Ovens that don’t deliver accurate heat readings can really spoil your best cooking efforts. To avoid miscalculations, using an oven thermometer will provide absolute temperature accuracy and peace of mind when it comes to cooking baked goods or that special main course. What’s the best model to buy? The following considerations will make finding the right oven thermometer easy.

Top Pick

With no battery needed and a mechanical sensor, you’ll never need to mess around with this product. Rubbermaid

There are two types of oven thermometers out there. Dial Faces have an internal mechanism that expands and contracts depending on the temperature to move the dial up or down. Bulb thermometers use tinted alcohol to provide temperature readings. They’ll get the job done, but alcohol can get stuck and give inaccurate readings, which is why you’ll see so many dial-face models on the market.

Clean Look

With a stainless steel body, this product can stand up to the rigors of a stove. Admetior

Being able to easily read your oven thermometer is critical. Dials with an uncluttered, white background are easier to read. Larger numbers allow you to see temperature readings without opening the oven door and losing heat. The simpler (and larger) the markings, the easier your oven thermometer will be to read. When considering temperature ratings, think about the kinds of foods you like to cook. If you do a lot of baking, consider an oven thermometer that goes up to 500 degrees. Some thermometers provide markings every 10 degrees. While this may be helpful, they can make the dial harder to read.

Great Value

This item has a handy guideline to let you know when food is cool enough to handle. Winco

Oven thermometers either attach to the oven rack or stand on their own (some models are designed to do both). The beauty of stand-up models is that you can move them right to the center so you know exactly what your oven temperature is. To avoid tip-overs, look for models that have a base that’s at least two inches wide.