Shopping for an infrared grill thermometer?
You are at the right place. Gone are the days where you had to pray your grill has fired up enough before you let your steak touch it, and then actually take the steak off the grill and slice it to get to the moment of truth.
Now, you can just aim your grill thermometer at your grill, let it hit the right temperature, and only then put your meats on. It doesn’t end here.
Your infrared grill thermometer will also give you instant readings of the grill as the food cooks, so you can keep adjusting the temperature as needed.
Before you take it off the grill, you will be confident enough to bet that your steak is perfectly done!
Who Needs an Infrared Grill Thermometer?
Infrared grill thermometers are a very handy tool to have as they allow you to take the surface temperature of an object from a distance. This is why they are also known as non-contact thermometers.
In the kitchen, you can use them to measure the temperature of hot liquids like milk, cooking oil, etc.
You can also use them to measure the surface of the utensil you plan to cook the meal on since that also needs to be at a specific temperature for the food to cook properly.
Infrared thermometers with high accuracy have commercial and industrial uses as well. They can be used for automobile maintenance and to spot poorly insulated spots in homes.
You can even use them for gardening if you’re giving heat through LED bulbs and need to maintain a specific temperature for the plants.
What's in This Buying Guide
Don’t allow yourselves to be lured into the promise of great food by a cheap knock-off of an infrared grill thermometer.
A wide variety of infrared thermometers are being sold on the markets, but not all of them do the job they should.
You must choose one that is accurate, effective, and reliable – or you might as well be peeking into the flames and risking your safety as you try to test the temperature of your grill.
We have put in the research to help you understand the features to look for in your IR grill thermometer.
Read through our detailed buying guide, which answers all your questions about the use of no-contact grill thermometers and shares what makes a good one.
We have also reviewed and compared some of the very best IR grill thermometers available, so you can see which one makes the perfect match for you.
Best Infrared Grill Thermometer
- 1Best Overall: ennoLogic Temperature Gun
- 2Best Affordable: Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774
- 3Best for Industrial Use: Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer
- 4Best for Home Use: INKBIRDPLUS INK-IFT04 Thermometer
- 5Best of Dual Grill Thermometers: Taylor Precision Products Dual Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
ennoLogic Temperature Gun
-58 °F-1202 °F
Yes (+ backlit)
± 1 °F
Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774
-58 °F-716 °F
Yes (+ backlit)
± 3.5 °F
Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer
Best for Industrial Use
-22 °F - 932 °F
Yes (+ backlit)
± 1.5 °F
INKBIRDPLUS Infrared Thermometer
Best for Home Use
Yes (+ backlit)
Taylor Precision Products Dual Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
Best Dual Grill Thermometer
-67 °F - 626 °F
Yes (+ backlit)
± 0.5 °F
1. Best Overall: ennoLogic Temperature Gun
The ennoLogic contactless, dual laser, infrared Temperature Gun is as good as it gets.
And that, too, without breaking the bank. With a dual laser system, a wide temperature range, accuracy higher than you will ever really need, temperature toggle, backlit LCD display, and adjustable emissivity, this thermometer beats all other competitors to make it to our best overall spot.
We won’t be lying if we say, here lies the answer to all your IR grill thermometer dreams.
For the money you spend on this, the ennoLogic Temperature Gun comes with a fantastic range of features to beat even the most high-end IR thermometers.
As if the temperature range of -58-1202 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with an accuracy of +/- 1-degree Fahrenheit was not powerful enough, this thermometer also has a fast response time of fewer than 500 milliseconds.
What makes this model a league above its competitors is its customizability.
For instance, it gives you a choice to toggle between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Now, just how convenient is that? There aren’t many thermometers you can gift to a loved one big on grilling but living in a land with a different temperature unit. With the ennoLogic, even those barriers are removed.
Similarly, this device lets you turn both the laser pointer and backlight of the display on or off.
This feature truly tells of the superior manufacturing of this device.
ennoLogic did not simply take a backlit LCD screen as a ‘good’ feature and imposed it on you; it’s letting you choose for yourself.
