These thermometers look like an extra-large needle with a temperature gauge on the end. Poke into the meat to get a reading of internal temperature within seconds. Most are not oven-proof, which means you must open the oven to check the meat. Look for a shatter-proof dial with large, easy-to-read numbers. Digital and fork models also available. Electronics are often not waterproof.
Taylor is known for their thermometers, and with good reason. The company offers several high-quality instant-read thermometers from basic analog to professional digital. All have shatter-proof, large easy-to-read dials. The basic model reads temps from 0 F. to 220 F., suitable for most home cooking applications. Includes recalibration feature.
Digital display thermometer is heat-proof and has settings to beep at different levels of doneness. This thermometer can do double-duty as an oven thermometer and instant-read, taking only six seconds to instantly read interior temperatures. As with most digital thermometers, the parallel design of the display can make it awkward to read. Handy doneness chart is located on the back of the tool.
Polder makes a couple of different instant-read thermometers, both with digital read-outs. Memory feature records and recalls temperature ranges. Temperatures up to 392 F. can be measured, but response time is a bit sluggish, sometimes taking up to 20 seconds. Read-out dial is parallel to the probe which can be awkward to read.
I don't care for fork thermometers because they leave holes in the meat through which precious juices are lost. However, if you're in the market, this is the one. Again, the digital read-out parallel design can make it awkward to read. It's not waterproof, so you'll need to keep the electronic end clear of water when cleaning. Not recommended for burgers as it tends to break them apart.