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Kitchen & Cooking

8 oven thermometers that can help improve your cooking

Get the most out of your oven with these top-rated thermometers

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Recipes are great, but they aren't always foolproof. How quickly or how accurately and evenly an oven heats up can vary. Ever left a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on a timer only to realize that they have burned or been greeted by raw or undercooked meat despite following the cook times? If this all sounds familiar it probably means your oven isn't heating correctly.

Luckily, a simple fix for a finicky oven is an oven thermometer, a small dial made of stainless steel that can keep track of the oven's actual interior temperature to ensure that you never over-or under-cook a dish again.

Our colleagues in the U.S. tested several oven thermometers from various brands that are available in Canada to discover which ones actually work well.

1. Meets All Needs: KT Thermo 3" Dial Oven Thermometer

KT Thermo Oven Thermometer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

KT Thermo makes one of the most accurate and easy to read oven thermometers we tested.

Of all the oven thermometers we tested, this one would be considered the Goldilocks of the bunch: it's not too big, not too small, but just right.

Made of stainless steel with a high temperature resisting dial and toughened glass lens, its large face isn't cluttered, so it's easy to read it through the closed oven door. Yet the body is also small enough such that it's pretty unobtrusive – it won't stick out like a sore thumb in your oven.

It secures nicely to an oven rack using a simple hook design, which locks it on snugly. Alternatively, it can stand upright: the base is just wide enough so it can perch on the grates and remain sturdy.

This oven thermometer was accurate in clocking temperatures from 100°F (38°C) up to 600°F (315°C), which means it starts registering the temperature even when it's still room temperature. And at 600°F, you can make sure the oven is hot enough for crispy homemade pizza. That said, some Canadians might not like the fact that there are no Celsius marks. However, considering that Fahrenheit is still the default most recipes and appliances in Canada this is not a major issue. But if you prefer to live in a Celsius world, you'll miss the markings.

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For peace of mind, this oven thermometer comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty.

Get the KT Thermo 3" Dual Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $33.91

2. Great Value: Cooper-Atkins 24HP HACCP Dial Oven Thermometer

Cooper Oven Thermometer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

This Cooper-Atkins oven thermometer gets our pick for best value.

The price is right with this oven thermometer, which is pretty affordable and worth the investment if you only plan on using it infrequently.

It might cost less than some of the others on this list, but it doesn't cut corners when it comes to design. Made of stainless steel with a glass lens, it's small and unobtrusive yet still comes packed with useful features.

It has marks for both Fahrenheit and Celsius and registers temperature changes in 50-degree increments, from 100°F (38°C) up to 600°F (315°C). However, because of such precise measurement calculations, it means the face does look a bit cluttered and could be challenging to read for some. Like the others thermometers on this list, you can stand it up or clip it neatly onto an oven rack.

If you're on a tight budget, this is a great option. It's also helpful if you often cook or bake items where the temperature must be on the nose.

Get the Cooper-Atkins 24HP HACCP Dial Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $18.02

3. Helpful Markings: AcuRite 00620A2 Stainless Steel Oven Thermometer

AcuRite
Credit: AcuRite

The AccRite features a large font that makes it very easy to read.

The large, dark font on the bright white background makes this oven thermometer super easy to read through the oven door. it’s made from stainless steel and glass and has an integrated hanger for clipping to an oven rack or, if you prefer, stand it upright on the base.

The AcuRite 00620A2 can indicate temperatures as hot as 600°F (315°C) but doesn't start registering them until 150°F (65°C), which might be annoying if you want to cook things low and slow or want to pop items in for re-heating. But in most instances, this might not matter since most cooking is down from 300°F (150°C) and higher, and even reheating would require temperatures hotter than 150°F (65°C).

The AcuRite did a pretty job at monitoring consistent temperatures through our tests. It doesn't include markings for Celsius, which some Canadians would appreciate, so you might need to have a converter handy.

We especially liked this oven thermometer because it has helpful range indicators for Warm, Bake/Roast, and Broil. This makes it perfect for when you aren't using a recipe and just want to make sure you have the oven at the proper temperature.

Get the AcuRite 00620A2 Stainless Steel Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $18.38

4. Incredibly Accurate: CDN DOT2 ProAccurate Oven Thermometer

CDN DOT 2
Credit: CDN

The CDN thermometer offered incredibly accurate temperature readings.

The CDN DOT2 gets the lowest marks in terms of design due to its small face that is somewhat dark and difficult to read, as well as the oddly bulky base that makes it hang awkwardly between racks, obscuring access to anything stored below.