Yet another option for personalization is the adjustable emissivity with an audible alarm.
These features might seem overwhelming – or even excessive – if you are a newbie to grilling with IR thermometers, but seasoned grillers know just how easy they can make your life.
Apart from its standout enhancements, this device also has all the basics of a good IR thermometer laid out. Its large display is easily readable and can display up to 5 digits.
The 9-volt battery required to power up the gadget is included in the package. It also offers a laser pointer for pin-point accuracy as you try to reach the difficult spots in your oven.
We found it to perform exceptionally accurately in the face of smoke and on a variety of different materials. It powers up quickly, reads and responds quickly, and will be our favorite for a long time, guaranteed.
Issues and Limitations
We had to push ourselves to look for a flaw in the name of thoroughness because the ennoLogic Temperature Gun really is that good. However, we do wish that the thermometer was a tad bit lighter and smaller than it is.
If you are ultra-conscious about space or are looking for a thermometer to go in your BBQ travel-kit, you may want to look into a more compact design.
Our favorite among all the IR thermometers we have used is the ennoLogic and is a step up above its competitors.
For a very reasonable price, you get a really high-end piece of equipment with all the versatility, accuracy, and customizability you can ask for in your kitchen.
2. Best Affordable: Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774
With its robust construction, this grill thermometer will last you for many seasons to come. It comes equipped with all the good specs of an effective infrared thermometer but at a fraction of a price.
It is also reviewed for not falling apart, even after taking some serious hits. So, rest assured that this investment will be a long-term one, however meager it is.
The Etekcity Infrared thermometer 774 is one of the cheapest contactless grill thermometers we have come across.
It has a simple, robust design that looks like it can take a few burns here and there with no problem at all. It’s not only sturdy but also very easy to grip.
The handle is slightly longer than usual, which allows for a stronger, more comfortable hold. It is made out of quality rubber and hard plastics, which makes it fairly simple to clean and store.
Powered by a 9-volt battery that’s also included in the price, this thermometer is quick and easy to use.
Coming to the specifications of this IR thermometer, we must mention its impressive response time of fewer than 800 milliseconds.
Add to this an accuracy of +/- 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit and a temperature range of 58-716 degrees Fahrenheit, and you have got yourself a thermometer good for nearly any cooking task that you might have to undertake in your kitchen.
Like any good infrared grill thermometer, this one also boasts a backlit LCD screen to enhance visibility.
Thanks to this, all you need is a quick look at the screen to take your reading – forget about squinting in the face of a dark digital display.
A very useful feature in the Etekcity 774 is its automatic turn-off proposition. If not used for as long as 10 seconds, the thermometer will turn off on its own.
This is promising when we consider the conservation of costs and energy. The single battery will last you for years down the line, and it will also save the LCD display from excessive load.
Another specification is the built-in laser that turns itself on, so you get pin-point accuracy each time you measure the temperature of a surface.
All in all, this is a very handy kitchen tool at an unbeatable price.
Issues and Limitations
We could not fault the effectiveness of the Etekcity 774. However, one limitation it does carry is its relatively small range of operating temperature.
It has a maximum temperature of 716 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that it will be unable to produce accurate temperature readings beyond this temperature.
This makes the thermometer unusable for industrial or heavy-duty ovens like the Uuni or Blackstone. That being said, it is still a perfectly good tool for grilling.
The Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774 does its job accurately and quickly and looks super sleek while doing it.
The price is also pretty hard to beat, so we have no complaints as such, and neither would you.
3. Best for Industrial Use: Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer
The Fluke 62 is a very powerful thermometer promising performance over a wide range of industrial and home-based uses.
However, what makes it the best choice for industrial use is its capability to ride out the occasional bumps and drops that are part and parcel of any high-usage, large-scale kitchen.
Fluke built its 62 Max Infrared Thermometer to persevere through even “the dirtiest and dustiest industrial sites.” Don’t believe us? Fluke makes the claim itself! Hence, it is our best pick for industrial use for one main reason: durability.
