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4.1 out of 5 stars140
4.1 out of 5 stars
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308 of 308 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2004
You can get cheaper cooking thermometers, but this really is a great piece of kit and well worth the extra money. I bought one on a bit of a whim, but I've been surprised at how much I've used it and how helpful it's been.

The thermometer comes in two parts, the electronic "box" and the probe. The probe is well made and has a good length metal cable that plugs back into the box. The box has two powerful magnets on the back, so you can stick it to the side of the oven if you wish or leave it on a worktop. Mastrad is a company that produces sophisticated thermometers for industrial and commercial applications. Their expertise has produced a top-quality thermometer at an extremely reasonable price.

You can use it in two ways, the simple "poke and measure" technique which just requires you to stick the probe into whatever you're cooking, and it will quickly read off the temperature (and tell you what the temperature should be for the most common foods).

Alternatively, you can stick the probe into the joint you're roasting, the cable comes out round the side of the oven door (should work on any type of oven - I've used it on an Aga & conventional oven), and it will monitor the temperature until it gets to exactly the right point, when a helpful alarm will let you know that it's done.

The fantastic thing is it does exactly what it claims & does it really well. If you want rare beef, select beef / rare, put the probe in the meat and it will tell you when it's done to perfection.

I have an Aga which at over 50 years old is wonderful but a teeny bit temperamental on occasions. Using the probe has allowed me to roast joints in a way that delivers truly superb results. The best way I've found is as follows: put joint of meat in pan (best if turn upside down to start with), add a couple of glasses of red wine, place probe into thickest part of meat, seal whole thing up with foil, cook at moderate heat in roasting oven. When the temperature is 5-10 degrees below target, remove foil, turn right-side up & continue to roast as normal. The meat will have browned by the time it reaches target temperature and you will have the most stunningly juicy & tasty joint of your life. Effectively the meat is steamed in its own juices & wine to begin with, and then browned and crisped at the end. The result is outstanding. Sure, you can cook like this without a thermometer but it is really hard to judge it right, and you often end up with either a dry or undercooked joint.

One point to note - the suggested cooking temperatures are for typical domestic use where the meat comes from the fridge, goes in the oven, and is eaten soon after it is cooked. You can also use "commercial" temperature charts which work off different assumptions (eg meat is at room temperature before cooking, meat will rest c.30 mins after cooking). These indicate lower target temperatures as the meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven. Match the appropriate temperature to your style of cooking, but I find their standard domestic temperatures work fine.

Overall, I love it, it works superbly, and allows you to be more experimental with your cooking without trashing the meal. This would be a great gift for any keen cook no matter what type of oven they use. The difference it can make to the quality of your food, not to mention your reputation as a cook, is remarkable.

May 2010 Update: 6 years on, I'm still using this for every roast I cook, and other dishes when required. Some elements of the digital display are no longer working, but that isn't a big deal - it is still very much useable. When it does give up the ghost, I'll definitely buy another as I think it is the perfect kitchen thermometer - well designed and well made. Still highly recommended!
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2009
Difficult to know weather to give this 3 or 5 stars, On one hand it's the best thing I've brought for the kitchen and because of it we cook perfect meat everytime, being able to see the temperature while the meat is in the oven is 100 times more useful than any thermometer I've used before. I'd recommend a product like this to anyone. So I'm tempted to give it 5 stars.

On the other hand though it has built in temperatures for each type of meat and ammount of doneness and for me these temperatures are very far from correct. Of course everyone has a different opinion as to what consitutes rare, medium etc but there temperatures seem to be alot higher than anywhere else I've looked, this is further compounded by the fact that you should leave meat to rest for a while after cooking to enjoy it at it's best, while resting especially under foil the internal temperature will continue to rise quite significantly. If you use their rare setting, take it out when the alarm goes off and then rest on a warm plate under foil you'll end up with something much closer to medium.

Of course it has a manual setting for temperature so once you have used it a couple of times you will soon see what temperature makes the perfect meat for you and from that point on you'll cook perfect steaks, joints etc everytime. A perfect fillet rare steak awaits me tonight with rosmary butter and new potatos, bliss :-) Still going to give it 5 stars though, the problem is quickly over come and perhaps others will concider their temperatures bang on.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2009
This is a gadget I will never be without. It eliminates so many problems and gives you a perfectly cooked roast.
Although having cooked for years sometimes its easy just to overcook something. Now I do not have to convert kg to lb, I do not have to worry about my dodgy scales and forget about the inaccuracy of my oven temperature.
You simply insert the metal probe into the centre of the joint (avoiding bones)this is joined by a thin metal covered wire (does not get hot on the outside) that goes to your handset on the outside. You then select which meat you are cooking and how you want it cooked. Press start and walk away whistling.
On the handset you will see the current temperature and also the temperature that you are heading for. When done a alarm goes off and its finished. Its important to remove the joint,wrap it in tin foil and let it rest for a good 15 mins.
Result, perfection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I agree that the worst thing about the thermometer is trying to slide the language card into the relevant slot, but it is possible. I also think the manual leaves a lot to be desired...

