If you look closely at the test cooks’ stations in the test kitchen, you’ll see that they all have something in common. Right next to their knives and a timer, everyone has our top-rated instant-read thermometer.
Over the past 30 years, the ATK Reviews team has tested dozens of food thermometers. Our longtime favorite is the ThermoWorks Thermapen. The original model we tested back in 1997 (!) was excellent, but the Thermapen has been improved several times since we first tested it. Our team always holds our breath a little with each product update, but every iteration has been better than the one before it.
Here are five reasons why we love the latest and greatest version of our top-rated digital thermometer, the Thermapen ONE.
For Perfectly Tender Chicken Thighs, Overcook ThemThrow the chicken-cooking rule book out the window.
1. It’s Really Fast
It’s right there in the name: The Thermapen ONE gives a reading in just 1 second. That speed is a real asset when you’re peeking into an oven to check the temperature of a roast chicken or Thanksgiving turkey. A slower thermometer means more time for hot air to escape, which slows down the cooking process.
2. It’s Easy to Read
I grew up using an ancient “dial-faced” model that resembled a tiny oven thermometer on a stick. It was nearly impossible to read the numbers, which is a real problem given that a few seconds means the difference between silky caramel and a scorched, smoking disaster.
A good digital thermometer is a vast improvement over dial-face models—but our winner’s screen is especially brightly lit and easy to read. The numbers also rotate so that they’re right side up no matter how you hold the thermometer.
Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter
Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!
3. It’s Accurate
4. It’s Comfortable to Use
When you’re sticking your hand into a hot oven or holding it above a pot of hot oil, you need a secure grip. You also want as much distance from the heat as possible. The Thermapen ONE is great on both counts: The probe is fairly long—about 4¼ inches compared just to 3 inches on other models—and the body of the thermometer is wide and easy to hold in a variety of positions.
The Best Instant-Read ThermometersWe've recommended a Thermapen for more than a decade, but there's new competition. Is it still the best digital food thermometer?
5. It’s Durable
At full price, the Thermapen ONE costs about $100. For that much money, we don’t just expect accuracy and great design. We want durability. (Remember: You’re likely to use this thing near flames and water and all sorts of sticky, messy stuff. Accidents happen.)
Happily, the newest Thermapen is waterproof up to a water depth of 39 inches for 30 minutes. And as our test cooks can attest, it’s sturdy enough to withstand a lot of regular use.