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Best Infrared Thermometer for Cooking

A quality infrared thermometer will help you accurately measure the temperature of cooking surfaces at a safe distance. These cooking infrared thermometers are useful and convenient. They are great ideal tools to check the temperature of the food, BBQ, water, oil, meat, etc. They evolve as the best friend of chefs and grillers.

However, there are various brands of infrared thermometers out there. Which are the best for cooking uses in the kitchen? Keep reading this guide. Below that, you’ll know all the important things to consider when buying an infrared cooking thermometer.

Why buy an infrared thermometer?

With the infrared thermometers, you can quickly and accurately measure the temperature of the food, pizza oven, grills. For the camp chef, infrared cooking thermometers are very useful. You can make sure the temp of the grill without physically touching, which means more safely and accurately.

In addition, you can check oil temperature with a digital infrared cooking thermometer in the kitchen. Certainly, you can use it to check the temperature of the object's surface in your warehouse. Or even diagnose issues with the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

What is infrared thermometer used for?

Infrared thermometers gun enable you to measure pretty much any object. A most common use is in your kitchen when cooking. You can use them to measure food temperatures or even the temp of the oven and grillers.

Best Infrared Thermometer for Cooking

You can also use the infrared thermometer in your garage to do spot checks on your cars. Such as to make sure whether the components, like the radiators and engine parts, are all working properly or not. Of course, the non-contact infrared thermometer typically designed for humans can test the forehead to ensure whether it has a fever or not.

Can you use an infrared thermometer on humans?

Infrared thermometers common for the food industry, baking, casting, forging, testing, freezing, etc., are only suited for inanimate objects. If you want to use an infrared thermometer on humans, you should purchase the infrared thermometer gun for humans, which will be more accurate. 

How do infrared thermometers work?

The infrared laser thermometer through the lens collects the infrared radiation emitted from food. And turns it into an electrical signal, then sent to another sensor, which will measure the amount being produced and turns it into a readable temperature, displayed on the LCD screen.

How accurate are infrared thermometers?

The non-contact infrared thermometers are quite accurate. They often measure surface temperature ranging from -50 °C to 600 °C. As a general rule, even the high quality infrared thermometers allowable error within about 2%. Moreover, some options in ambient temperatures will affect the accuracy, such as the fog, dust, moisture, vapor and other particles in the air.

How to calibrate infrared thermometer?

To calibrate infrared laser thermometers is a common complex work. It comes pre-calibrated by the manufacturer of the infrared thermometer and typically doesn’t need to calibrate again. However, you can easily check whether your digital infrared thermometer is accurate or not. Below will show you how to check step by step:

  • Fill the crushed ice into a glass cup until over up to the top. And then, pour the chilled water into the glass cup until the water level at about 1 cm below the top of the crushed ice. Let stand for 2 minutes and let the water and ice mixture.
    • If your infrared thermometer has adjustable emissivity, set it to 0.95-0.98. Then hold the infrared thermometer above the ice’s surface, ensure the surface of the ice within the laser area, and keep the temp gun at a minimum distance to object ratio.
    • If the infrared laser thermometer calibrates accurately, it should be read about at 32.0°, If not, repeat the test several times. If still not reading as 32.0 °F, contact the manufacturer.

    How to use infrared thermometer?

    Though the infrared thermometer design varies from the traditional thermometers, it is easy to use. All you need is to hold the trigger for live, dynamic readings, then release the trigger to lock the result for easy recording. To properly use the infrared laser thermometer, you can follow a few simple steps below:

    • Press the trigger to turn the unit on;
    • To familiarize the unit switch (°C / °F), infrared thermometer change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, or infrared thermometer switch from c to f;

    infrared thermometer switch from c to f

    • Aim the laser at the target surface and pull the trigger;
    • Temperature reading will be displayed on LCD;

    How to clean food infrared thermometer?

    To keep the infrared laser thermometer for food work at the most accurate state, you should to regularly clean it. How to clean food thermometer, here recommend you use a soft cloth to wipe clean the lens of infrared thermometer and let it fully dry before using.

    How to choose infrared thermometers?

    If you want to know what is the best infrared thermometer for cooking, you need to know a few key features of the infrared cooking surface thermometer. Here we list some factors that you should consider.

    The intended of your uses

    Although the infrared thermometer can be used for different purposes, but not all digital infrared thermometers have the same use. So it would be best if you focused on your intended. As well as to know what is an infrared thermometer used for. If you want to use an infrared thermometer for fever, you need to choose one that especially designs for humans. If you plan to use it in the kitchen, you’d better get the option used for food, grill or pizza oven, etc. 


    The accuracy is also an important factor that you should consider when buying an infrared thermometer. Some high-end infrared laser thermometer that it is accurate within 1%, and others with 1.5%-2%. If a digital infrared thermometer with an accuracy of around 2% is very accurate.


    To take more accuracy, decide one that enables you to adjust emissivity in the range of 0.1-1.0. Thus, you will be able to adjust the emissivity according to the surface of materials until you get an accurate reading. 

    Temperature range

    There is no right or wrong measure temperature range. It all depends on what you want to use the infrared thermometer for. As a general rule, most infrared thermometers with a range of around -30 °C to 500 °C. If you’re checking out grill oven temperature, a lower measure surface temperature range is enough.


    The lens of the infrared thermometer comes from three different types, no lens, Fresnel lens, and Mica lens. Each of them with disadvantages and advantages. 

    1. No lens

    The infrared thermometer with no lens often focuses the IR onto the sensors. The biggest drawback is that they are common with a lower distance to target ratio, around 1:1; This makes you have no choice but to be close to the measured surface to get an accurate reading. It's an ideal option if you plan to check out the temperature of the hot grill. But these types are cheaper than others.

    2. Fresnel lens

    The infrared thermometer with Fresnel lens typically use a plastic lens, which durable than Mica lens. However, it’s temperature range narrower than Mica lens. This type of infrared laser thermometers are the best choice for cooking.

    3. Mica lens

    Although the mica lens is the most accurate, which can produce an accurate temperature reading at a 20:1 distance to target ratios, also they have the widest measure temperature range, enable you to measure the temperature above 1000 °C from 6 meters. They are often used for industry. In addition, a mica lens is expensive and fragiler than a fresnel lens.

    Distance to spot ratio

    Most often use, the distance to spot ratio is 12:1, which means you can measure a 1-inch diameter circle of surface area from a 12-inches distance away. The larger the first number is, the farther away the measured distance is. If you use the infrared laser thermometer for cooking or grilling, this 12:1 distance to spot ratio is enough. Like the Tilswall IR03B non-contact temperature gun. To get the most accurate results, you have to keep within the D:S guidelines.

    infrared thermometer distance to spot ratio

    Final words

    To measure the temperature of the griddle, grill surface, or pizza oven, recommend choosing the professional infrared cooking surface thermometer due to its accuracy. The infrared laser thermometer for food allows you to control the temperature of the cooking surfaces, and you’ll get great cooking. We hope this article can help you feel confident while decide to choose the right cooking infrared thermometer.