Just like Goldilocks, your compost pile doesn’t like it too hot or too cold, but just right. If you get the pile too hot it won’t decompose quickly. If it’s too cold it won’t kill weed seeds and other harmful organisms. Keep tabs on the pile’s temperature with a compost thermometer like this one from Mantis.
Mantis makes the thermometer 20″ long to reach the core of your compost pile. It’ll measure temps up to 220° although that’s pretty far out of the range of a healthy compost pile.
Expect to pay about $20 for Mantis’ compost thermometer.