- Pro: Reliable analogue thermometer
- Pro: Excellent for HVAC, refrigeration, and food service industries
- Pro: displays true atmospheric temperature
- Cons: Shape makes it a little flimsy
- Cons: Some have claimed it’s inaccurate
Rubbermaid Commercial FGTHO550 Thermometer
The Rubbermaid FGTHO550 is a good option for those who need to make sure their ovens are running at the proper temperature. If you’ve never bothered to stick one in before you might be surprised at how off the heat settings can be on residential ovens, and something like this can make all of the difference for just a few bucks.
The Good Stuff
It’s cheap. Really cheap, you definitely aren’t going to break the bank by adding one of these to your household. So no need to run to the nearest coupon website for a quick deal. If you frequently use an oven for temperature-sensitive cooking like baking then a good thermometer is absolutely indispensable.
These handy little devices from Rubbermaid haven’t changed in years and every commercial kitchen worker and appliance repairman knows their worth. It’s the kind of thing that won’t even be questioned, and they’re pretty much ubiquitous in places where food preparation is done commercially.
An oven whose thermostat doesn’t work correctly can be a pain, and with this thermometer present you simply won’t have to worry about it anymore. No more overly gooey or dried baked goods. No more meat that seems to be undercooked or overcooked no matter what you work with.
It’s good enough to calibrate your oven if that option is available to you, and if not you’ll at least be able to know that the temperature you’re getting is perfectly accurate.
It has a simple, shatterproof face as well so you don’t need to worry about failure if you accidentally bump it with a pot or pan while cooking. It’s easy to read and measures in both °F and °C depending on what you’re going for.
It can hang or stand, depending on which is better for the way your oven is laid out. Most people will just clip it on to the middle rack and not have to worry about inaccurate readings ever again.
If you’ve never used one before, you might be in for a shock. Residential ovens can sometimes vary as much as 50°F around what the reading indicates, and that can make an absolutely huge difference for that cake or roast and makes relying on normal timers a chancy matter at best.
It’s also small enough that it won’t be in the way even if you’re going all out on your feast and using all of the racks at the same time. Just slide it to one side of the rack while it’s hung and you’re good to go.
If you’re having issues with your oven not doing what it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to, spend a couple of bucks to make sure you know exactly what temperature your equipment is operating at. You can solve a world of issues with this small purchase.
The Bad Stuff
With anything this accurate and cheap you’re bound to come across a couple of issues before you’re done looking at the product.
The big one stems from the size of this food thermometer. The dial is a bit small and if your eyesight isn’t already 20/20 then you might have some trouble reading it without your glasses. This is just compounded if you’re trying to look at it through the glass on front of the oven door.
The stand is also quite small, and if you have generously spaced racks in your oven then you might not be able to let it stand at all. If you’re thinking you’ve got a hot spot due to air flow problems, then you might have trouble locating the problem.
Some people have also claimed that they tend to fall off in accuracy over time, with the functional lifespan being around a year. Rubbermaid isn’t known for planned obsolescence or quality control issues as a general rule but it might make some people think twice.
There also seem to be some problems with readings under 200°F or so, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to use it for particularly low temperatures. You might be better served with something else if that’s the case.
It’s also slow. Don’t expect to get a real-time calibration while everything is booting up or you’re going to have to deal with some serious issues with disappointment.
Despite the flaws, most people aren’t just happy with these thermometers, they’re absolutely overjoyed. They work perfectly and apart from some flukes that are bound to happen with any widely sold product you’re not going to find anything better at anywhere near the price point. Just make sure that you keep your glasses around when you use it and you won’t have to worry about gooey cookies or overcooked roasts ever again.