Best Wood Stove Thermometers of 2020 – Ultimate Guide

| Last Updated: November 13, 2020

Wood stoves are still one of the most common methods of cooking and heating, particularly due to their practicality. All you need is wood to cook your food and warm your place even if you don’t have gas or electricity connections.

However, it is possible to use these stoves more efficiently and minimize heat waste with the help of a wood stove thermometer.

This kind of thermometer can help you determine the temperature and hence the amount of wood needed for a particular task. It is a handy and extremely useful tool. Here’s all that you need to know. 

Our Top Picks for Best Wood Stove Thermometers

  • Durable, long-lasting
  • Easy to read
  • Long warranty
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  • Versatile device
  • High heat resistance
  • Mobile unit
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  • Best for the Money
  • Extras included
  • Wide temperature range
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Comparison of the Best Wood Stove Thermometers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Made from durable materials to last longer
  • Large and clear readings for ease of use
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty included
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  • Can be used on stove top surface for temperature reading
  • High heat resistance magnet for secure attachment
  • Comes with an easy flip-up handle included
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  • Best for the Money
  • Two gauges are included in the package
  • Can measure temperatures from 100°F to 900°F
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  • Best Magnetic Wood Stove Thermometer
  • Dual temperature readings for Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Made from strong and durable materials
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How Does a Wood Stove Thermometer Work?

On the stove thermometer’s dial are usually three sections. These sections represent temperature ranges. The first part is usually colored yellow and ranges from 100F to 250F. Next to that is the green region that represents the temperature ranges from 270F to 450F. In some cases, this region might be orange. The red part represents the temperature from 500F and above.

Now, the yellow region is where your fire is too little, and heat production is too low. The green section represents the optimal temperature. If the thermometer moves to the red region, then caution needs to be taken, or the stove becomes susceptible to heat damage.

Insert the thermometer on the upper part of your stove for optimal reading and note the values. You need to very carefully regulate the air to the stove to maintain the optimal temperature donated by the green or, in some cases, the orange section. 

GalaFire COMINHKPR141991

Are All Wood Stove Thermometers The Same?

No, all wood stove thermometers are not the same. Their types differ on the basis of the design of the woodstove. So regardless of the kind of wood stove you have, you will find an appropriate thermometer for it. 

Stove-Top Thermometers

As the name implies, these thermometers need to be installed on top of the stove. Featuring a magnetic base, they can easily stick to the body of your stove. In order to get the most accurate readings, they make use of the rising hot air. This air is hotter than the one passing through the pipes, and since the thermometer is calibrated to read the temperature of the rising gases, it is not suitable for use on the stove pipe.

Stovepipe Thermometer

There exists a different thermometer to determine the temperature of the stove via the pipe. These thermometers too cling onto the pipe via magnets and measure the temperature of the air passing through. This air is released from the burning chamber and gives an accurate representation of the stove’s temperature based on the pipe gases. It cannot be used as a stove-top thermometer, for it is calibrated to measure the pipe gases that are slightly cooler than those emerging directly from the chamber.

Stovepipe Probe Thermometer

A stove pipe probe thermometer is used in a double-walled wood stove. For these stoves, the two types mentioned above are not suitable as the addition of a second wall acts as an insulator and skews the readings on these thermometers. The probe thermometer is connected to the twin-pipe from where it calculates the temperature of the stove.

How Do I Know When to Replace My Wood Stove Thermometer?

A bad wood stove thermometer can lead to serious heat damage to the stove and cause excessive burning of the fuel, making it essential to know when it should be replaced. If you notice that your thermometer does not give consistent readings, then it might be damaged. 

Another sign is when the thermometer does not reach the temperature range as quickly as it did before, even if you are using the same amount of wood under the same conditions.

In case you are adding wood to the fire, and the thermometer’s readings are not changing considerably even after some time has passed, then it is highly possible that the thermometer is not working up to the par. 