Firstly, it has an IP54 rating that is sufficient to keep any splashes of juice or smithereens of dry-rub out of the thermometer’s insides and ensure that the device remains up and running for years to come.
The drop-proofing of the device tops this. As long as it is dropped within the 3-meter range, your Fluke 62 Max will go back to working like nothing ever happened.
Given the busy, accident-prone life of an industrial kitchen, these are just the ideal features for an industrial-use grill thermometer.
It's not all about the looks, though. The workings of the Fluke 62 Max are just as solid as its body. With a temperature range of -22-1202 degrees Fahrenheit, this thermometer is compatible, even with all high-end pizza ovens, and naturally, all sorts of grills.
It also has an impressive accuracy range of +/- 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce precise readings from a distance of as much as 12 meters.
And if you think you will miss your target from 12 meters away, don’t worry; this device has a dual laser system to guide you home.
If you are firing up your grill and have this thermometer to assist you, you will not even have to leave your chair to check the temperature.
Just use the dual-laser system to direct you to your target spot, and look into the backlit LCD screen to get a quick update on the grill’s temperature.
Fluke is obviously confident to stand behind its product's quality with all the functionality it has packed into it. Every Fluke 62 Max Infrared thermometer comes with a 3-year warranty on all manufacturing flaws.
Issues and Limitations
This device operates on a single AA battery. Although this makes it super compact and convenient to store, it limits the thermometer's battery life.
With this one battery, the Fluke 62 Max only gives 8 hours of operations with the laser pointer and backlight of the LCD display turned on.
We wouldn’t think too much of this, though, since the battery is easily replaceable and comes fairly cheap.
Quit worrying about the dusty outdoors, liquid splashes, and the occasional butter-fingers moments in your busy kitchen.
The Fluke 62 Max is built with plastic-rated IP54 and also has a drop rating of 3 meters. So, you focus on your cooking and remain safely confident that your thermometer will not flake or break.
4. Best for Home Use: INKBIRDPLUS INK-IFT04 Thermometer
The INKBIRDPLUS is an easy-to-use, feature-rich infrared thermometer.
It has a ±2% accuracy rate and a wide measurement range, so you get a pretty accurate temperature reading.
So, you can use this thermometer for several applications, be it cooking, grilling, gardening, or other uses around the home.
The INKBIRDPLUS INK-IFT04 Infrared Thermometer is suitable for various home applications. Be it cooking, grilling, indoor gardening, or taking the temperature of the swimming pool; the INKBIRDPLUS thermometer has you covered.
It is equipped with a built-in laser with a 12:1 distance to spot ratio. It also has an adjustable emissivity range of 0.1-1.0, so it allows you to adjust the emissivity according to different materials and get the most accurate measurement.
You can use the INKBIRDPLUS thermometer to measure the leaf surface temperature for indoor gardening, as too much exposure to light may burn the plant.
Or you can simply use it for cooking or grilling. Its wide measurement range of 26℉ - 1122℉ makes it suitable for several home applications.
Th3 INK-IFT04 has a backlit screen that clearly shows the current measurement. Plus, it has an automatic 18-sec shutoff function, so it doesn’t lose power when you’re not using the thermometer.
It is compact and lightweight than most other infrared thermometers, so you can travel with it if you need to.
With this INKBIRDPLUS thermometer, you can measure the maximum/minimum/average/difference value of the temperature of a target surface. You can also switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
Other features of the INK-IFT04 include a data measurement storage function and a high/low-temperature alarm function.
The temperature alarm functions allow you to set a temperature, and when the threshold exceeds the set temperature, it displays the high/low icon so that you know of the fluctuation.
Issues and Limitations
There aren’t any major design flaws or inconsistencies that affect the thermometer’s performance. But it makes a beep sound as it detects the temperature, and there’s no way to turn it off.
It is also not intended for industrial or commercial/critical use as it doesn’t provide the required level of accuracy.
