Picture of the Mainstays Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer G761, showing the front view of the original packaging.

Mainstays Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer G761 Review

The G761 model of Home Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometer by Mainstays,  eliminates a common inadequacy of most residential refrigerator and freezer appliances these days; their temperature controls are not calibrated in degrees.

Typically, they show 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 appliance owner is left guessing at where to correctly set the internal thermostat.

Often recommendations that map these numbers to actual temperature are given in the freezer’s user’s guide. But these are typically supplied for a different model 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.  Individual units, though being of the same model, may not operate with the exact same cooling characteristics either.

So adding thermometers like the Mainstays G761 to all refrigerators and freezers helps to better zero in on that perfect zero for freezers,  -20 degrees for that perfect deep freeze, and +35 to + 40 degrees Fahrenheit for that optimum refrigerator temperature.  This inexpensive, easy-to-install thermometer, designed for both refrigerators and freezers,  makes this not only possible, but imminently practical.  We have several of these, placed throughout our food keepers.

Picture of the Mainstays Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer G761, showing the front view of the original packaging.
Mainstays Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer G761, showing the front view of the original packaging.

Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

Simple installation.  No tools required.  You just snap on the included suction cups, and then stick this thermometer to a wall, shelf, or drawer in the refrigerator or freezer, in the middle area, not too close to the door.  Preferably, you’d want the thermometer half-way between the front and back of the refrigerator or freezer, and half-way between the top and bottom, inside.

Compact design. The long but slim design coupled with the easy-to-read temperature scale is still small enough for placing in almost any refrigeration situation; everything from the smallest “college dorm” refrigerators, all the way up to walk-in freezer units.

Stainless steel brackets.  This unit will not rust or corrode under typical residential conditions.

Solid construction.  Made mostly from PVC, this unit is virtually unbreakable.  Plus, the temperature sensing components (the glass tube) is not directly exposed to the surrounding air, and the PVC protects it from shattering through most drops, even when cold.

Compatible with any model of freezer or refrigerator   that has enough space inside in which to place this device, with its minimal space requirements.  While big enough to read, this thermometer is under bearing in size.  So, finding a suitable location should be simple, even in the most over-packed freezers and coolers.

Supports convenient placement.  Can be suctioned to an interior wall, placed in a drawer, or laid on a door shelf.  Just be sure to place it where you can see it without having to pick it up, as touching it can quickly elevate the reading.

Inexpensive.  Very affordable at under $6 per copy.

Easy to read scale.  Features a large, easy-to-read, white, blue, black, and red temperature scale, analog not digital, that shows the optimum coldness ranges for refrigerating or freezing of food.  The zone from 40 to 80 degrees F, indicates a temperature that is too high for both refrigerators and freezers.  The blue zone at the center, from 34 to 40 degrees F, indicates the acceptable temperature range for refrigerators.  The white zone, between 0 and 34 degrees F, is acceptable for neither freezers nor refrigerators.  Finally, the lower blue zone, from -20 to 0 degrees F, shows the acceptable temperatures for freezers.

Measures common temperatures found in refrigerators and freezers.  Can accurately measure temperatures from -40 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.

Reasonably well sealed mechanism.  The unit has no visible holes to its interior that would expose the temperature sensing element.  Yet the readings still stabilize quickly. Foods and liquids cannot easily be spilled into the inside therefore. We prefer a completely sealed gage; one encapsulated in either a very thick glass or transparent plastic case as this one is.

Simple cleanup.  Just wipe off with a damp cloth.  Do not submerse however.

Operating Tips

  • Place in an open space as close to the center, within the fridge / freezer as you can for the most accurate readings.
  • Just don’t squash it against the wall when pushing a heavy roast into the freezer.
  • In freezers, do not place it on top of shelves that contain cooling coils and piping, as this can lower the reading you get way below the actual food temperature in there.
  • Position well away from light bulbs, blowers, and fan ports.
  • Place as close to or on top of the foods whose overall temperatures you wish to monitor.
Picture of the Mainstays G761 Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, showing the original packaging back view,
Mainstays G761 Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer, showing the original packaging back view,

Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, and Problems

Suction cups don’t always work.  As with most suction cups, the ones here often come loose from where you stick them; though the loosening process can take several weeks to months to occur.  Magnetic mounts might hold the thermometer longer.  Condensation in the fridge can make them release.

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

Not dishwasher safe.  Though well-enough constructed to keep most foods and liquids from entering the scale interior, this thermometer cannot be placed in a hot dishwasher; probably because it’s not designed to measure such a high temperature as what you’d find during the sanitation cycle.

Our Rating

This Mainstays thermometer is of high-grade construction quality, it reads temperatures in both refrigerators and freezers quite accurately. It’s cheap enough that you can buy one when you purchase a new cooler, 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, although we just leave ours in the iceboxes, and check them every month for correct temperatures.  This device is indeed is durable enough to get those ongoing temperature readings.  So we’d rate this unit at 96 out of 100 in terms of overall quality and performance.

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Revision History

  • 2017-02-17: Revised the tags list.
  • 2015-10-20: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-09-04: Originally published.