how to use a meat thermometer in the oven

Learning how to use a meat thermometer in the oven is vital when you understand the importance of taking basic food safety measures.

No matter what you are cooking – pork chops, chicken breasts, or fish filets – a meat thermometer always helps you cook it to perfection.

But, the question is, “Can you put meat thermometer in oven?” It is essential to get the hang of the temperature inside your oven, and a thermometer is the way to go.

But, what about a meat thermometer? Turns out, you can find oven-safe meat thermometers these days, which are extremely useful and help you bake everything to perfection. 

Relying on Meat Thermometer for Proper Cooking

relying on a meat thermometer

It takes more than a hunch to determine when meat is cooked through. Preparing meat and many other items correctly relies on an accurate thermometer.

Thermometers are not just helpful in checking the internal temperature of your oven, fridge, or freezer.

In fact, they can also be used to accurately gauge the temperature of foods.

A thermometer will ensure that your chilled food stays cold and your cakes bake smoothly, even if your appliance’s built-in gauge is off by a few degrees.

Tip: A meat thermometer is oven-safe if it can safely give you a reading up to 550F. 

Differentiating between Meat and Oven Thermometer

differentiate meat and oven thermometer

There is no denying the fact that thermometers are important when it comes to cooking and baking.

But confusion arises when you think of using a meat thermometer in your oven.

Let’s learn a bit more about the two types of thermometers. 

Meat Thermometers

These thermometers are very similar to instant-read thermometers, except that the dial on analog models is larger.

The fundamental distinction is that a meat thermometer is placed into a piece of meat before roasting and stays there until the flesh reaches the desired temperature. 

You may check the temperature by glancing at the dial. 

Oven Thermometers

an oven thermometers

The temperature displayed on oven dials is often far lower than the actual oven temperature.

The temperature inside your oven, whether it is preheated to 350F or 400F, could be 25-50F above or below what you set it to.

Similarly, your oven may have cool or hot spots, areas where the temperature is regularly greater or lower than other portions of the oven, which can alter baking periods.

You can eradicate the issue with the use of an oven thermometer by setting it on a rack (or hang by oven racks).

The oven thermometer will verify whether or not the oven has reached the desired temperature of 350F after being set.

Tip: While temperatures are expected to fluctuate slightly, if your oven routinely registers 25F hotter than your set temperature, you may want to consider correcting.  

Can Meat Thermometers Go in the Oven?

use a meat thermometer in the oven

Yes, they certainly can, especially if you opt for a digital meat thermometer.

Digital thermometers look and feel more advanced and sophisticated. 

The probe is typically located at the end of a lengthy, oven-safe wire that extends from the unit itself.

It is typically fastened to the oven’s exterior using a magnet.

The good thing is that it allows you to digitally set your required temperature. When the set temperature is reached, a buzzer will sound as a confirmation.

Moreover, using a digital thermometer makes more sense because it allows you to keep an eye on meat’s temperature even after cooking by keeping the probe inserted into it. 

How to Use a Meat Thermometer in the Oven?

When you do not have a thermometer specially designed for use in the oven, you can probably stick to your regular meat thermometer.

However, it is still a good idea to check the instructions on the package to know if your meat thermometer can withstand high temperatures or not.  

To be on the safe side, you can stick to a digital thermometer because it can often be hung on a rack in your oven.

But, how to use a digital meat thermometer in the oven? Well, it does not have to be tricky. 

Using a Meat Thermometer in the Right Way

using the thermometer right away

When using your regular meat thermometer, you have to follow certain steps.

For instance: 

Test the Thermometer First

To get an accurate reading, check the thermometer for accuracy.

  • Get a container filled with ice water. 
  • Submerge the thermometer in it for 20 seconds.
  • If the thermometer’s display shows 32F, then it is properly calibrated and set to use.
  • The calibration is incorrect if the thermometer fails to register the target temperature.

If you get incorrect readings, you should refer to the original manual to calibrate your thermometer or get a new one. 

Checking It While Cooking

Taking a temperature reading of food that has just been removed from the oven might be misleading.

The temperature of the protein can be accurately measured if the thermometer is inserted into it while it is cooking.

After testing the temperature, take the thermometer out of the food you are cooking. 

Know Where to Place the Thermometer

know where to place themometer

When cooking a large piece of meat on a grill or something, it is important to learn where to put the thermometer.

Avoiding the fat, bone, and gristle, put the probe through the thickest section of the steak to get an accurate reading.

Just 10 seconds is all you need for the thermometer to obtain a precise reading in meat.

After taking the temperature, pull the thermometer out from the meat.

Tip: The CDC maintains a database on its website that details different foods and the appropriate temperatures to cook them at. 

Reading the Thermometer

Digital thermometers provide an instant digital readout, so after you have taken a reading, you can immediately see if your meal is done.

Analog thermometers have a little hand on the dial that can be used to verify the reading. 

You should keep cooking and always check the temperature of your food until it reaches the minimum safe level. 

Leaving a Meat Thermometer in the Oven

use a leave-in meat thermometer

The vast majority of meat thermometers do indeed feature heat-resistant construction.

As a result, you may feel confident leaving it in the oven at any time. But before you place your thermometer into the oven, it is a good idea to make sure it can withstand high temperatures.

Several varieties of meat thermometers are available.

Some are not made to handle the heat, so it is important to do some reading up on the different kinds before buying.

Some might not work properly in extremely hot conditions, or they might not give an accurate reading. 

Using a Meat Thermometer in the Oven

Whether you are grilling or roasting any cut of meat, including chicken breasts, roasts, etc., you can always use an oven-safe meat thermometer for the task.

This thermometer is designed to stay in the meat as it is roasted or grilled. 

Using a Leave-In Meat Thermometer in the Oven

use leave meat thermometer in oven

A leave-in meat thermometer should be inserted into the middle of the meat’s thickest muscle before cooking.

As was previously said, if it comes into contact with the pan or bone, you will get inaccurate results.

Do not stop once you have attained the desired temperature. Do not force it, but rather gently prod it forward. 

If there is a shift in temperature, the food is still cooking and needs to be kept warm. If there is no movement, remove it from the oven. 

Using an Oven-Going Probe Thermometer

These stylish digital thermometers include a wired probe that inserts into the meat and connects to a base that sits outside of the oven.

This eliminates the need to insert the entire device.

use oven-going probe thermometer

Another good thing is that you can check the internal temperature of your meat without opening the oven door by using a probe thermometer. 

You can set the alarm on most models to notify you when the meat is done cooking to a specific temperature.

With these thermometers, you do not even have to peek into the oven while broiling your filet mignon to ensure it reaches an ideal medium-rare. 

Tip:  If unsure, it is best not to use a meat thermometer in the oven, as you can always check the temperature after removing the meat from the oven. 


Learning how to use a meat thermometer in the oven can help you cook the best meat time and again.

Most ovens come with a faulty internal thermometer, so it is better to use a meat thermometer to be sure of the internal temperature.

And while it is generally safe to go with a meat thermometer, it is better to ensure it can handle higher temperatures.

Go with digital thermometers and they usually work well in the oven.