However, it does get high marks for having the most accurate readings of all of the thermometers we tested. It has the tightest temperature range, beginning at 150°F (65°C) and clocking out at 550°F (288°C), which means it can't accurately keep track of temperature for dishes that need to cook at higher than that. This is likely because, unlike the other thermometers, this one is made of plastic and not stainless steel, so it can't withstand extreme temperatures.

That said, the CDN DOT2 does have Celsius markings and Fahrenheit, which is an appreciated feature for those of us from the Great White North. It also has handy markings that indicate Warm, Very Low, Moderate, Very Hot, and Broil, which is great for novice cooks who prefer basic layman terms versus specific temperatures, especially following an old family recipe that doesn't tell you what exact temperature to use.

Get the CDN DOT2 ProAccurate Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $19.48

5. Effortless Reading: Taylor 5932 Oven Thermometer

Taylor 5932
Credit: Taylor

While easy to read, the Taylor thermometer wasn't as responsive or accurate as we would have liked.

The Taylor 5932 has one of the largest faces of all of the oven thermometers we tested and also has big tick marks and a graduated colour wheel that makes it easy to read through an oven window. In addition, it has a red pointer which is a nice touch for easy readability.

Like the majority of thermometers we tested, it’s made out of stainless steel with a glass lens and it can either be hung from an oven rack or stand on its base. The body is bulky, though, so it takes up a lot of space between oven racks.

The temperature range is from 100°F (38°C) up to 600°F (315°C), and there are markings for both Fahrenheit and Celsius. The colour wheel also indicates Warming, Baking, and Roasting for those who love the at-a-glance "for dummies" style when cooking or reheating food in the oven.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the most responsive nor most accurate of the oven thermometers we tested. But it is effortless to read, so it might be the preferred option for some based on the colour wheel and red pointer design.

Get the Taylor 5932 Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $19.96

6. Tons of Information: Winco TMT-OV3 Oven Thermometer

Winco
Credit: Winco

The Winco's display offers a wealth of useful information.

There's no guessing with this oven thermometer, which includes tons of useful details about cooking temperatures right on the face. The big face shows both temperature markings in Fahrenheit and Celsius, indicators for Hold, Bake, and Roast, and the FDA's HACCP food safety guidelines about the proper temperatures for holding and cooling hot foods. It's helpful information, but it also makes the big face look slightly cluttered and might be overwhelming for some. Because of all the text that fits on the front, the thermometer itself is also pretty big and bulky.

While it's unclear what material this oven thermometer is made from, it's likely plastic since it only measures temperature up to 500°F (260°C), starting at 50°F (10°C).

While some might find all of the details on the front overwhelming, for those who like lots of information at their fingertips, this oven thermometer would be a great choice.

Get the Winco TMT-OV3 Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $18.42

7. Inaccurate: OXO Chef's Precision Oven Thermometer

OXO Chef's Precision
Credit: OXO

We expected more from the OXO thermometer.

We had high hopes for this oven thermometer, given that OXO has a great reputation when it comes to kitchen products. However, we were sadly disappointed. Made of aluminum, the device is extra-large in size, so it took up too much space between racks. The face is also semi-opaque, which makes it difficult to see, especially through an oven window. It was also challenging to hang using the two-point hook, though it does have a wide-angled base for standing upright.

It offers a wide temperature range, from 50°F (10°C) up to 600°F (315°C) as well as marks for Celsius and Fahrenheit. But unfortunately, we found the measurements to be inaccurate and the thermometer, at times, unresponsive. Thus, despite the brand notoriety, we can't recommend this one.

Get the OXO Chef's Precision Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $19.99

8. Inconsistent: Rubbermaid FGTHO550 Oven Thermometer

Rubbermaid
Credit: Rubbermaid

The Rubbermaid struggled to display consistent temperature readings.

We were convinced this thermometer from a reputable brand like Rubbermaid would exceed expectations. But unfortunately, it did not. While it has 10-degree temperature ticks on the face like others, they are oddly sized and spaced, making it difficult to interpret and read. Made of stainless steel with a non-shatter lens, it also looks visually cluttered.

Like the other thermometers on this list, the Rubbermaid has a hook for hanging and a base for standing upright, but we found the base to be pretty unstable.

The face does also show Celsius readings in addition to Fahrenheit. The readings start at 150°F (65°C) and go up to 550°F (288°C), which isn't the best range and won't suffice for cooking at super-high temperatures. Unfortunately, we found that the temperature readings with this oven thermometer were the most inconsistent of all of those we tested, making it unreliable for its purpose.

Get the Rubbermaid FGTH0550 Oven Thermometer from Amazon Canada for $22.55

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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