In addition, if any visible deterioration in the thermometer is observed, then it is time to replace it. These might be discoloration of the dial or a flimsy thermometer needle. All these signs point towards possible damage to the thermometer and must be taken seriously, followed by an immediate replacement.

Quick Take: Best Wood Stove Thermometers

These are our recommendations for the best wood stove thermometers:

  1. GalaFire COMINHKPR141991
  2. Midwest Hearth Thermometer
  3. Frienda Magnetic Thermometer

Review of the Best Wood Stove Thermometers 

Due to the wide use of wood stoves, thermometers are sold in abundance. Different brands have their own products with pros and cons attached to each. Let’s take a look at these thermometers and see what the market has to offer. 

GALAFIRE Magnetic Stove Thermometer Oven Temperature Meter for Wood Burning Stoves Gas Stoves Pellet Stove Stoves Avoid Stove Fan Damaged by Overheat

PROS

  • Backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Could be placed on top or at the side of the stove
  • Aluminum construction gives very accurate readings
  • White needle over the black dial is easier to read from a distance
  • Dial reads from 100F to 800F, covering a wide range of temperatures

CONS

  • A little difficult to read in the dark
  • Dial represents only the optimal range in color; the rest of the dial is black

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have labeled this product as a must-have for those who use indoor fires. They also liked the thermometer's design that suited all stove types and looked decent sitting on top of it. The thermometer was easy to install and read. A drop or rise in temperature was clearly indicated by it and helped users act accordingly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the greatest features of this thermometer is that it is made out of aluminum. Aluminum, being an excellent conductor of heat, serves the purpose of temperature calculation well. Since the thermometer is to be positioned on a stovepipe, accurate measuring of temperature is even more crucial. This is because the air in the pipes is slightly cooler than that coming directly from the stove. In such a case, a good conductor of heat for accurate measurements is crucial. 

Another great utility that comes with this thermometer by GALAFIRE is that it can be placed on either the top or side of the stove as long as it is mounted on a flue pipe. Hence, no matter how the stove is designed and where the pipes are located, the thermometer can work with all models.

Bottom Line

The thermometer by GALAFIRE is smart in its design. This is because of the aluminum construction that makes for excellent temperature measurements and the ability to mount it to the flue pipe on either side or the top of the stove. With its big white needle and white markings on the black dial, you can see the temperature from a distance without having to leave your cozy couch. 

Midwest Hearth Wood Stove Thermometer - Magnetic Stove Top Meter

PROS

  • Can measure from 100F to 800F
  • Zones are color-coded and easy to interpret
  • Porcelain finish looks good on your stovetop
  • Flip-up handle allows for easy relocation if needed
  • Placed on top of the stove surface for temperature readings

CONS

  • Dial needle is very small and difficult to see from a distance
  • Relocation handle is made of metal wire and needs to be cooled down before grabbing to avoid burn

What Recent Buyers Report

For most recent buyers, the thermometer worked great. They report that the magnet held its place well and did not move or fall off, even when the stove was used. They saw a great improvement in their stove’s performance and fuel consumption overall after they started using the thermometer’s reading for optimal performance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

With its big color-coded dial, the stove-top thermometer proves to be a valuable companion for your wood stoves. The color-coded regions are further represented by clear wordings such as creosote or too hot to warn the user against potential dangers of burning the stove too low or too high. Chimney fires are one of the biggest causes of house fires in the US, and with such a thermometer, you can stay vigilant and keep the risk to a minimum.

Moreover, it has a porcelain finish, which not only complements the stove but also adds to the strength of the thermometer, so it is not destroyed by bumps or bangs against the top. The metal wire handle is another very advantageous addition that makes it easy to take the thermometer off the surface and move it elsewhere.

Bottom Line

This thermometer sits on top of the stove surface and directly monitors the hot air coming from the burning chamber. Hence, it is very accurate in determining the temperature of the stove. With a color-coded dial and a wire handle, it has added greatly to the usability and convenience.

