HOW TO USE A MEAT THERMOMETER CORRECTLY
Whether you are trying to achieve the perfect medium-rare pan-seared steak or create mouth-watering short-rib burgers, using a meat thermometer can be a convenient asset. Meat thermometers help ensure your meat is cooked safely without overcooking or drying it out. Read on to learn how to correctly use a meat thermometer.
WHAT IS A MEAT THERMOMETER?
Meat thermometers are valuable instruments that read the internal temperature of meat while it is cooking. You can precisely cook any kind of meat with two main types of meat thermometers — analog or digital. This is especially helpful when utilizing techniques such as grilling in the oven or when making seasoned meats like pulled pork.
Additionally, some ovens and countertop ovens from KitchenAid brand come with their own built-in temperature probe that monitors the temperature of your meat while it cooks. This means you can avoid opening the oven door to take a temperature check, which can cause your oven to lose heat or interrupt your cooking process.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A MEAT THERMOMETER?
The purpose of meat thermometers is to accurately measure a piece of meat’s internal temperature in order to, first, ensure food safety when cooking meat and, second, reach your ideal doneness for your meal. This two-pronged approach will help you cook the meat you enjoy to get the perfect meal every time.
HOW TO USE A MEAT THERMOMETER WHEN COOKING
Once you’ve chosen your meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest or fleshiest part of your meat for an accurate reading (this will help you avoid bones in your meat or fatty tissues). If measuring the temperature of a thinner piece of meat, such as a burger patty, insert the thermometer into the side of the meat until it reaches the center. Once your meat has reached the correct internal temperature, remove it from your heating source and serve.
- Meat thermometer
STEP 1: PICK A THERMOMETER
The first step to using a meat thermometer is selecting a model. One option is an analog model, such as a dial oven-safe thermometer, whose dial read will manually respond to temperature changes. Another option is a digital model, such as a thermocouple or digital instant-read, that provides fast, automatic readings.
The Yummly® Smart Bluetooth Meat Thermometer is one example of a digital meat thermometer that can help you achieve the doneness your recipe calls for. By using the free Yummly® app, you can help eliminate the guesswork while receiving alerts for when it is time to remove your meat, fish or poultry.
STEP 2: TEST YOUR THERMOMETER
Before using your meat thermometer for the first time, it is important to ensure an accurate reading. To test your thermometer’s accuracy, fill a container with ice and water and stir. Let the mixture sit for three minutes, then insert your thermometer. Within 30 seconds, your thermometer should read 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If it doesn’t, follow recalibration instructions to correct the reading.
STEP 3: INSERT INTO MEAT
For the most accurate reading, place your thermometer into the thickest part of your meat. Different ranges of doneness—e.g., medium rare, well done—will be achieved at different internal temperatures. For more, consult your recipe or the “Minimum Internal Temperature for Choice Meats” table below.
Step 4: DO NOT REMOVE
Similar to using a body thermometer, it is crucial to keep the thermometer in place until you achieve a confirmed reading. Failing to do so will interrupt the measurement and give you an inaccurate reading.
Step 5: READ THERMOMETER
Begin checking your meat measurement when your meal is within 30 minutes of cooking completion. This will allow you to stay on top of any major fluctuations for a smooth cooking process and accurate readings.
Step 6: REMOVE MEAT
Once your meat has reached 5 - 10 degrees Fahrenheit below your desired temperature, remove it from its heating source to stop the cooking process. Allow your meat to rest for ten minutes and then serve.
SHOP YUMMLY®SMART BLUETOOTH MEAT THERMOMETER
With the Yummly® smart bluetooth meat thermometer, you can get the meat doneness you want, every time. The thermometer also comes with a free app that allows you to adjust your cooking settings and track your cooking remotely. Preset programs for meat, fish, and poultry eliminate the guesswork, while timers and alerts let you be confident in your cooking, even when you’re multitasking.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY MEAT THERMOMETER IS CORRECT?
Given the many types of meat thermometers, ensuring correct calibration will depend on your model. Although many digital meat thermometers come pre-calibrated, you can test digital and analog meat thermometers via the same process: insert your thermometer into ice-cold water and check whether it reads 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
WHERE DO YOU POKE A MEAT THERMOMETER?
Inserting your meat thermometer into the thickest or fleshiest part of the meat (away from the bone, fat and gristle) is the best way to ensure an accurate reading. Additionally, if you wish to measure a thinner cut of meat, insert your thermometer into the side of the meat until the tip of the thermometer reaches the center.
HOW FAR DO YOU PLACE A MEAT THERMOMETER INTO THE MEAT?
How far you place a meat thermometer into meat for an accurate reading will depend on your kind of thermometer. For dial oven-safe meat thermometers, you will want to insert 2 - 2½” deep into the meat. Whereas a digital instant-read will only need to be placed ½” deep. Always check your thermometer’s manual to ensure correct usage.
SHOULD THE MEAT THERMOMETER TOUCH THE BONE?
When using a meat thermometer, it is important not to touch the bone because the bone will be up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the rest of your meat. This might result in unfavorable cooking results. To avoid bones in larger pieces of meat (such as your Thanksgiving turkey), insert your thermometer into the center of the fleshy or thickest part of the food.
MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURE FOR CHOICE MEATS
|Beef/lamb steaks, roasts and chops||145 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Pork steaks, roasts and chops||145 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Beef ground meat and sausage||160 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Pork ground meat and sausage||160 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Chicken/turkey whole bird and sausage||165 Degrees Fahrenheit|
CARING FOR YOUR MEAT THERMOMETER
After your meal is finished cooking and you are done using your meat thermometer, make sure to clean it thoroughly with a soft, damp, soap cloth then wipe clean. Dry with another soft cloth immediately. Do not submerge your meat thermometer in water unless specifically instructed by your owner’s manual.
Additionally, you can use your meat thermometer for other tasks, such as measuring the temperature of oil or making candy, but make sure to clean your thermometer after every use to not spread contaminants. For best care, make sure to refer to your user manual.
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