Digital Kitchen Thermometer - a cooking gadget must-have
A digital kitchen thermometer such as a meat probe might not seem like an essential kitchen tool but it is actually quite useful for preparing food where the cooking temperatures are specified.
Eating raw or under-cooked hamburger meat can have dire consequences. News abound of people getting really sick and even die from eating under-cooked hamburgers.
I highly recommend using a digital meat probe to measure the cooking temperature of your burger patties to ensure they have reached the safe consumption temperatures.
It can also be used to measure the temperature of cooking syrup for candy making, or proofing dough for bread making, or roasting chicken and etc.
Families with young children at home should really consider investing in a good cooking thermometer to ensure raw meat are cooked to the safe temperature of 160-165 degree F. which kill harmful bacteria in the meat.
There are many types of kitchen thermometers in the marketplace and sometimes it is hard to make a decision about which to buy. I think the decision should be based on quality, price and personal cooking habits. It should be well made, reasonably priced and suit your cooking style.
Let's look at some of these.
In the past, cooks go by sight and touch, now, they can use a food thermometer to cook it just right with official recommended temperatures. For example, beef and chicken is 160 degree Fahrenhite and pork is 165 degree F.
A probe thermometer is well designed for measuring meat like poultry, beef and pork roast. A probe comes with a long measuring needle. To measure, remove the food from heat source then insert the needle 2 inches into the meat, avoiding bone and fat. .
For a thin burger patty of about 0.5 inch, insert needle into the middle of the patty from the side. Do not touch the pan. If your patties are on the grill, you will need to move them onto a plate to take the measurements.
Meat probes come in different sizes and can be wired or wireless.
In recent years, instant read thermometers have become the first choice for home cooks. They detect temperatures within a few seconds and are light and portable. Great for outdoor grilling.
My favorite ones come from Thermoworks.
One of the most highly rated instant read handheld food thermometer on Amazon is the thermapen.
It is an instant read thermometer and the temperatures range from -58.0 to 572.0 degrees F (-49.9 to 299.9 degrees C).
This is water-resistant and NSF approved. I like the pink color.
The display seems to be only on the the side where you need to be holding it with your right hand. A slight bummer for left-handers like me. Will Thermoworks come up with a left-handed version? I think the price might go up a notch though.
It is already retailing at Amazon for about USD89.00. Quite hefty for a small thermometer.
Perhaps a fairly consistent performer with a much lower price tag might suit the more budget-conscious.
How about the RT301WA Super-Fast Pocket Digital Thermometer? It doesn't have a fanciful name like the thermapen and neither does it have the trendy cool look.
Good looks aside, it is a reliable, portable and lightweight companion for outdoor grilling.
It isn't as fast as the thermapen, but 5-6 seconds is still a good speed. It automatically turns off after 1 hour to preserve battery life.
It is also water resistant and has a really nice and big digital display. Best of all, the display is on top facing the front. You can hold it with your left hand or right hand and still see the readings easily.
Retailing at a mere USD19.00, it is a steal.
Which one would I get?
For my personal use, I would choose the RT301WA. Something simple and nondescript suit me best. But if I am buying a gift for an avid BBQ fan, then I may choose the thermapen. Nothing like seeing the delight and twinkle in the eye when someone opens a present and find something really nice. (^_^)
Not convinced with my picks? Take a look at some of these more affordable instant read thermometers yourself.