The INKBIRDPLUS INK-IFT04 is suitable for various applications ranging from cooking to indoor gardening. Its convenient design is easy to use, but it provides all the necessary features. Plus, it is affordable.
5. Best of Dual Grill Thermometers: Taylor Precision Products Dual Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
Why bother purchasing both a probe thermometer and an infrared thermometer when you can get the functions of both in one package? Taylor Precision Products really leveled up when they launched the Dual Infrared/Thermocouple thermometer at about half the price of other dual thermometers, but with nearly all of the same functions.
The Taylor Precision Thermometer makes for a versatile addition to any grill master’s arsenal. What stood out to us the most at first glance – besides the thermocouple attachment – was its high accuracy.
Accurate within a range of +/- 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, this small tool is guaranteed to give the most precise readings.
We love how conveniently we can check on our grill’s temperature using our infrared thermometer as we lounge in our chair, but we equally hate having to get up and pull out a probe thermometer to check the doneness of our steaks.
More often than not, we also get distracted from our cooking as we try to locate both of our thermometers and restore each of them to their spots.
So, having the functions of both in the same body is a dream-come-true for us. This allows us to fire up our grill plate to the right temperature, slap on our steaks, and then use the very same piece of equipment to make sure we only take perfectly done steaks off the grill.
Yet another promising specification of the Taylor Precision Dual Thermometer is its auto-shutoff feature. If not used for 10 seconds, the device will automatically shut-off, saving battery life.
Moreover, it has adjustable emissivity between 0.1 to 1.0, so you can work with any low-emissivity surface without worrying about inaccurate temperature readings.
Issues and Limitations
The most significant issue we noticed with this model was its low maximum operating temperature of 626 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also has a low range, especially when compared to standard infrared temperature guns. So, although the thermometer is perfectly good to be used for grilling, which we are primarily concerned with, it limits the device's versatility.
You cannot use the Taylor Precision Products Dual Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer with pizza ovens or from a safe distance beyond 3 meters.
Another limitation is that it may not be the best choice for left-handed users. It has a design such that it is meant to be held in one hand.
So, if you are using the thermocouple and holding it in your left hand, the display will also be pointing towards the left, making it difficult for you to read the temperature readings as intuitively as you should be able to.
We wish the display would rotate to facilitate left-handed use as well.
This thermometer may be small, but it knocked our socks off where versatility and ease of use are concerned.
Offering the benefits of both a probe thermometer and an infrared thermometer, with adjustable emissivity and automatic shut-off, this is a very useful tool for your home-grill.
Grill Thermometer: Buying Guide
What to Look for When Buying a Thermometer for Cooking?
A thermometer is a staple in the kitchen, but how can you choose the best thermometer for cooking out of the plethora of options available in the market?
Here are some important features you should consider when selecting a thermometer for your home kitchen:
Type: Thermocouple Probes or Noncontact
Infrared thermometers are also known as non-contact thermometers as they only display the surface temperature. They do not give you the internal reading of an object.
Thermocouple probes do the opposite. They give the internal reading of the object but not the surface reading. They are directly inserted into the food, be it meat, sauce, or curry.
When opting for a thermometer for cooking, make sure you get one that best suits your needs.
Temperature Range & Celsius to Fahrenheit Switching
Having a wide temperature measurement range is something to look out for in a thermometer as it makes it more versatile and capable of detecting a more diverse range of temperatures.
You can also switch the measurement scale from Celsius to Fahrenheit, so you can choose the unit you prefer.
Emissivity is simply a measure of a material’s ability to emit thermal energy and differs from material to material. So a thermometer with an adjustable emissivity range can detect the thermal energy from a wide range of materials.
It is important to get an accurate thermometer for cooking as controlling food temperature is necessary for a good meal.
The thermometer’s accuracy is mentioned as a +/- percentage. An accuracy rate of ±2% is pretty great for infrared thermometers.
Of course, the lower the fluctuation between the actual and measured temperature, the more accurate the thermometer.
