Kitchn Love Letters

This New, Hi-Tech Kitchen Thermometer Takes the Guesswork Out of Weeknight Meal Prep (It’s on Sale!)

updated Feb 16, 2023
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a cut of roast beef on a wooden cutting board with three slices laying on their sides.
Credit: Laura Rege

If there’s one piece of equipment that a) you should splurge on, and b) will immediately help you become a better home chef, it’s a kitchen thermometer. While you might already have an analog thermometer floating around from the last time you tried to cook a turkey, spending the extra cash on a high-quality digital instant-read model is 100 percent worth it. I live in New York City, and my apartment’s comically small oven takes a lot of guesswork to dial in the correct temperature on the knob. It’s so small, in fact, that it has huge temperature drops when you open it just a little to take a peek. 

While having an imprecise oven isn’t the end of the world, it can mean the difference between an easy weeknight meal and a stressful, give-up-and-order-pizza evening. One of my favorite dishes to make on weeknights is a whole roasted chicken — and with chicken, it’s crucial to know what your exact temperature is, since undercooking and overcooking the bird are both big no-nos for both taste and safety. That’s why I’ve been a diehard ThermoPro fan ever since I copped their most basic model years ago. When I heard they were releasing their fastest instant-read thermometer yet, I was psyched. Allow me to introduce you to the ThermoPro Lightning

With full temperature readings in just one second, this waterproof instant-read thermometer is up to 200% quicker than the competition, according to the website. It features a 180-degree rotating display, which makes it easy to see the temperature no matter the orientation of the thermometer. It’s also battery-operated, which means no charging necessary, and the auto-sleep function helps prolong battery life, with a motion sensor that shuts off after 90 seconds of inactivity. 

The best thing about this, though, is that it really is fast. Gone are the days of holding your hand in a hot oven or over a steaming pan for a minute while the display loads — it really is instant! For roasting or braising meat, this is a no-brainer, but it has plenty of other uses, as well. If you don’t have a fancy gooseneck kettle, this is a quick and easy way to make sure your water is at the perfect temperature for coffee or tea; if you’ve been wanting to try your luck at whipping up some homemade candy or chocolate creations, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of the Lightning; and if you love DIY deep-frying (it’s wings-and-football season, after all), knowing the precise temperature of your oil is super important.

Credit: Ian Burke

The ThermoPro Lightning is also magnetic, so it sticks right on our fridge for easy access. (If you have one of those fridges with a wooden door to match the rest of your cabinets, you probably already have enough drawers to stash this sucker in, too.) Its shiny construction is also sleek enough that it’s not an eyesore, so it won’t overshadow any of the christmas cards or kids’ drawings that are already decorating the refrigerator. 

And, I’m not the only one who loves this thing. “I appreciate that this thermometer comes with a small screwdriver to be able to insert the battery,” one reviewer writes. “Given that typical straight thermometers have one read out, having the rotating display as well as [a] 180-degree arm is helpful in reaching different parts of what you are measuring … Never have to search in the drawer of doom again, that baby lives on the fridge, [since it’s] magnetic.”

So, if you really want to elevate your home cooking and take the guesswork out of meal prep and weeknight dinners, invest in the ThermoPro Lightning. Oh, and did we mention that it’s 40 percent off for a limited time?

Buy: ThermoPro Lightning Instant-Read Thermometer, $69.95 (normally $99.99)