However most people seem to have missed the point that you can alter the settings to the settings you'd prefer... As many people have pointed out, the thresholds for meat are much higher than many of us desire. If you want to change the threshold, simply go to the relevant setting, e.g. Chicken, Done, and then hold down the M button until the thermometer temperature begins to flash. At this point you can alter it to your choice of temperature (67°C in my case), and then press the M button until the temperature is set (i.e.. not flashing). From now on this is the temperature your sensor will use. Unfortunately the thing will reset itself when you change batteries (I removed mine as a test), so I recommend you keep your preferred settings noted somewhere. At least it will take no more than five minutes to re-programme the whole thing! One other quick note, which I didn't see mentioned by the others, if you're cooking meat on the bone your temperatures should reflect that.

Here are some GUIDE temperatures:


Beef or Lamb
Rare 48-52°C / 55-60°C
Medium rare 55-59°C / 61-65°C
Medium 60-66°C / 66-70°C
Well done 67-71°C / 71-75°C

Veal or Pork
Medium 60°C / 70°C
Well done 70°C / 80°C

Well done 65°C / 75°C
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2008
This is one of the best tools in my kitchen. Accurate and easy to use. Cooks all meats to perfection. I would not be without it.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2011
I bought this gadget primarily for jam making. What the description doesn't tell you - and is quite important - is that it WILL NOT WORK on an induction hob. The packaging, however, does tell you this. I ordered it and couldn't stop the alarm constantly going off every few seconds when it was placed in the pan. There is nothing in the manual to tell you what this problem is, but on checking the packaging it clearly states that it is not suitable for use on induction hobs. Would have been handy information to have read BEFORE I bought it. Amazon - you should make this point clearer in the item description.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2010
My second oven thermometer - the first one (locally bought, cheap) broke its wire after 3 months and was a pain to set up and use. Had high hopes for this one - simple to operate, robust metal wire, silicone grip on probe. Worked very well for 3 weeks, then began to overread ridiculously - 70 centigrade in a 18 degree room, 100 centigrade in a non-boiling drink, in other words completely useless. Sent back to amazon - thank heavens for free return postage.
I will try another one, because if it works its very good at its job. But none is stock. Sigh.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2009
I bought this from Amazon in Nov 2007 and have probably only used it half a dozen times. It worked absolutely fine until the other day, when I noticed the joint I was just about to stick in the oven was already showing a temperature of 45 Celsius. The temperature readings have suddenly gone completely wrong. (It's not set to Fahrenheit, I did check). Removing the battery and resetting everything I could didnt help, its still showing room temp in my fairly chilly kitchen somewhere in the sweltering 50 Celsius range.

I can't believe it broke after so little use. In the end the roast was ruined as I've come to rely on the thermometer so hadn't weighed the joint nor noted the time it went in the oven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2011
I dropped a few hints and got one of these for my birthday, and I'm really impressed with its versatility and the results seen so far. I really like the fact that you can choose either to use the pre-set temperatures for different meat, or select your own temperature. If you're cooking meat properly, you will allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the meat to relax: during this time, the temperature of the meat is likely to increase by about 5 degrees, so you need to allow for this and experiment with the settings that work for you. Some reviewers have suggested this is a fault in the pre-settings, but I don't think this is fair: it's down to your knowledge of cooking techniques, not the thermometer.

The insertion of the plastic card is tricky and the design could be better; but you only have to do it once and you're set, so I wouldn't take a star off for this.

The build is sturdy and the display easy to read. Results with pork and duck have been spot on, and it really takes the guesswork out of knowing when your meat is cooked to your liking. This has quickly become a "must-have" in my kitchen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2011
My dear ladyfriend bought me this as a Christmas present which would also benefit herself.
I am a complete disciple of Hugh F-W - his "Meat" book is my most-used cookbook but his method of v hot sizzle, then a cooler roast leaves cheaper cuts tough.
I followed his recipe for cooking topside & it was a tough chew.
Whereas using this, and the method described by James Bury of this parish, worked a treat.
I put it in my Le Creuset copy (IKEA, £30, bargain), added 1/3 of a bottle of wine, inserted meat probe then put the lid on.
I then set the Mastrad to Beef/Medium Rare (63C).
Where I perhaps differ with Mr Bury (and Huw F-W) is that I put it on a v low heat - 120-130C in fact. (As well as a meat thermo a Lakeland oven thermometer is an essential buy at £5).
My 1kg piece took about 90 minutes and was perfectly medium rare.
Hugh F-W thinks medium rare is more like 50C, and some people on here think the Mastrad's default settings are too high, but this was done perfectly.
I am very pleased with my present and intend to use it on brisket next.
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