Best for the Money:
Frienda Magnetic Thermometer

Magnetic Wood Stove Thermometer Fire Stove Pipe Thermometer Flue Pipe Temperature Meter for Avoiding Stove Fan Damaged by Overheating (2)

PROS

  • Two thermometers are included in the package
  • Measures temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • Features a bi-metal temperature sensor for very accurate readings
  • Convenient placing on the top or side pipe to suit different designs
  • Dial represents the ranges with optimal temperature, creosote buildup, and high temperature

CONS

  • Dial is not color-coded
  • Numbers on the dial are too small

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers state that the thermometer was a very practical addition to their stove system. It gave them accurate temperature measures along with the indication if the stove was running on the optimal temperature or not. The two metric temperature representation also made reading easier for many people. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Frienda Magnetic Thermometer features a bi-metal temperature sensor. As an efficient conductor of heat, metal measures the changing temperature quickly and accurately. The temperature is then represented on Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. The two different temperature metrics add the feasibility to be read by anyone. 

Additionally, one package contains two thermometers. These two may be used together at different positions along the pipe, making for a system with more dependable results. This way, the temperature gets double-checked. You may also use one at a time and keep the other as a backup. 

The thermometer may be placed on the flue pipe originating from the top or the side of the stove. Hence, it is compatible with all stove designs.

Bottom Line

All in all, the stove thermometer by Frienda provides excellent value for the price. You get a bi-metal supported flue pipe thermometer compatible with all wood stove designs at a very affordable cost. It has a detailed dial and a handle for relocation. But this is not all; the package contains two of these high functioning thermometers to provide the best deal for your money.

Best Magnetic Wood Stove Thermometer:
Vermont Castings Thermometer #574

Vermont Castings Magnetic Wood Stove Thermometer

PROS

  • Wire handle for taking it off the stove and relocating
  • Dual metric scale measures temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • Very accurate temperature measurements with Vermont Castings original parts
  • Weighs around 0.3 ounces and does not add any considerable weight to the stove
  • Mounted on top of the stove: measures temperature and optimizes stove performance

CONS

  • Needle is too small to be seen from a distance
  • Dial is not color-coded, nor does it represent the optimal and dangerous temperature regions individually

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say that their Vermont Castings thermometer did not fall short and met all expectations. It was a solidly built unit that added a great flare to the stove with its stylish design. The magnet held on to the stove quite well. It was fairly easy to read the temperature from it and estimate the stove's performance. In case enough heat wasn’t generated with the right amount of wood, buyers could diagnose that their stoves were malfunctioning, which resulted in the efficient use of wood and prevented huge fire accidents.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Known for its high-quality tools, gadgets, and accessories, Vermont Castings’ thermometer is bound to impress. It contains original Vermont Castings parts, resulting in unbeatable performance. Temperature measurements are very accurate, and you will not need to replace this thermometer as often as the other.

With its dual functionality, it makes sure that the stove is running on the right amount of wood without the dangers of catching fire. At the same time, the temperature also helps determine the stove surface performance for cooking. This thermometer, too, has two calibrations, one in Fahrenheit and the other in Celsius, to maximize ease of use.

Bottom Line

A superior choice in wood stove thermometers, the Vermont Casting thermometer provides unmatchable quality in both production and functionality. It is made up of high-quality and efficient parts that serve to optimize stove performance for heating and cooking while keeping the fuel consumption in check. Those looking to invest in a trusted and long-lasting thermometer with the willingness to spend a little might find this suitable.

