A meat thermometer is a definite must-have around every kitchen. It will help you test the doneness of such extravagant recipes as roasts, turkeys, and hams among others.
How large is a meat thermometer? The size varies according to brands and manufacturers. Some digital meat thermometers have dimensions of 6”x1”x2”. That size weighs about 8 ounces. There are also meat thermometers with dials and their standard dimensions are 3”x3”x5.5”.
For the most part, meat thermometers are made of stainless steel material. Since the metal probe needs to be inserted onto the meat sometimes before cooking and for the duration of the cooking time, it is ideal that it is easy to clean.
How to Use a Meat Thermometer
Meat thermometers will efficiently tell you on what level of doneness your meat is in. That is, if you know how to use it properly. Here are some guidelines to follow:
* Always insert the metal probe on the thickest, the meatiest part of your dish. But make sure that it will not touch the bone. The meat’s bone can conduct heat that may affect the thermometer’s estimation regarding the temperature of your meat.
* If you can afford it, purchase a meat thermometer that is equipped with helpful features such as an alarm, which sounds once the required temperature for a specific level of doneness is reached. That will keep you on guard and will not risk burning your meat.
* Some meat thermometers need not be inserted all throughout the cooking process. Make sure that before using one, read the manual. Not all meat thermometers are the same.
* When roasting turkey, make sure to insert the metal probe onto the thigh but do not let it reach the bone. The required temperature for roast turkey is 185 ºF. That’s when it is safe for consumption.
* For beef, pork, or lamb, the safe temperature is between 160 ºF and 165 ºF.
* If you are roasting ground meats or casseroles, you must insert your thermometer on the thickest part of the dish. Check temperature guidelines for different types of food to know what tip of the scale should tell you your meal is ready.
* When it comes to meat thermometers, size does not matter. What matters is its capability to read an accurate temperature. A thermometer that does not read temperatures the right way is useless.