Let's Talk About Budget-Friendly Meat Thermometers in 2022

Grilling can be hard work.

Even for the most seasoned (get it) pit masters, sometimes it can be a guessing game when trying to tell if their protein that is being cooked by smoke and open flame is done. 

Well have no fear, because this is where I come in! I did an exhaustive study on three different brands of meat thermometers. All of them are in the affordable range. I scoured the market to find some great examples of meat thermometers that will work in your grill or the kitchen.

I tested these thermometers in a range of tests. Here are my results:

ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10


Thermometer Specs

  • Response Time: 1 Second (speed will be slightly slower in oil than water)
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • Warranty: 3 Year Warranty

This thermometer is an affordable game changer. I received this thermometer with great anticipation. The response time is the quickest of any of the ones I tested, only being at one second. Accuracy is important and this thermometer has an accuracy variant at ±0.7°F (±0.4°C) from -22 to 392°F , (-30.0 to 199.9°C) otherwise ±1.8°F (±1.0°C). Those are a lot of numbers, but it boils down to that this is a VERY accurate thermometer. 

The backlight on this thermometer is excellent and bright. This option has a few extra features to make it a nice ride. When you pick it up, it instantly turns on and when you set it down it activates the sleep mode function.

The probe has a 270º rotation along with an auto-rotating display. Speaking of the display, this display is large and in charge. It has an easy read out display that auto-adjusts the backlight based on the conditions. This thermometer also comes with a way to calibrate it when receive it.

It should be noted that the thermometer was 4º off when I took it out of the package. However, I followed the instructions on the provided guide and had it calibrated in less than a minute.

For me, this is the best all around thermometer I can get and one of the best bang for your bucks! Coming in at $69.99 (use code MARKASHBY8 for an additional $8 off) this is a well constructed and accurate thermometer that should last you about 3000 hours or 3-5 years, minimum. 

What I Liked About It:

It has an accurate and quick readout.

The price is good for the device.

Waterproof, because that is a really nice feature.

What I Didn't Like About It: 

It comes with a magnetic back, but the magnet is very weak and it fell when I tested it on several different grills and surfaces.

The probe is a little stiff to pull out and turn it on.

View the Final Touch X10 Here


ThermoPro TP19H

 Thermometer Specs

  • Response Time: 3-4 Seconds
  • Water Resistance: IP65
  • Warranty: 1 or 3 years (depending on if you register the product)

This thermometer is the cheapest on the list for this article. It is EXTREMELY popular in the barbecue community, because of it's accuracy and affordability. The accuracy for this thermometer comes at ±0.9°F, essentially 1º of variation either way. That is PRETTY accurate. Another great benefit is the wide range of temperatures that it can read; -58°F – 572°F(-50°C- 300°C). That's very stout.

This thermometer has a 180º range for the display. The probe in this one is also stiff. I did notice that this one was within the variant range of temperature right out of the box, it did not need calibration. It does have the calibration feature, and recommends doing it after long times of use (so that would mean each summer for me).

I really enjoyed testing this product. It read well, but was slow. The backlight display is bright, and I can manually adjust it with the on/off switch for the light. It was stiff and though has a nice reputation, it lacks in feel and looks. It will do the job that it is intended for.

What I Like About It:

Affordable. This is the cheapest in the article coming in at $18.99. 

Accurate out of the box.

Strong magnet for easy storage.

What I Don't Like About It:

Slow response time.

Cheap feeling.

Limited motion for the probe.

Forgettable in a large market of instant read thermometers.

You can view the TP19H here or here


Maverick PT-100

Thermometer Specs

  • Response Time: 3 seconds
  • Water Resistance: IP44
  • Warranty: 1 Year

This one holds dear to my heart. I have had this specific model thermometer for over 8 years. It still runs on the original battery. It has been left in the rain, out in the sun, and even under the cover of the grill on the shelf. It still continues to work! This model comes with 100% factory calibration certificate that is included and  guarantees performance & accuracy to NIST standards. The accuracy, out of the box is certified at ±0.1°F/C. 

The read out display is bright and blue. This thermometer does have a slow readout time, but has never been wrong. With rubberized sides and grip, it is drop tested as well (and I have dropped mine PLENTY of times).

Another nice feature about this meat thermometer is that it has a temperature gauge for meat on the body of the thermometer. This isn't new, but is a nice feature.

Where this one lacks, for me, is it feels left behind. The PT-100 is a great product and has served me well. It gets the Work Horse award in my book. It is, however, on the pricer side. Still under $100 (coming in at $89.99), but you won't regret getting this meat thermometer for your barbecue and cooking adventures.

What I Like About It:

Longevity. I have had mine for eight years!

Accuracy. The MOST accurate on this list.

Durability (see longevity).

What I Don't Like About It:

Price is high because it is commercial grade.

Slow response time.


You can view the PT-100 here.


How did I choose the best meat thermometers?

There are several different factors to consider when shopping for the best meat thermometers. These are some considerations before you buy:

  • Accuracy: A meat thermometer's accuracy matters so you can be sure not to overcook or undercook your food.  
  • Speed: Meat thermometers can take different times to measure food, so I look to see how quickly a meat thermometer can provide a reading. 
  • Display: It is important to look at whether a display will be convenient for your use. For example, look to see if there is a backlight and whether the view is able to rotate. 
  • Ease of use: Whether you are a novice or an experienced user, I consider ease of use to ensure that it is not too complicated or drawn-out when you need a quick reading.
  • Cost: Budget is important, too, so I compare pricing between meat thermometers to find options that meet a variety of budgets.

Grillionaire's Final Thoughts:

Overall, I have shown you three different price points and popular meat thermometers. They all can hold their own and have a place on the grilling deck (they do on mine). I would suggest, always reading reviews and reading the specs on the thermometer. Don't just buy one for the price. Buy because of specs, feel, reviews, and any other research you have done. I have been a king of the cul-de-sac for a while and have used many different products. These products have served me well and will do the same for you! 

Until next time, make sure you eat well and you do well.

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