Magnetic Color-Coded Stove Thermometer For Safe Wood Burning From Boone Hearth

PROS

  • Comes with complete installation instructions
  • Color-coded temperature ranges for easy reading
  • Readings calibrated in Celsius and Fahrenheit scales
  • Accurate readings are represented that optimize the stove’s use
  • Thick glass cover that is resistant to breakage in case of bumping or falling

CONS

  • Does not feature any warranty
  • Readings are too small to be comfortably visible from a distance

What Recent Buyers Report

There are many features in this thermometer that pleased recent purchasers. It came with complete instructions on the packet, which later proved to be very helpful. The needle on the unit is nice and big and can be easily seen from a distance. However, the numbers needed some getting used to as they were quite small to be seen from a distance. Conclusively, the thermometer either was enjoyed as a nice addition or a great replacement.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We all love a thermometer that functions well and is easy to use. And the Boone Hearth thermometer is just that. It has a magnetic base that attaches to the pipe on the stove and monitors temperature changes. New users might find the installation a bit confusing as the thermometer needs to be placed at the right spot for accurate readings. Boone Hearth solves the problem by putting easy-to-comprehend instructions on the package. 

Moreover, once you get used to the position of numbers on the dial, you can pretty much estimate what number the big needle is pointing at, even if the numbers are too small to be read clearly from a distance. Like all good thermometers, this one also features a wire handle, making it very easy to remove and relocate. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this thermometer combines utility and convenience in one unit. It is equipped with dual calibration so that you can easily read whatever metric you are accustomed to. Color-coded regions and a big needle make sure that you are well aware of what temperature the stove is running at all the time. 

What to Look For When Buying a Wood Stove Thermometer 

A reliable thermometer can be the difference between a house fire and your safety. Hence, it is crucial to buy a unit that excels in both construction and functioning. Let’s look at the features that need to be considered to ensure that you make a worthy purchase.

Dial

The size and markings on the dial matter a great deal. A good dial should be large enough to be read from a distance. The markings should be bold and large and in a contrasting color to the background, like white markings over a black background. 

Moreover, the needle should be big enough to be easily visible. Color-coded regions representing optimal temperature, creosote production, or overheating are also valued additions that make the whole reading a lot easier.

Midwest Hearth Thermometer

Position

There are usually two places where you can install a thermometer. Make sure the one you buy complies with the needs and the model of your stove. 

A stove-top thermometer is capable of measuring hotter air and hence can be placed directly on top of the stove. A pipe thermometer needs to be attached to the pipe leading to the chimney to monitor temperature changes. For a double-walled stove, other types of thermometers are needed. It is crucial to buy one that suits your stove best.

Temperature Calibrations

Many thermometers come with a single scale of temperature calibrations, usually represented in Fahrenheit. While this may work well for many, some also prefer to read from the Celsius scale. Hence, for vast usability, a thermometer with dual scale calibrations serves the purpose. 

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before buying a thermometer, a few cautious considerations need to be kept in mind. These include:

The Right Temperature Range

For most stoves, a thermometer with temperature ranging to 700F is enough. But for bigger units, especially those with burners, you must buy a thermometer that has a greater temperature range. For larger stoves, a 700F thermometer might not suffice, and you might want to buy something that goes up to 900F.

The Right Type of Thermometer

We already know that using stove-top thermometers on the pipe and pipe thermometers on the stovetop can lead to serious implications. If not mounted at the right point, the readings get messed up, and the incorrect value might lead to some burning accident. Similarly, using a thermometer designed for single wall stoves on a double wall stove can lead to incorrect readings, which will most definitely affect your stove’s optimal performance and fuel consumption.

Warnings Must Be Taken Seriously

Running the stove on too little or too much heat can both prove to be extremely problematic. Color-coded thermometers show these warnings in terms of creosote and very hot regions. Such indications must be taken seriously and should be dealt with immediately. Otherwise, both can quickly escalate to fire hazards. 

Frienda Magnetic Thermometer

How to Use a Wood Stove Chimney Thermometer

Using these stove thermometers is not difficult at all. It has a clearly indicative dial that could easily be read to know your wood stove's status. All you need to do is make sure that it is properly mounted on the stove and is not broken. Below are the steps that will guide you to use your thermometer properly.

  1. A wood stove chimney thermometer is mounted on a pipe emerging out of the stove and leading to the chimney, contrary to a stove-top thermometer, which is installed directly on top of the stove’s flat surface.

  2. In this pipe, the gases released after the combustion travel to the outlet.

  3. The chimney thermometer takes into account the temperature of these gases to then estimate the temperature of the stove.

