The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Instant read thermometers

AnnieT's picture

Instant read thermometers

I have read so many times "use an instant read thermometer" and would like to do just that - but what type? I would love to hear from you all with recommendations for your favorites. I saw one in the grocery store - but would I be wasting my money? Nothing fancy, just something to test my loaves and hopefully last a while. Thanks for any help, A

Rick2u's picture

I have had sucess with the

Taylor 9305 Non-Contact Infrared (IR) Digital Thermometer with Thermocouple Probe Thermometer

Found at


To do it right, do it yourself.

Uberkermit's picture

I've found that basic, cheap instant read probe thermometers work well enough for my needs. I probably wouldn't trust them for more than a +/- 2 degree tolerance, but when it comes to checking for doneness thats about all you will need. Even if you had a perfectly accurate probe, the temperature would probably vary more than 2 degrees depending on whether you hit the exact center of the loaf.

Also, these usually can be calibrated (there will usually be a hex nut on the back). If you have a digital thermostat or other reliable thermometer you can probably calibrate and improve accuracy. Also, if you drop one of the instant-read thermometers, they will go out of whack, so you probably will need to calibrate periodically.

So in short, they're not great, but they work well enough for me.

SDbaker's picture

My Thermapen is among the most important tools in my kitchen.  I would add my scale, OXO wisk (awesome handle feel), wusthoff bread knife, and steel handled silicon spatulas .. no more broken handles (William Sonoma).

 The Thermapen is a bit pricey at about 80 bucks, but I've had two other types.  Add the incremental cost, plus less effectivenss and it is a great commercial-grade investment.  Reads in seconds, pin-point accuracy, large temp range, Very Easy to read.

 SD Baker

BROTKUNST's picture

AnnieT, this is the thermometer I use ( -click here- )... works a treat and is fast and reliable. I bought a couple of them when they were on sale for $5 but I'd buy it for the current price without regret. The Thermapen has to be 'better' in some way, I am *absolutely* satisfied though with the less expensive version.




P.S. Just checked and on the thermometer is even $10 more than on Amazon. 

Jeffrey's picture

we bought one of those inexpensive things at the grocer, a few years ago.  it still works for us.  Besides, how can you read those LCD things by moon light?

You can get a lot of those five dollar ones for the same price as the high dollar hard to see ones.



AnnieT's picture

Thanks guys: Brotkunst, SDBbaker,Uberkermit, Rick2u and Jeffrey. I knew you would help me out and now all I have to do is make up my mind which one. Too bad my birthday long gone. Thanks again, A