Reads temperatures quickly
Infrared setting allows for surface temperature readings
Auto shut-off feature
Easy to clean
Display isn’t backlit
Display is upside down when fully extended
Five to ten times the cost of a regular thermometer
If you’re on the hunt for a professional-level instant read thermometer for grilling, baking, cooking, candy making, or whatever else it is you do in the kitchen, you’ll want to consider the Taylor Splash-Proof Infrared Thermometer. It’s definitely on the expensive side for an instant read thermometer at $100, but if you’re an aspiring chef, it’ll prove a must-have kitchen tool. It’s splash-proof, works quickly, and can read internal and surface temperatures with a probe and infrared feature. Keep reading to see how the thermometer held up in our household.
Performance: Versatility says it all
With two different temperature reading features and a range of -67º F to 626º F, the Taylor Infrared thermometer can handle anything your kitchen throws at it. Use the 5-inch probe to reach the center of a ham or turkey in your oven; check in on the progress of a steak you’re grilling; or gauge how much longer your homemade caramel should bubble away on the stovetop. The infrared thermometer—which operates via a white light—also allows you to check the surface temperature of reflective surfaces, so you can take a reading on your deep fryer oil before lowering in hand-breaded chicken tenders or onion rings.
We boiled a pot of water and dipped in the probe in to find a perfect reading of 212° F.
Before we got to any of that, though, we tested the Taylor thermometer’s accuracy. We boiled a pot of water and dipped in the probe in to find a perfect reading of 212° F. Once we knew the Taylor thermometer was up for the job, we used it to determine when our steaks were ready. We like our meat medium-rare, but we get nervous about undercooking steak, so we used the thermometer to check in on them at 145°F and then set them aside for three minutes to rest.
After our success with steak, we also used the infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of wort whilst brewing our own beer. It’s essential to make sure your wort (AKA beer starter made of malt extract and water) isn’t boiling when you add ingredients, so we used the thermometer to ensure it stayed under 212 °F.
Design: A few minor issues
From the step-down tip of the probe to the large display, the Taylor Splash-Proof Infrared Thermometer is well designed. We especially love the retractable probe, as it makes storage so much easier, and the auto shut-off feature which powers the thermometer down after 10 minutes to conserve its AAA batteries.
The thermometer’s main design consideration is its three buttons. The top (red) one is for scanning your food with the infrared thermometer; the middle (yellow) button is for switching between Fahrenheit and Celsius, showing the minimum and maximum temperatures taken, and “locking” the thermometer so it stays on; and the bottom (green) button enables the probe.
From the step-down tip of the probe to the large display, the Taylor Splash-Proof Infrared Thermometer is well designed.
For the most part, this thermometer is any cook’s dream, but we did find a few minor design flaws. First, the display isn’t backlit—so if you’re grilling on a dark evening, you’ll have trouble reading the temperature. And on the subject of reading the temperature, when the probe is fully extended, the display will be upside down. Sticking the probe into your meat sideways will, however, solve this problem.
It’s also worth noting that this thermometer is splash-proof, not waterproof. That means you should still be careful when washing it and be sure to take it inside after using it outside whilst grilling.
Extra Features: Up your cooking game
There are a lot of kitchen gadgets that can help you be a better cook, and this is one of them. One thing we love about this thermometer is that it’ll literally tell you when your food is at a proper temperature and when it’s in the “danger zone.”
After our success with steak, we also used the infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of wort whilst brewing our own beer.
The thermometer relays this info with the aid of three icons; the snowflake lights up when your food is at a proper cold holding temperature (below 40° F or 4° C); the mug lights up when your food is at a proper hot holding temperature (above 140° F or 60° C); and the fork (with a strikethrough) lights up to indicate when your food is at a temperature unsafe to eat (between 40° to 140° F or 4° to 60° C). With these icons to guide you, safely preparing food proves much easier.
Price: High but worth it
Full disclosure: the Taylor Splash-Proof Infrared Thermometer goes for five to ten times the asking price of most instant read thermometers, but you do get a lot more features for your money. The thermometer has an MSRP of $100, but you can often snag it for $80 or less. If you find yourself frequently reaching for a thermometer when cooking, grilling, or baking, it’s likely worth the splurge.
Competition: Cheaper options available
Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer: If you’re looking for a cheaper thermometer that still has some of the above features, then Alpha Grillers’ model will work just fine. The $20 thermometer offers a backlit display and the same level of accuracy but you won’t find an infrared feature.
Habor Instant Read Thermometer: If you’re looking for a cheap, simple thermometer, Habor’s $10 model is for you. It accurately reads temperatures in five seconds or less, and it can switch between Fahrenheit or Celsius. That’s basically where its capabilities end, but if you’re just using it to occasionally grill, it’ll get the job done.
Explore cheaper options first.
We really have nothing but great things to say about the Taylor Infrared Thermometer, but we also realize that its $100 price point puts it out of reach for many home cooks. If you’re just looking for a basic thermometer to use when you grill, we’d recommend exploring cheaper options first.
- Product Name Splash-Proof Dual Temp Infrared Thermometer with Fold-Out Thermocouple Step Down Probe
- Product Brand Taylor
- MPN 9306N
- Price $99.99
- Weight 4.8 oz.
- Product Dimensions 6.4 x 5.1 x 1 in.
- Batteries 2 AAA