We all enjoy our meat cooked in different ways, and there are easy to follow guidelines to do this. But the question is, how do you know when meat is at the right temperature? The answer is using the best meat thermometer which will tell you the temperature and allow you to eat safe in the knowledge that your food is ready for consumption.
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How to use a thermometer
Different meats have different recommended minimum temperatures. For instance, beef, pork, veal and lamb should be 145 degrees F for steaks, chops and roasts while ground meats should be 160 degrees. Poultry cuts such as breast, legs and thighs should be 165 degrees while a reheating a fully cooked ham should be 140 degrees. (Figures from the US Department of Agriculture website)
Here is just a cross section of the products available to give you some ideas about what might be the meat thermometer you need.
The Polder Safe-Serve thermometer can give a speeding reading once the probe has been inserted into the meat within 8 seconds. It has a temperature range from 32 to 212 degree F
The extended length of the probe tip at 10inches means you are a safe distance from the meat to avoid burning yourself. It also means it is easy to check the meat in the oven.
The Polder also includes a small torch as well as a backlit display screen so a visual check can be carried out as well as temperature checks.
The digital readout on the handle allows you to confirm the ‘doneness’ of the meat in line with the USDA temperature guidelines. This will allow the meat to be cooked to your preference but still be safe and healthy to eat. It operates on two AAA batteries which come supplied.
The ProAccurate Quick Read is a pocket sized thermometer which quickly produces information for measuring temperature in even thin cuts of meat or fish. It can also work in Fahrenheit or Celsius depending on your preference. You insert the tip into the meat; press hold and the reading will be saved until you press the hold button again.
It features a 5 inch stainless steel stem which is just 1.5mm thick and which can produce a temperature in 6-8 seconds on the digital readout and has data-holding capacity. It also automatically shuts off after 10 minutes to avoid draining battery life and comes with a plastic sheath which has a clip to attached to a pocket, much like a pen.
It has a temperature range of -40 to 450 degrees F and is powered by an LR44 button battery. It is waterproof and shatterproof and safe around food due to its ABS plastic with BioCote finish. It also comes with a limited five year warranty.
The Excellante Pocket thermometers are made from stainless steel and comes with a pen-style plastic storage case. There are different models which have different temperature ranges allowing you to select which would be best for your depending on what you would need it for, or at the budget price, collect a couple. They are
- -40 – 160 degrees
- 50 – 550 degrees
- 0 – 220 degrees
This range is easy to clean and comes approved by the National Sanitation Federation (NSF), though they are not designed to be used inside the oven, but to check the food once outside.
These products have a traditional dial face, as opposed to a digital readout, so the pointed will rotate to the relevant temperature. They operate with an LR44 battery.
Chef’s Tip; make sure you thoroughly clean the thermometer after every use to avoid contaminating one food from another!
These are just a glimpse into the world of electrical meat thermometers, which in some cases can actually temperature check a range of different foods. There are different features available from a simple and easy temperature check to a comprehensive visual aid as well as temperature check. So hopefully this has helped you in your choice of the best meat thermometer so you never need to worry about the doneness of your meat again.