The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best thermometer for bread baking

SallyBR's picture

Best thermometer for bread baking

I would like to start checking the temperature of my bread dough after kneading, to follow the recipes in "Bread Alone"


Could you experts recommend me a good brand? I know it needs to be instant read, but I have one that either is not working very well or its concept of "instant" is a bit lax  :-)


 Thanks for your advice!


Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark


 I started out using a darkroom room thermometer from my photography days and that worked pretty well but maxed out at 120 degrees. Now I use a digital Pyrex "Professional" meat thermometer. I works great for lower temps like dough and water and I also stick the probe in a baking loaf of bread to test for doneness. I think it cost around $10 - $14.


sphealey's picture

Best thermometer: the Thermapen (available from various cooking supply stores and catalogs and also laboratory supply catalogs). They are a bit expensive, but one of the best tools I have ever owned. 20 years ago we would have been very happy to have the Thermapen in the plant chem lab at 10x the price.

As for its instantness, you can see the temperature of the upper crust, upper crumb, middle crumb, lower crumb, and lower crust in real time as you slide the probe through the loaf. I don't think you can get much more instant than that!


ehanner's picture

The best, most accurate quick(instant) thermometer is an IR hand held. I have the Raytek MT6 that can be found on Amazon or elsewhere for around $50. Once you get the idea of checking the water, dough, baking stone, flour bin and everything else in the bakery, it becomes much easier to control temperatures. This is the best $50 I have spent in a long time. The dial probes are slow and inaccurate. This is instant and accurate down to the 1/10th of a degree..


SallyBR's picture

 Evidently, one difference between my current tool and what you all recommend is the price! :-)


no wonder mine leaves a lot to be desired - thanks for all your replies, I will make sure to upgrade my thermometer ASAP






If your heart is not in it, excellence is not possible"

gaaarp's picture

I have a Taylor instant read thermometer that I like really well for bread baking.  It takes a few seconds to record the temp, but not terribly long.  One thing I did learn about it is that it has a notch part way up the stem, and that notch has to be in the dough, bread, or whatever you are measuring, or you won't get an accurate reading.

Oh, and it only cost about $10.