Best infrared thermometer for grilling

Grilling is a great way to prepare food at home
Grilling is a great way to prepare food at home

For perfect steaks, pizza, vegetables, chicken or anything else you choose to cook on your grill, an accurate temperature reading will help immensely. While some grills have thermometers on their hoods, those are usually quite inaccurate and only provide you with the temperature of the hood itself and not the surface temperature. With an infrared thermometer, you can precisely gauge the temperature of your grilling surface without any guesswork, leading to even better and tastier grilled foods.

There are a huge variety of infrared thermometers available, but not all of them work as well as they should. It is vital you get an accurate, reliable and well-reviewed model, or you might as well be sticking your hand over the flames and seeing how fast your hairs burn.

Thankfully, we’ve put in the research to explain to you what to look for in an infrared thermometer and what makes one good for grilling use. We also have a couple of the very best options available to suggest you look at. Happy grilling!

Buying considerations for a infrared thermometer 

While you can probably get a cheap, Chinese knock-off model at your local dollar store, if you want accurate results you might have to spend a little more than a buck. The prices vary dramatically, but so does the precision and accuracy of results that each model will give.

Thermometers provide accurate grill readings
Thermometers provide accurate grill readings

One thing you need to know is that infrared thermometers record the temperature upon the surface of whatever you are pointing it at. As such it is important to make sure that whichever infrared thermometer you choose for your grill, you point it directly at the grill itself and watch out for thick plumes of smoke or anything else that may impact the reading. That mistake has caused many of the bad readings and therefore bad reviews for a lot of the infrared thermometers out there.

Why buy an infrared thermometer for grilling?

Infrared thermometers are by far the best way of measuring the surface temperature of your grill. The technology of infrared thermometers means you can instantly learn the temperature. The ability to know the exact temperature of different parts of your grill will help you take your grilling game to the next level. When you know how hot each part of the grill is, you can adjust your cooking. For example, you can put your steak on the grill when it is hot enough to sear it perfectly, without any guesswork.

Unlike other types of thermometer, infrared ones work from a distance, without the need to touch the thermometer to the surface itself. That gives not just faster, but far more accurate readings.

Etektcity Infrared Temperature Gun

Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 1080, Digital Temperature Gun for Cooking, Non Contact Electric Laser IR Temp Gauge, Home Repairs, Handmaking, Surface Measuring, -58 to 1022℉, -50 to 550℃, Yellow

This U.S. FDA/FCC/CE/ROHS approved infrared thermometer can give you readings ranging from -58 to 1022 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 to 550 degrees Celsius), perfect for testing the temperature of your grill. Buyers love the one second reading time, and that it is usable from a variety of distances by adjusting the settings. Several reviewers compared it with some very expensive and scientific models and found that the results were close in accuracy.

See the Etektcity Infrared Temperature Gun at Amazon

It should be noted that this thermometer has a large reading radius, and as such can be difficult to get a precise reading. Another downside is that the construction of the model is not fantastic. However, with a very affordable price for the budget conscious, this is a well featured and accurate infrared thermometer, perfect for using the next time you are grilling.

Sovarcate Laser Surface Thermometer

Infrared Thermometer No Touch Digital Laser Temperature Gun with Color Display -58℉~1112℉(-50℃~600℃)Adjustable Emissivity - for Cooking/BBQ/Freezer - Meat Thermometer Included -Non Body Thermometer

This simple, but well made infrared thermometer gun works wonderfully to provide accurate temperature readings without contact, even from up to five feet away.

This is a very accurate thermometer and has a wide range of temperatures it can test, from -58 degrees F to 1112 degrees F (-50 to 600 degrees celsius). Buyers say that it is a very comfortable tool, and is also very easy and straightforward to use.

See the Sovarcate Laser Surface Thermometer at Amazon

A great feature is that it will automatically store the highest temperature, until you release the trigger. Another fantastic addition included in this infrared thermometer is the visible laser beam.

This laser, while not measuring the temperature itself, will help you make sure you are taking the temperature of the right part of the right item. While a very simple design, this is a top quality infrared thermometer that will work perfectly for your grilling needs.

Temperature Gun ennoLogic Dual Laser Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer 

ennoLogic Temperature Gun (NOT for Body Temperature) - Dual Laser Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer -58°F to 1202°F - NIST Option Available - Accurate Digital Surface IR Thermometer eT650D

Measuring any surface temperature between -58°F and 1202°F (-50°C to 650°C) with astonishing accuracy, this infrared thermometer gun is packed with features.

Buyers love its rugged durability, high standards of construction and rapid speed to turn on and take a reading (only around half a second). It is easy to change between °F and °C, and to turn on or off the lasers and backlight.

See the Temperature Gun ennoLogic Dual Laser Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer at Amazon

The usable range of this gun (with its dual lasers) is fairly low however, but that is made up for by the increased accuracy and precision provided compared to other models.

This particular temperature gun also allows adjustment of the emissivity for different surface materials, which allows you to take temperatures of reflective materials.

For such a well made, feature-packed, and accurate infrared thermometer, this is a very good price and comes with outstanding reviews.

Best infrared thermometer for grilling

Infrared thermometer guns are the easier, most accurate and most fun ways to take the temperature of your grill. Owning one will allow you to know exactly when is the right time to put your food on the grill, or to add more fuel.

While the cheaper options do function with fairly good results, because of its durability, features and accuracy, the Temperature Gun ennoLogic Dual Laser Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer -58°F to 1202°F – Accurate NIST Traceable Digital Surface IR Thermometer eT650D is the best infrared thermometer for grilling.

Always ensure your meats are cooked to safe temperatures! Read about the top probe thermometers for smoking delicious, healthy meat.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: AleGranholm and Khairil

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Bubbly Chef author

I'm Hayley. I'm the bubbly chef because food is always a celebration! I love wine, holidays and tasty food. It's so much fun to get together with friends over good food & drink. Whether it be at home or out on the town, you'll find me taking notes in the kitchen!