Lavatools PT12 Javelin Instant Read Digital Food Thermometer
Last updated date: July 7, 2020
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We looked at the top Food Thermometers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Food Thermometer you should buy.
High-quality is the best way to describe this food thermometer. It features an 18/8 food-grade stainless steel probe and an antimicrobial body. You can purchase it in a variety of fun colors, or stick with a traditional black. In our analysis of 136 expert reviews, the Lavatools Lavatools Javelin Instant Digital Food Thermometer placed 4th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note July 7, 2020:
Checkout The Best Food Thermometer for a detailed review of all the top food thermometers.
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From The Manufacturer
The Javelin is the gold standard for all digital meat thermometers. Ultra fast 3-4 second readings at all typical cooking temperatures makes this a truly instant read thermometer for meats, liquids, candy, and baked goods. With an accuracy of ±0.9°F, it's one of the best performing digital instant read thermometer on the market today. Our product is NSF approved for commercial and professional use. We use high-quality impact-resistant polymers to prevent warping and cracking. The Javelin digital meat thermometer can survive 4,000+ hours of continuous use on a single change of battery.
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An Overview On Food Thermometers
If you routinely cook meats, a food thermometer is a must-have kitchen item. You can test the doneness of everything from steaks to whole turkeys without having to cut into them. But if you haven’t shopped for a food thermometer lately, you may not realize how much they’ve evolved from their earliest days.
Before you start shopping, consider whether you want a probe-based thermometer or one of the newer types that works using infrared laser technology. With the latter, you’ll simply point and click to determine doneness. If you opt for a probe type, consider the kinds of food you’ll be cooking. For cooking large meats in your oven or smoker, you’ll need a probe long enough to reach all the way into the center of something, like a chicken or pork roast.
“If you’re a novice cook, an instant-read thermometer is the way to go,” says Colleen Janke. She’s our resident culinary expert and the owner of Savory Kitchen, a cooking school in San Jose, California. “With other thermometers, you’ll remove the probe too quickly to get an accurate reading. An instant-read will prevent that from happening.”
Newer thermometers also come with food presets, which means no more looking up what temperature your meat needs to be to reach a safe level of doneness. For grilling and smoking, you may also want to consider a type of thermometer that attaches to your grill and communicates with a receiver that you can take around the house with you.
Accuracy is probably one of the most important factors in a meat thermometer. If you’re using a laser-based thermometer, you’ll probably need to be fairly close to the food to get the most accurate reading. Some probe-based thermometers now come with two probes that you can use as verification for the temperature you’re seeing.
If you’re using a food probe, you’ll need to wash it after each use to avoid contamination the next time you use it to test. This can be tricky, though.
“Don’t put your thermometer through the dishwasher!” says Janke. “For cleaning, always use hot, soapy water and let it air-dry.”
Thermometers with extra features like digital readers or receivers need additional care. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine exactly what you’ll need to do to clean your thermometer between uses.
DWYM Fun Fact
If you don’t have a meat thermometer on hand — or the batteries on yours run out — you could always go by how a steak feels when you touch it. Professional chefs learn the exact level of sponginess based on the cut of meat. One easy way to do this yourself is to use the face test, which involves comparing the resistance you get when you press on the meat to how different areas of your face feel. The resistance of a medium-well steak compares to pressing on your forehead, while medium feels more like your chin. A medium-rare steak will compare to pressing on your cheeks — soft and with little resistance.
The Food Thermometer Buying Guide
- Historically, food thermometers have operated by inserting a probe into the item being cooked. You can then check the temperature based on what the probe finds. However, a newer type of thermometer has emerged that uses infrared laser technology to test the meat merely by aiming it at the item being cooked. These point-and-shoot models eliminate messy probes.
- Among digital thermometers, some models stand out for their receiver setup. The receiver communicates with a device you clamp onto your grill or smoker. You then stick the two probes into the meat and step away. They can have a reach of several hundred feet, so you can keep an eye on your food from a safe distance.
- Preset recommendations can be a big help. Some thermometers come with preset programs for five USDA-approved doneness levels for nine different types of meat. Others come with recommended cooking levels for beef, veal, pork, poultry and fish.
- Timers are an essential part of a food thermometer. Look for a thermometer with both a countdown and reverse-countdown feature, allowing you to either monitor how long your food has been cooking or insert a specific time. The reverse-countdown feature is especially ideal for those with smokers who need to slow-cook a large piece of meat.
- When using a probe-based thermometer, pay close attention to the length of the probe if you routinely cook big items like ham, turkey or pork shoulders. Any probe that’s more than 4.5 inches is considered very long.
- When it comes to accuracy, laser infrared thermometers boast the closest accuracy ranges. However, as you move further away, the laser can lose that accuracy.
- Food thermometers are typically battery-powered, so make sure you have the right batteries in stock if they aren’t included. Some models shut off automatically when not in use to save battery power. They may also come with a low-battery indicator to ensure you aren’t stranded without extra batteries when you’re ready to start cooking.
- If you’ve ever waited for a food thermometer to give you a reading, you know it can be frustrating. Some laser thermometers can give you results within 500 milliseconds of pulling the trigger. Thermometers that use something called a step-down tip give almost instant readings.
- Thermometers that stay attached to your grill need to have a higher heat tolerance than those you only use when it’s time to test doneness. Make sure the wires and probe on any digital thermometer can withstand your grill’s heat when it’s clamped on during the cooking process.