You’ve probably heard about meat thermometers before, but did you know they can also be used to check the temperature of other foods?
- Though it is designed for meat, this handy kitchen gadget can be used to test the internal temperature of bread, cookies, cakes, pies, and even ice cream.
This can allow you to determine whether the food has been cooked to the correct temperature. There are even thermometers that are designed to be used to cook meat. These can be useful for grilling and barbecuing.
If you are considering buying one of these products, you may have a lot of questions. For instance, you may be wondering whether meat thermometers can be kept in the oven. Fortunately, we have the answers to these questions.
What Are Meat Thermometers?
A meat thermometer is a small device that is placed into food to measure its internal temperature. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on what type of food you want to monitor.
Some models are designed to only work with meats, while others will work with any kind of food.
The most common types of meat thermometers include:
Digital – These thermometers use digital technology to display the temperature. The numbers usually range from 40-160 degrees Fahrenheit (4-71 degrees Celsius). Generally, they are simple to read and understand.
However, some people find them difficult to use because they require more attention than traditional dial thermometers.
Dial – These thermometers have a dial instead of a digital screen. In many ways, they are easier to read and understand than digital thermometers. However, they are not as accurate as digital ones.
Probe – These thermometers are similar to dials, except they do not have a scale. Instead, they just have a hole inside them. When inserted into the food, this allows the user to see how hot or cold the food is.
It is very straightforward to use, and it does not need batteries.
How Do I Use A Meat Thermometer?
Fortunately, meat thermometers are very simple to use.
To determine whether meat has been cooked, you should inject the thermometer into its thickest part. Be sure to find a part that is full of meat, and is not composed primarily of fat or bones.
Hold the thermometer in place for a few seconds until you get an accurate reading. If your food has not reached the target temperatures, you can return it to the oven and check again later. This temperature is often conveyed via an LCD screen.
Why Use A Thermometer For Cooking?
As mentioned, these products are used to determine the temperature of the meat. It can be important to know the temperature of the meat when you are cooking it.
If the meat is too hot, it could burn. On the other hand, if the meat is too cool, it could spoil. Ensuring that the food tastes satisfactory and has an enjoyable texture is not the only reason why you should cook it thoroughly.
Knowing the right temperature is essential to ensure that the food tastes good and stays safe. Meat, including chicken, pork, and beef, should be cooked to 165 °F or 75 °C.
Even if you like your beef cooked rare or medium, it should reach at least 160 °F. The very minimum temperature for cooking meat is 145 °F.
Undercooked meat can be incredibly unsafe. Dangerous bacteria will die when it reaches these high temperatures. These bacteria can survive in undercooked meat.
You are at risk of suffering from food poisoning when eating undercooked meat, and contracting bacterial infections such as E. coli.
These bacteria are often found in cattle, meaning that you can suffer from it after eating under-cooked steaks or ground beef.
E.coli is a very common bacteria and usually harmless to humans, but can cause serious illness if consumed. The symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and dehydration.
To avoid this illness, you should wash your hands and utensils if they come into contact with raw meat. Cold water should be avoided when cleaning, and you should instead use hot water.
Other types of food poisoning that you can develop from unsafely cooked meat and poultry include salmonella and campylobacteriosis.
Can Meat Thermometers Be Left In The Oven?
The answer is yes, but it’s not recommended.
Most meat thermometers are constructed to be used in ovens, though you will have to double-check that yours is before using it. This should be mentioned in a product’s online description or packaging.
The majority of these products can withstand high temperatures.
This can make for a very convenient cooking arrangement, as you can constantly check whether the meat has reached the optimal temperature. If you are looking for a high-quality oven-safe thermometer for meat, we recommend this product from Gaisten.
However, there are some disadvantages to leaving a thermometer in the oven. It can deliver inaccurate results since the thermometer itself will also be heated up while in the oven. Plus, not all thermometers are oven-safe.
Consequently, you will have to remember to check that your thermometer is suitable.
Perhaps the best way to monitor your food’s temperature while cooking is with an instant-read thermometer. These products can give you an accurate temperature reading in a matter of seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Deep Should You Insert A Meat Thermometer?
As mentioned earlier, the thermometer should be plunged into the thickest part of the meat.
This is because it is the part that will require the most cooking. Thus, its internal temperature is likely to be the coldest part, meaning it is most at risk of being under-cooked.
In terms of how deep it should be inserted, we advise putting it approximately 2 inches deep into the meat. Of course, this will vary depending on the thickness of the food, as different cuts of meat will vary in thickness.
Will A Meat Thermometer Start At Zero?
Yes, when you first use the thermometer it will be at 0 °C/ 32 °F. This is because this is the temperature at which water starts to freeze.
If you turn your thermometer on before putting it in the meat, it will likely calibrate to room temperature.
Overall, if you cook meat regularly, we suggest that you invest in a meat thermometer. These products are not very expensive. They are easy to obtain, you can find them online and in cookery stores.
Moreover, they can save you from eating unsafe meat. Thermometers are convenient solutions to ensure that your meat is at the ideal temperature.
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