Can You Use a Meat Thermometer for Oil? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Do you want to be precise with your oil temperature? Can you use a meat thermometer for oil? Let’s find out, shall we? 

When you need to measure precise oil temperature for your favorite recipes, can you use your meat thermometer for measuring oil temperature? The number of people asking this question is vast. That is why I intend to discuss everything in this regard today.

A meat thermometer is a common device that almost all food-lovers own. Whether you can use a meat thermometer for measuring oil temperature depends on what thermometer you’re using. 

Most meat thermometers come with enough temperature tolerance that exceeds the temperature range usually oil reaches. The question to your answer is yes. You can use your meat thermometer for oil.

Regular Oil Temperature In Cooking You Must know

Cooking temperature for oil generally refers to suitable oil temperature for frying. This temperature can range from 350 degrees F to 375 degrees F, depending on what you’re frying. 

Some recipes will require the temperature to go higher. For example, when you’re making French fries, you’ll have to fry them at 325 degrees F for about 3 to 4 minutes first. 

Then, you’ll have to increase the temperature to 400 degrees F and fry them for another 3 to 4 minutes. 

For chicken tenders, deep frying them for 3 to 5 minutes in oil with 350 degrees F will do. What I’m saying is what you’re frying determines the temperature. The regular temperature, as I’ve already mentioned, circulates between 350 to 375 degrees F. 

If you’re not deep-frying, i.e., using any other cooking methods, the temperature range will vary in an extensive range. To sum up, what you are cooking and what cooking method you’re using are two primary determinants for identifying regular oil temperature.

Also Read: MEATER vs Yummly: The Battle of the Wireless Meat Thermometers

Why Oil Temperature Matters While Cooking

Oil temperature is crucial for executing any recipe flawlessly. Not using the proper temperature will result in undercooked or burnt food. Besides, it can ruin the taste of your food even if cooked properly.

Professionals cautiously follow the temperature and maintain it accordingly whenever necessary. Culinary skills are not an easy thing to adapt. Diverse recipes require different temperature adjustments.

Some dishes may need constant temperature throughout the whole time. Others may need fluctuating temperatures in different stages. Oil temperature is one of the vital aspects that makes a dish the way it’s supposed to taste.

You Can Use Meat Thermometer for Oil But How Reliable It Is To Determine Oil Temperature

As long your meat thermometer can withstand temperature up to 500 degrees F, you have nothing to worry about. Meat thermometers are famous for precise reading. There can be a slight deviation, but that’s hardly countable. 

A meat thermometer will give you approximate reading with an ignorable level of difference when measuring the meat’s internal temperature. 

The same goes for oil temperature too. You can expect your meat thermometer to measure your oil’s temperature with the same low level of difference. 

Even though meat and oil are in two different states, the thermometer can measure them both with accuracy.

Also Read: MEATER Plus vs MEATER Block: Which Wireless Meat Thermometer Is Right for You?

How To Use Meat Thermometer For Oil

Using a meat thermometer for oil is easy. You dip it in the oil and monitor the reading. It can take some time to give you the perfect reading and allow the thermometer to stay inside the oil for about 30 seconds. If you’re using a glass thermometer, allow it to stay there for three minutes. 

Before you check the oil temperature, make sure your meat thermometer is working. Take a container and fill it with ice. 

Dip the thermometer in the container. If the readings show 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C, your thermometer is functioning correctly. You can proceed with using it for oil. 

Check the manual that came with your meat thermometer before using it for oil. Not all meat thermometers can be used for oil. Some of them reach a maximum of 400 degrees F, but sometimes oil can reach higher. 

If you haven’t got a thermometer but intend to buy one, it’s better to get a high-quality meat thermometer that you can use for versatile uses. 

A good meat thermometer will last longer and can be used in diverse cooking methods such as cooking roasts, chickens, monitoring custards’ temperature, deep frying temperature, and much more.

A Versatile Thermometer You Can Use for Deep Frying, Temping Custards, Roasts, Chicken, and Many More 

I’ve been ranting about a multi-purpose meat thermometer that can withstand enough high temperatures for measuring oil temperature. 

I’m going to suggest one to you one. It’s one of the thermometers I use, and I’ve found it highly convenient. I’m leaving my personal experience using the Kizen Instant Read Thermometer. Give it a go and get one if you think it’s worth your money. 

  • It’s Affordable 

Many thermometers will charge you extra bucks, promising extra features. In reality, you can get a better one at a lower price. It’s reasonably priced and offers you features you won’t find in other thermometers.

  • Instant Readings

It lives up to its name because it does provide the temperature pretty instantly. If you compare it with higher-priced thermometers, it may be slightly slower, but that’s an ignorable amount of time, considering the price.

Even though the advertising says 2-3 seconds reading, I’ll allow it a few more seconds for correct reading. 

  • Waterproof

It’s also waterproof, which means you can wash it with water after using it. That makes it more convenient to clean.

The description indicated you could keep the thermometer immersed in water for 30 minutes, but who would want to do that?

I don’t recommend you keep it submerged. Only use water to clean the thermometer. It’ll surely help you keep the thermometer as new for longer. 