Cost & Warranty
Pricier thermometers are more durable and accurate and include a few additional features.
Meanwhile, more affordable thermometers compromise a bit on accuracy and build quality. This is fine if you’re just looking for a thermometer for home use and not commercial use or critical application.
You can also get some excellent budget options. You should also try to select a unit backed by at least a year of warranty so that your investment doesn’t go to waste.
Distance to spot ratio
The D/S ratio is essentially indicative of the area the thermometer will measure the temperature of from a distance. So, if the D/S ratio of a thermometer is 8:1, it will measure a 1-inch spot of the surface area from 8 inches away.
This is an important feature: it gives you an idea of how far you can keep your thermometer from the target surface while still accurately measuring its temperature instead of the temperature of the surrounding surface.
Ease of Use
The convenience and user-friendliness of the thermometer are also important.
Most infrared thermometers have a simple and straightforward design where you just have to point the thermometer, squeeze the button, and hold for a few seconds to take the temperature measurement.
It’s also better if the thermometer has the option to save your measurement data temporarily so you can compare or see it again if needed.
Advantages of Using Infrared Grill Thermometers
Infrared thermometers do not measure temperature directly. Instead, they detect and measure the amount of infrared light reflected off the surface of the object they are aimed at.
This principle of converting infrared radiation to a temperature range comes with its own set of benefits.
First off, the process of getting a temperature reading using infrared energy is extremely quick. An IR grill thermometer will give you a measurement for the temperature of a surface in a matter of milliseconds.
Compare this to a standard thermometer, which typically takes somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds to come up with a reading.
Another key advantage of using IR grill thermometers rests is that these tools have contactless operations.
Therefore, they are great for measuring temperatures of awkwardly placed or difficult-to-access objects and objects that are too hot and pose the risk of burning your hand if you get too close.
Moreover, this contactless measurement addresses a minute yet recurring problem of probe thermometers tainting the taste of food. Since there is no direct touching of food, there can be no contamination.
Finally, infrared grill thermometers are such a convenient tool to use; you will never go back to a standard thermometer once you have gotten accustomed to these.
Being incredibly lightweight, super quick, and pleasantly safe to use, IR thermometers greatly limit the work you have to do.
Simply direct the thermometer towards the food or utensil you need to get the temperature of, and before you know it, you will have your measurement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an infrared grill thermometer be used to check grill temperature?
You can definitely do it! However, you must know that when you direct an infrared thermometer at a porous surface like a grill, the thermometer will also factor in the surface temperature of all the surfaces, which it can detect through the gaps of the grill in order to come up with its final temperature reading.
To use your infrared grill thermometer to check your grill’s temperature, first lay down a solid surface like a skillet on the grill and allow it to preheat for 6-8 minutes.
Next, to guarantee proper emissivity, spray some cooking oil on the skillet. Then use your thermometer to get a reading for your grill temperature.
We have briefly explained the procedure of using IR thermometers to help you kickstart your journey, and you can always read up on it further to get answers to more of your queries.
Can an infrared grill thermometer be used to check oven temperature?
No! As explained earlier, infrared thermometers detect a visible surface first and then detect that surface's temperature.
If used in an oven, your infrared thermometer will read the temperature of the oven’s walls and not of the air inside it, giving you an inaccurate and irrelevant temperature reading.
However, if you are looking to measure the temperature of a particular surface placed in your oven, like a baking sheet or baking stone, you can definitely use your infrared grill thermometer.
Can I check the doneness of steaks or other foods using an infrared grill thermometer?
Not really; doneness refers to the temperature inside a food. Given how infrared thermometers take into account the surface temperature of a target object, they will not accurately read what is inside the surface; therefore, they will not accurately gauge doneness.
Final Verdict: Which is the best infrared grill thermometer
The ennoLogic Temperature Gun is the best infrared grill thermometer, owing to its high customizability, accuracy, and versatility.
You can set High/Low points for an audible alarm, choose between Celsius and Fahrenheit, turn the laser and backlight on or off, and get precise readings every single time.