer.
Oven thermometers are practical for more than just food too! While pottery is usually baked in a kiln, polymer clay is baked in an oven and accurate temperatures are vitally important. Using an oven thermometer, therefore, is essential! …as this video explains.
Before You Buy, Consider This…
Think about where and how you’ll be using your new oven thermometer. If your oven has more than two racks, it can be tricky to keep your thermometer in the middle once you’ve placed your dish in there. In this case, it’s important to pay attention to the design of a thermometer when you’re shopping, so that you know it will hang or sit in just the right spot.
Maybe you’re using a toaster oven instead of a typical kitchen oven. Toaster oven temperatures are notoriously inaccurate! In this case, you’ll want to use a small-sized oven thermometer to check the exact level of inaccuracy.
Best 7 Brands
While not a particularly recognizable brand name, CDN is a family-run business that manufactures measurement tools such as thermometers, timers, and scales. They have been in the kitchen tools business for more than 30 years and their products are now used in more than 20,000 kitchens and food service locations all around the globe.
Rubbermaid Commercial Stainless Steel Oven Monitoring Thermometer
Rubbermaid is a household name all across North America because of their quality-made, inexpensive products. They produce everything from garbage cans and utility carts, to bathroom accessories and food storage containers.
Taylor Precision Products
This American company has been in business since 1851 when they began making altitude barometers for aircraft during WWII. These days Taylor manufactures all kinds of measurement devices, including weather stations, kitchen measuring cups, and digital luggage scales.
David G. Cooper invented the first bimetal oven thermometer and eventually founded the Cooper Oven Thermometer Company in 1885. Since then, the company has grown and become a worldwide leader in the food safety industry, creating products for food service, food processing, healthcare, and industrial purposes.
With over 1,000 products that can be used all over the home and one of the most recognizable names in kitchen tools and utensils, Oxo is a family favorite throughout North America. The company was founded in 1992 and now has offices in the UK, Germany, and Japan, as well as it’s head office in Pennsylvania.
The first Farberware percolator was created in 1930 and now the company makes everything from bakeware to teakettles to stylish hand utensils. It has become one of the most well respected and frequently-used brand in the kitchenware industry and is sold at numerous popular commercial locations, including Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Although not as popular as other brand names, Polder was founded in 1976 and now sells its wares through retailers worldwide. Polder has a variety of solutions for kitchens, laundry, bathroom, and home organization needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do I need an oven thermometer?
Oven thermometers are great for checking to see if your oven’s built-in temperature gauge is correct. They can also be helpful to determine whether certain spots within your oven’s box are hotter than others. Bakers with very specific temperature requirements may find having one or two oven thermometers helpful in perfecting tricky recipes.
What features should I look for in a good oven thermometer?
There are many things to look for! A good, wide base is important if you plan to stand it up on your oven racks, and a large, sturdy hook is necessary for hanging. A large face with big, visible temperature indicators allows you to see the exact temperature through the oven door. If you plan to use the thermometer in a toaster oven, though, choose a smaller device so it will leave lots of room in the box for whatever you’re cooking.
Are any oven thermometers approved by the NSF?
Yes! The CDN DOT2, Rubbermaid, and Atkins models listed above are all NSF approved.
How can I check the accuracy of my oven thermometer?
Each thermometer’s readings may be different, so checking for accuracy is important. To check this, you can use two thermometers at once and check to see that they display the same temperature.
Where should I put my oven thermometer?
For general baking, place the thermometer in the same spot (or as close as possible) to where you will place the dish or item – usually, this means it should go right in the middle of the oven. Using more than one thermometer at a time can help you determine where the hottest spots are in your oven, so moving them around can help with certain baking needs. https://www.chatelaine.com/food/kitchen-tips/oven-thermometer/
How much should I spend on an oven thermometer?
Oven thermometers range in price. You can find them for $5 (or possibly less!) to $30 or $40. Just remember that a higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality in this case!
My oven thermometer is dirty. How can I clean it?
Depending on how dirty the device is, you can usually clean an oven thermometer simply with water and dish soap. Be sure to check that your thermometer is waterproof before submerging it in dishwater! Certain models (check the instructions/packaging) are even dishwasher safe! If regular dish soap doesn’t help, you can try using steel wool or perhaps even oven cleaner.
How often should I replace my oven thermometer?
If your thermometer is still working, keep it! They can last for years – maybe even as long as your oven itself! If your device has stopped working, though, there are many budget-friendly options out there, so replacing it should be easy and not break the bank.
Wrap It Up!
Struggling with an oven that has inaccurate temperature readings is not only frustrating, but it’s also senseless. Oven thermometers can save you!
The best oven thermometer on the market is the CDN DOT2 Proaccurate thanks to its large face and bright needle which make it easy to read. The fact that it underwent thorough testing from America’s Test Kitchen and emerged as the hands-down favorite is a huge bonus.
Their testing proved that it’s the most accurate device on the market, and since it’s very reasonably priced it’s perfect for amateur cooks and professionals alike.
If you can’t find the CDN DOT2, or if you want to remain loyal to the household brand, Rubbermaid’s Commercial Stainless Steel Oven Thermometer is also a solid option. It’s durability, Fahrenheit-Celsius display, and its NSF approval are all good reasons to choose this tool.
All of this information leads to one conclusion: you don’t have to end your relationship with your oven, despite its dishonest temperature readings. Divorcing your appliance isn’t necessary! You simply have to bring in a third party, the oven thermometer, and you and your beautiful oven can live happily ever after.