  • Versatile

The best feature I love about this thermometer is the temperature range. It ranges from -58 degrees F to 575 degrees F. 

I haven’t used it for cold temperatures, but it works great for various cooking methods like oil, sugar-based desserts, cakes, chicken, roasts, and much more. 

If you consider buying a meat thermometer that you intend to use for other cooking, I would recommend you to go for this one. 

  • Additional

There are a few exciting features like an LCD backlit to help you when you’re barbecuing at night. I found one downside about this feature, though. The light only stays lit for 5 seconds. 

Another thing to mention in the additional section is its hole at the end. It makes it really convenient to store the thermometer. I can easily hand it in any place with that hole.  

There are better thermometers, of course. However, if you’re considering the best thermometer in an affordable price range, I would recommend this one with my eyes closed. 

There are a few concerns in the case of the material and durability. But their outstanding customer service makes up for it. 

Whenever any user faces any issues with the thermometer, they’re very prompt to offer help and possible solutions. 

If you think these concerns are a decision-breaking factor, I would recommend increasing your budget to get a thermometer with higher-quality materials and construction.

Can You Use A Meat Thermometer For Other Things

Besides deep-frying and measuring the oil temperature, you can also stumble upon other cooking methods where measuring temperatures might be necessary. I’ll say what I’ve already suggested to you.

You can use your meat thermometer for any cooking methods like pan-frying, baking, custards, and others, as long as the method does not exceed your thermometer’s capacity. 

Most cooking methods won’t exceed 400 degrees F. So, find a thermometer that can tolerate up to 400 degrees. 

If your thermometer isn’t that strong, putting it in any high-temperature dish will result in breaking the thermometer. Especially when you’re making something sweet. Sugar-based foods reach higher temperatures than usual dishes.

Can You Check If Oil Is Ready for Frying Without a Thermometer

You can check your oil’s temperature without using a thermometer. There are multiple ways of determining if your oil is ready for frying. These methods are specifically effective for frying.

You can use a wooden spoon or chopsticks made out of wood to determine the oil temperature. Submerge the spoon handle into the hot oil. 

Be careful not to burn yourself. If you see steady bubbles around the spoon handle, the oil is ready for frying. If, however, the bubbles become more rapid and aggressive, the oil has become too hot. Cool it down a bit by lowering the heat. 

The second method is using a piece of break. Take one square inch of bread and drop it into the hot oil. If the bread becomes brown within 60 seconds, the oil has reached 365 degrees F and ready for frying. 

Another great way is to drop a kernel of popcorn on the oil. When it pops, the oil will have reached 350 to 360 degrees F temperature. You can start frying then.

How Do I Keep Oil At The Same Temperature While Cooking

Sometimes you’ll come across recipes that demand a steady temperature. But, how do you do that? Is it even possible to keep oil at the same temperature when cooking?

Yes, it is possible. It may sound complicated, but it’s completely possible to keep a constant temperature while cooking. 

The answer to this question is exactly what you imagined. You have to adjust the heat to keep the temperature constant. 

When the oil becomes hotter than you need, lower the heat and make the oil return to your desired level. Do the opposite as per necessity. 

One thing to keep in mind is when you add food to the oil, it instantly loses some temperature. So, keep the temperature a bit higher than necessary when you’re adding food to the oil.

Difference Between Oil and Meat Thermometer

Before you can use your existing meat thermometer for measuring oil temperature, you should be aware of some facts. 

Meat thermometers are made for monitoring internal temperatures. Earlier, most meat thermometers were made with low-temperature tolerance because most meats do not reach much high temperature internally. 

However, in recent years, the appearances and structures of meat thermometers have changed drastically. Now, manufacturers are making them tolerable to higher temperatures to be used for different purposes.

I’m trying to point out that if you’re using an old meat thermometer, make sure it can withstand high temperatures. And if you’re going to buy a new one, go for a thermometer that can be used for oils as well.

Difference Between Meat and Others Cooking Thermometers

Meat and candy thermometers also differ in temperature ranges. Most meat thermometers come with 200 degrees F highest temperature. 

The reason behind this low-temperature tolerance is because most meats won’t reach higher temperatures internally. 

On the other hand, candy thermometers are made to withstand extremely high temperatures. Their temperature range can go up to 400 degrees F. The reason is that sweeter solutions tend to reach higher temperature ranges. 

I remember once breaking a ceramic bowl trying to make caramel in the microwave. I didn’t know anything about temperatures back then. 

The point is, sweet dishes get way hotter than meat’s internal temperature, and that’s why meat thermometers have a lower temperature range than candy thermometers.


You never know when you need little kitchen hacks to save the day. Many people don’t prefer buying different thermometers for individual reasons. 

That’s when questions like can you use a meat thermometer for oil? Can you put a meat thermometer in oil?’ arise.

The vital thing to check out is your meat thermometer’s capacity of withstanding temperature. If you put your meat thermometer in 350 degrees F hot oil that only has a temperature range of 150-200 degrees, it’ll break instantly.

Or won’t be able to provide proper readings. So, if you’re considering buying a new thermometer, you can always go for a multi-purpose one that can be used for various temperatures.

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