Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, Smart Choice 5304487199 Review

The 5304487199 model of Home Refrigerator Thermometer by Smart Choice, helps overcome an inadequacy of most residential refrigerator and freezer appliances these days; their temperature controls are not calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit.

Instead, you see numbers like 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, where 5 is the coldest (MAX), and 0 is the warmest (or OFF) position. Often, no markings of where “the best” position would be for most well preserved food are provided. So, the new icebox owner is left to guess at the correct settings. Often recommendations that map these numbers to actual temperature are given in the icebox’s user’s guide. But these are typically given for a different model of refrigerator than the one the user bought, or are generic in that they’re geared to apply for all refrigerators in a given line, in a specific environment. Since actual operating environments tend to vary widely, from cool and damp basements to baking hot attics, these generic tables tend to be inaccurate.

Picture of the Home Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, Model 5304487199 Home Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer by Smart Choice, Model Home Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, Model 5304487199, in its original packaging.
Home Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, Model 5304487199

Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

Simple installation.  No tools required.

Compact design. Stands up on its own included pedestal, which is part of its case.  Or, it can be hung from shelf rungs, and then adjusted for best fit via its bendable hanger hook.

Works on any model of refrigerator or freezer   that has enough space inside in which to place this device.  While big enough to read, this thermometer is unobtrusive in size.  So, finding a suitable location for it should be simple, even in the most over-packed freezers and coolers.

Supports convenient placement.  Can be hung from a shelf, placed in a veggie drawer, or just stood on any flat surface inside the deep freeze or fridge.

Inexpensive.  Very affordable at under $6 per copy.

Reasonable large dial.  Features a large, easy-to-read, multicolor temperature dial, analog not digital, that shows the optimum coldness ranges for refrigerating or freezing of food.  The red zone, from 40 to 80 degrees F, indicates a temperature that is too high for both refrigerators and freezers.  The lavender purple zone at the top, from 32 to 40 degrees F, indicates the acceptable temperature range for refrigerators.  The light blue zone, between 0 and 32 degrees F, is acceptable neither for freezers nor refrigerators.  Finally, the dark blue zone, from -20 to 0 degrees F, shows the preferred temperatures for freezers.

Measures common temperatures found in ice boxes.  Can accurately measure temperatures from -20 degrees F to +80 degrees F.

Calibrated in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Requires no batteries or power source of any kind to operate. This is a completely wireless refrigerator thermometer, though it cannot be read remotely via WiFi.

Operating Tips

Place as close to the center within the fridge / freezer as possible for the most indicative readings.

Just don’t squash it against the wall when pushing a large and heavy casserole dish into the refrigerator.

Avoid spilling any liquids into the air admittance holes in the rear of the unit.


Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, and Problems

Non durable construction.  This thermometer is made from a very light and flimsy metal, that is easily bent or dented.  Very cheap, easily damaged construction.

Not completely sealed mechanism.  The back of the unit has several large holes, that expose the temperature sensing element.  Presumably, this was done to allow faster readings, by directly exposing the sensor to the air to be measured. But this means that foods and liquids can easily be spilled into the interior of the unit. However, this is of not such big concern, given how little these thermometers cost.  Still though, we would have preferred a completely sealed gage; one encapsulated in either a very thick glass or transparent plastic case.  Would have paid perhaps $20 for a well-constructed, unbreakable freezer thermometer.

Included shelf hanger not always useful.  A magnetic base would have been a useful addition, so that the thermometer could be stuck on any wall within the refrigerator / freezer, for spot temperature checks at various positions throughout the interior.

Has no alarm signal   to let you know if temperatures inside your icebox move outside of the recommended ranges.

Our Rating

Though we believe this unit to be of low-grade construction quality, it nonetheless appears to read temperatures in both refrigerators and freezers quite accurately. It’s cheap enough that you can buy one when you purchase a new icebox, for setting the temperature controls initially.  You can determine, using this thermometer, where to set the fridge’s temp control for the optimum 35 degrees reading, and the freezer for the optimum 0 degrees reading.  Once you know the correct settings, then you really don’t need this device anymore for typical home refrigeration applications.  So, while it may not last long, it indeed is durable enough to get those initial temperature readings.  Used in this way, this thermometer is quite sufficient.  So we’d rate this unit at 90 out of 100 in terms of overall quality and performance.

Where to Buy the 5304487199 Home Refrigerator Thermometer

We’ve only found this product at Home Depot home improvement centers so far.

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Revision History

  • 2015-12-16: Added more appropriate tags.
  • 2015-10-06: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-09-04: Added more tags.
  • 2015-01-21: Added highlighting of summary phrases in the Advantages and Disadvantages bulleted list items.
  • 2014-12-10: Added whitespace, fixed pictures, and revised content.
  • 2014-10-05: Originally published.