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Extremely fast response time. Lightweight model with dual laser siting. Durable unit with thousands of satisfied customers.
Pricey. Doesn't read temperatures above 650°C.
Fast response time. Adequate distance-to-spot ratio and emissivity figures. Measures temps from -50°C to 550°C.
Not as accurate as pricier competitors.
With a temp range of -50°C to 750°C and a distance-to-spot ratio of 16:1, this is a reliable choice for kitchen use.
A few customers received defective products.
Vivid digital LCD with HD backlight is easy to read. Accurate and ideal for home use. Comes with a holster and battery.
Vague instructions but few complaints about this solid tool.
Fast, intuitive thermometer with a highly readable screen. Temp range of -50°C to 550°C and distance-to-spot ratio of 12:1.
Makes an irritating beep with every pull of the trigger.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Are you looking to buy an infrared thermometer? These handy tools can prove helpful in a number of situations.
Medical professionals, engineers, and some mechanics use infrared thermometers in their daily work.
Infrared thermometers are used by some home cooks to measure how hot a pan is when cooking foods that require precise temperatures.
Homeowners can also use an infrared thermometer to pinpoint areas of the home that may need some extra insulation.
An infrared thermometer works by bouncing an infrared beam off an object and measuring the heat differential. Below, you'll find an outline of the elements to consider when shopping for an infrared thermometer. We've also included information on pricing and the best ways to use an infrared thermometer around the home.
When you’re ready to buy, please consider our highlighted infrared thermometers. We’re happy to endorse all of them after careful product research and customer reviews.
The advantage of an infrared thermometer is that you don't need to be up close to an object to measure its surface temperature. You can accurately measure items from a safe distance, thereby minimizing the danger of an accidental burn.
A cook might use an infrared thermometer for the following purposes.
To check the surface temperature of oils, pans, foods, etc.
To verify the temperature of food storage spaces
To assess temperature before baking bread or the preparation of other temperature-sensitive foods
Infrared thermometers are not just for professionals. Homeowners and others can use them for the following reasons.
To find areas of poor insulation in a home or structure
To detect air leaks in a home or structure
To assist in at-home mechanical fixes
To measure body temperatures of humans and animals
Various professionals use infrared thermometers on the job.
Heating and cooling professionals use infrared thermometers for evaluations and equipment checks.
Food workers use infrared thermometers to ensure temperatures meet prescribed safety standards.
Electricians use infrared thermometers to check for hot spots and other potential issues.
Mechanics use infrared thermometers to check for overheating, among other things.
Medical professionals use infrared thermometers to measure body temperature.
Firefighters use infrared thermometers to locate hot spots after a fire.
If you’ve found a particular infrared thermometer you like, try to find the answers to these questions before you buy it.
An infrared thermometer with a larger temperature range has a higher number of applications. Not everyone needs an infrared thermometer to detect hot spots; some infrared thermometers allow for the measurement of very cold temperatures. In other words, it's not just high-end temperatures that matter for some users. Low-end temperatures are important, too.
In general, you'll find infrared thermometers have a temperature range of around -50°C to 500°C. Pricier models geared toward professionals may provide an even higher temperature range.
Two aspects can affect the accuracy of an infrared thermometer: distance-to-spot ratio (D/S) and emissivity.
Quality doesn't deviate with price too much when it comes to infrared thermometers.
Most homeowners don't need to spend more than $80 to $100 for a good one.
Professionals who require more precision when measuring should opt for an infrared thermometer with reliable accuracy. These infrared thermometers will likely cost over $100.
Calibrate your infrared thermometer before using it to ensure accuracy.
The durability and construction of an infrared thermometer matters, especially for people who use this tool on a daily basis for work.
Take note of the battery type required for a particular infrared thermometer before you buy it.
An infrared thermometer can provide surface temperature readings but cannot give you interior temperature readings. That’s why you should never use an infrared thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat or other cooked foods.
If you plan to measure the temperature of reflective objects, choose a thermometer that can be adjusted for emissivity.
Q. Can I use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of meat I'm cooking?
A. No. You need a meat thermometer for that. Infrared thermometers can tell you the temperature on the surface of the meat but not the temperature inside the meat. Relying on an infrared thermometer to check the interior temperature of meat is an unsafe practice.
Q. What's the laser for? Does it measure heat?
A. No. The laser's function is merely to help you direct the thermometer. It does not help measure heat in any way.
Q. How do I use an infrared thermometer?
A. Most infrared thermometers sold for home use function in a point-and-shoot manner. Simply point the thermometer at the object you want to measure and click to get a reading. The laser that emits from the device helps guide you as you point and shoot.
Q. Why would I use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of my pan when cooking?
A. That's a good question. Some might find using this kind of device in the kitchen to be a bit of overkill. But an infrared thermometer is actually a useful tool that can help novice cooks familiarize themselves with cooking temperatures. Stove top knobs don't provide exact temperature control, so an infrared thermometer takes the guesswork out of temperature adjustment when using a pan to sear, fry, or sauté.
Many cooks tend to overheat their pans, which damages them and leads to overcooking. An infrared thermometer can provide you with some guidance and help make you a better cook.
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