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Last Updated: 11th March 2021

The Best Milk Thermometers [for 2021]

By Helen Cartwright
By Helen Cartwright
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    Many varieties of coffee, from lattes to cappuccinos, demand steamed milk (or milk alternative). This means you’ll need to heat milk and a way to monitor your temperature. You want a suitable milk thermometer.

    These milk thermometers are typically for use with frothing jugs in which you heat up your milk.

    Because of this, keep in mind that the jugs are not the same as milk frothing machines. The main thing we’re looking at is thermometers for monitoring milk temperature. If you want a machine, check out the 10 best milk frothers instead.

    Once you have your jug and your thermometer, all you need is a great glass to drink your latte out of.

    Here are our top picks for the best milk thermometers.

    Our Top Picks

    Milk Thermometer Buying Guide

    As you can see above, the best options for milk thermometers are the most basic items: no real frills or fancy electronic features. In fact, the fewer electronic components to worry about, the better.

    After all, you’re getting an item that does one job, which is to let you know when your milk is at the frothing temperature. You shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of things when it comes to buying a milk thermometer.

    That said, there are a few things to keep in mind.


    Calibrate Your Thermometer

    One major complaint that reviewers often have about thermometers is a lack of accuracy. Most of the time, this is due to the user neglecting to properly calibrate their thermometer.

    The following is a standard calibration method.

    1. Fill a glass or container with crushed ice and add water to the top. Stir well.
    2. Insert the thermometer into the ice water mixture. Wait until the reading becomes steady. This should take approximately 30 seconds.
    3. Adjust the calibration nut and rotate the thermometer head until it reads 0°C.


    Use a Jug

    Once you pick a thermometer, you’ll want a jug to use with it. We’ve rounded up the 5 best milk frothing jugs for 2021 to make this more comfortable for you. Although some jugs will come with thermometers or have one built-in, it’s still a good idea to buy one separately. Built-in thermometers can be hard to calibrate, plus you’ll like having a spare in case one breaks.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Are Milk Thermometers and Frothing Jugs Dishwasher Safe?

    No. You should not put stick thermometers in the dishwasher. Neither should they be left submerged in soapy water. They should be carefully wiped clean and dried with a cloth.

    As for jugs, it depends on the unit. Most stainless steel frothing jugs should do fine in the dishwasher. However, some of the more delicate designs would be best hand washed.

    Thankfully, most jugs are easy to clean by hand, so this isn’t a big deal.

    Can Milk Jugs Be Used on a Stovetop?

    The short answer is no. Milk frothing jugs aren’t designed for stovetops. The bottoms are not thick enough to withstand the heat. They are for use with a steamer or coffee machine unit. You use the machine’s steam wand to do all the work while the jug holds the milk.

    So in case you missed it earlier, you’ll want to look at our list of the 10 best espresso machines and get one for yourself.

    One last thing: We want to make sure you get the most out of your brewing experience. We’ve put together a brewing guide for espresso machines to help you out.


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