  4. Usually, the thermometer is divided into three regions. The yellow or orange region starts at 100F and goes up to 250F. The green region ranges from 250F to 450F, and the red region goes from 500F to 750 or 900F, depending on the range of the thermometer.

  5. Once you have mounted the thermometer approximately 18 inches from the stovetop or the stove side, you will notice the reading on the thermometer escalating.

  6. If it remains in the yellow region, then it means that the fuel is burning at a very low flame, generating little heat but causing the buildup of creosote that is highly flammable. Such a case might lead to a huge chimney fire.

  7. If the thermometer lies in the red region, then it indicates that the fuel is burning at a very high temperature and very quickly too. This produces excessive heat, which might also lead to a chimney fire.

  8. The green range provides the optimal temperature for the woodstove. The thermometer should be kept running in the green or the safe zone. 

  9. The fire flame and hence the temperature is controlled by regulating the air to the burning chamber and the amount of fuelwood. More air and more wood would increase the temperature and vice versa. 

 Using such a thermometer isn’t difficult at all. However, if you’re still confused, use the following video.

Conclusion 

Woodstove thermometers are a necessity when using wood stoves. They have multiple functions. They ensure that not only does your stove not consume too much wood but also that its performance is at its best. They also serve to prevent the chances of a fire hazard from creosote or overheating. 

Since they are such an important tool, those who make use of wood stoves must find a wood stove thermometer best suited to their needs.

People Also Ask

Our discussion above may not have covered every aspect of wood stove thermometers. Some important considerations might have been left unanswered or might not have been satisfactorily answered. To make sure there are no ambiguities, we have answered some common questions:

Do I Need a Thermometer For My Wood Stove?

Yes, you must use a thermometer for your wood stove. Wood stoves have covered burning chambers that can cause severe problems if they run on too little or too high heat. Hence, a thermometer is very important to make sure that the stove is running within the safe temperature range at all times.

What Temperature Should My Wood Stove Pipe Be?

The wood stove pipe should ideally show a temperature between 250F and 450F. Anything below or above falls in the dangerous range and may become the cause of a chimney fire due to creosote inflammation or overheating.

How Do You Control the Temperature on a Wood Stove?

The temperature on the wood stove is regulated in two ways: either change the amount of fuelwood going in or the amount of air provided to the combustion chamber. To increase the temperature, increase either or both as needed. In order to decrease the temperature, decrease either or both as required. 

What Kind of Thermometer For a Double Pipe on a Wood Stove?

A flue gas probe that looks like a kitchen meat probe is used for a double pipe wood stove. Such a thermometer has a small rod attached to it that is inserted inside the double pipe by drilling a hole in it. After drilling a hole, the pipe is placed in the center of the flue pipe for accurate readings.

How Hot Does a Double Wall Pipe Stove Get?

A double wall pipe stove can get extremely hot if left unattended. The temperature may go as high as 1700F to even 2100F in certain cases. But mostly the temperature during attended use rises up to 700-900F. Any stove that shows a temperature reading higher than 500F must be cooled down immediately to be brought to the safe 250F to 450F range.

Are Wood Stove Top and Stove Pipe Thermometers Interchangeable?

No, the two types are not interchangeable under any circumstances. Stovetop thermometers are designed to monitor hotter gases emerging directly from the stove’s burning chamber. Meanwhile, the stovepipe thermometer is designed to measure the gases in the chimney pipe, which are slightly cooler. Interchanging the two will severely mess up the final estimated calculations of the stove. 

What is the Optimum Temp of a Magnetic vs. Probe Wood Stove Thermometer?

The optimum temperature range for a magnetic thermometer is 250F to 450F. These thermometers hold onto the flat top or the chimney pipe of the wood stove via magnets. They have rods that are used to measure temperature, and the rod goes into the stove pipe after the pipe has been drilled. For probe thermometers, the optimum temperature is 230F to 475F.

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.