We last tested meat thermometers in 2018. There are no updates planned.
Don’t get sick by eating undercooked meat.
Overall score is based on:
Accuracy (60%) We assess accuracy using a calibrated thermal bath. When the thermal bath reaches 70℃ a reading on each thermometer is taken. A reading of -/+ 1℃ gets an accuracy score of 8.0, a reading of -/+ 2℃ scores 5.0.
For thermometers that claim to be oven-proof, we check how accurate the reading is at 70℃ while cooking scotch fillet. All were within 2℃ of the calibrated reading. This didn’t contribute to the overall score.
Ease of use (40%) We check how easy it is to use and read the thermometer, insert the probe, and clean the thermometer.
Price is from an October 2018 survey.
Digital models are battery operated. They give you a quick reading, so are useful for checking different places in the meat. However, most aren’t oven-proof, so can’t be left in the meat during cooking. Digital thermometers tend to be more accurate than analogue.
Analogue (dial) models are usually oven-proof – the temperature indicator slowly rises as the inside of the food heats up.
From cooking the mother-in-law’s steak to a perfect medium-rare, to making sure the sausies aren’t burnt, manning the barbie is no easy feat. But you also don’t want to help contribute to New Zealand’s campylobacter statistics (in 2016, more than 7400 cases were reported, of which about half were attributed to food).
Some meats, such as steak and chops, are safe to eat rare. The bugs are usually restricted to the outside and searing destroys them.
Processed meats like minced meat and sausages should be cooked over 75℃.
For pork and poultry the juices should run clear. Bone-in chicken should reach 82℃, all other chicken more than 75℃.