Using Thermometers

Tip of the Day

Kitchen thermometers are invaluable cooking accessories. They take the guess work out of food temperatures. Food thermometers come in a variety of types and styles, and vary in level of technology and price. They range in price from under $10 (US) to expensive (I’ve seen them for just under $200 (US)… obviously the more features…the more expensive they get. Food thermometers can be digital or dial.

Before I go any further….it is important to follow the instructions for your specific food thermometer. Be sure to read instructions on use (most are very basic and easy) and care instructions… that’s extremely important…. you don’t want to ruin your thermometer by cleaning it improperly…. most are not dishwasher safe.

I've used thermometers since I learned to cook… they take the guesswork out of cooking. A meal can be easily ruined by cooking it to the wrong temperature… not to mention certain foods such as meats need to be cooked to certain temperatures to be safe to eat.

It wasn’t until I did some more research for this post did I realize just how far technology has taken us…. there's even a voice alert meat thermometer.... I definitely want to look further into purchasing some new gadgets…. before I get into that… I just want to say… don’t be frightened off by highly technical gadgets… basic tried and true thermometers work well and aren’t expensive… if your budget allows, then expand to ones with nifty features… otherwise stick to the basics.. at least for now.

Purchase a good meat thermometer… I don’t know about you… but I don’t think I ever purchased a roast that had an even weight…. so that leaves the cooking time in question… place the thermometer into a roast and just check on it occasionally…

This basic meat thermometer is by Taylor and can be found at Williams Sonoma... it was listed for $20.00 (US)

Or use a thermometer fork combination that allows you to check the temperature by “stabbing the meat”….. this way you don’t have to guess when the meat reaches the ideal internal temperature....great for grilling.

This thermometer fork is an exclusive at William Sonoma and was priced at $29.99 (US).

One thermometer in particular intrigued me.… the oven cord thermometer. This is the description of it that I found at the Partnership for Safe Food Handling website….”This thermometer allows the cook to check the temperature of food in the oven without opening the oven door. A base unit with a digital screen is attached to a thermistor-type food thermometer probe by a long metal cord. The probe is inserted into the food, and the cord extends from the oven to the base unit. The base can be placed on the counter or attached to the stovetop or oven door by a magnet. The thermometer is programmed for the desired temperature and beeps when it is reached. While it was designed for use in ovens, these thermometers can also be used to check foods cooking on the stove”……. How neat is that???? You can find this one by All Clad at Williams Sonoma for $49.99 (US).

Whatever type you choose…. It will definitely be an asset to your kitchen.
Some thermometers aren’t quite so versatile… but they cost a lot less too. Just make sure you have one that will be good for roasting meat, grilling, deep frying or candy.

I particularly like the fork style for grilling… its dual purpose and takes the guess work out of grilling… and eliminates the need to cut into the meat to be sure it’s done.

I also like this type of oil and candy thermometer because it easily attaches to the side of the pot. It's by Taylor and can be at William Sonoma for $20.00 (US).

And in case your wondering if I get something for talking about William Sonoma... the answer is no.... I truly like their products... both their exclusives and the brands they carry... I just went to their site and got the information. I'd recommend you check around and see what else is out there... but as you can see thermometers are affordable.... and well worth the investment.

Okay...just one more... this one is very neat... this infrared thermometer registers the surgace temperature of grills, waffle irons, griddles, skillets and pizza stones in half a second. It literally takes hte guesswork out of predicting the right time to set down food for cooking. You can be cooking like a pro in no time!...I found it at Chef's Catalogue on their website and sells for $49.99 (US).

PLEASE NOTE: these prices were as of today and I'm sure they will change at some point... I'm not responsible for any errors... you need to go to these sites and check them out yourself...yada yada yada... I only gave prices to give you an idea of what to expect.

You can find additional useful information about safe food handling and the types of thermometers at a great website…. The Partnership for Safe Food Handling….

Pictures of the thermometers are from the Williams Sonoma website.. you can purchase these and other thermometers there.

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