Thermometers Buying Guide

Kitchen Thermometer Buying Guide

From cooking thermometers to cold temp thermometers, having the right temperature tools in your restaurant kitchen will keep your business and customers safe.

Anyone that’s been in the commercial kitchen long enough knows that thermometers are one of the most used kitchen tools. They help staff take daily refrigeration temp checks – which are required by most health inspectors – and help ensure foods stay out of the danger zone. Here’s your guide to why there are so many different types of kitchen thermometers and how to protect your business from danger zone mishaps that could end up shutting your doors.

It’s important to note that one of the biggest differences in our main kitchen thermometer categories are thermometers and data loggers.

  • Thermometers can range from thin probes to thick probes, cold temp check to hot temp checks, and almost everything in between. They’re super versatile and can read out temperatures within 10-20 seconds.
  • Data Loggers work to digitally pull kitchen temperatures without you or your staff having to constantly remember time stamps. They’re able to monitor important kitchen temperatures that can later be pulled for analysis or health inspections.
Thermometer Type Temperature Range Temperature Speed Price Range Display Ideal Uses
Candy Thermometers 50°F to 550°F 5 seconds $1 - $75
  • Analog
  • Dialog
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Caramel
Coffee Thermometers 0°F to 200°F 10 - 20 seconds $1 - $30 Analog
  • Coffee
  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Tea
Cooling Thermometers -4°F to 390°F 5 seconds $20 - $50 Dialog
  • Monitoring Danger Zone
  • Meat
  • Soup
  • Steam Table Pan
Dishwasher Thermometers -4°F to 420°F 20 - 30 seconds $10 - $20
  • Analog
  • Dialog
Disposable Thermometers 140°F to 170°F 20 - 30 seconds $30 - $50 Analog
  • Holding
  • Serving
Fridge Thermometers -40°F to 120°F 20 - 30 seconds $1 - $50
  • Analog
  • Dialog
  • Refrigeration
  • Freezer
Infrared Thermometers -75°F to 1,020°F 5 seconds $10 - $150 Dialog Cooked Food (Checks External Temps)
Meat Thermometers 130°F to 220°F 20 - 30 seconds $1 - $50 Analog Meat
Oven Thermometers 0°F to 800°F 20 - 30 seconds $1 - $30 Analog Oven
Pocket Test Thermometers -50°F to 550°F Varies $1 - $150
  • Analog
  • Dialog

The danger zone is between 40°F and 140°F and is the temperature range where bacteria is most susceptible to rapidly growing; in fact, within 20 seconds, it can double in growth on foods in the danger zone. For a commercial kitchen, keeping foods out of this danger zone is pertinent in protecting your business and you customers. Here are a few tips to follow when it comes to the danger zone.

  1. When thawing food, make sure you’re aware of the temperature of the room. If the room temperature is above 90°F, food should not be left out for more than 1 hour to thaw. If the room temperature is below 90°F, food should not be left out for more than 2 hours to thaw.
  2. Hot foods should remain above 140°F. To help maintain heat, use chafing dishes, steam pans, warming trays, or insulated heaters (crockpots).
  3. Cold foods should remain below 40°F. To help maintain low temperatures, use ice buckets and cold pans.
  4. For soups and broths that are cooked the day before, in addition to placing the pot in the walk-in, use cold paddles for extra protection during the danger zone cooling period.
  5. Foods that are heated and then cooled for later use should be brought out of the danger zone within 2 hours.

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