What to Look for in a Meat Thermometer
The meat thermometer is one of the most useful kitchen tools to have.
The biggest mistakes when it comes to cooking a steak or roast or a burger to a certain temperature is timing it rather than using a meat thermometer
If you’re serious about cooking or even if you’re just serious about keeping your expensive roast from overcooking, You should absolutely own a meat thermometer.
Every cook should have one and use one – and if you’re not a cook, you should definitely have one!
The range of prices are cheap – to expensive and everything in between. there are so many to choose from. Prices range from a few dollars to over 100$. And it pays to shop around.
Which one is best meat thermometer? There are so many types to choose.
There are expensive ones with probes that you leave in while the meat cooks.
Some have timers which notify you when the meat is done.
There are analog thermometers and digital ones
Analog– needs to stay in the food as it cooks, and needs to be re-calibrated
Digital ones are more consistant but less durable
The only one that we at Northfork Bison do not recommend are those that have the temperature reading for beef, pork, lamb and poultry on the face of the thermometer. With these you are destined to overcook your meat.
Maverick PT-100bbq digital food thermometer: $60.00-$100.00 and cheaper than the Thermapen by half.
Thermapen – goes for 50% more than the Maverick but the Thermapen provides results in just a few seconds and the probe is really thin.
The hole it pokes is half the size of other thermometers. If you’re looking for a really good accurate digital thermometer I would go with the Thermapen. The maverick uses 3 AAA batteries. This is good because these batteries are easy to find and insert. The Thermapen uses harder to find lithium 2 coin cell batteries (good for 1500 hours) . it has very good speed and response time, and it doesn’t have to be immersed as far to get an accurate reading. It’s a lot faster, too. It’s splash-proof and its moulded design protects it from wet hands and kitchen splashes. It comes in a variety of colours so you can coordinate it with your kitchen.
For the BBQ
The easiest and most fun for us is the Electric BBQ Meat Thermometer. It is very smart. That’s a good thing, it’s saved many a burger and steak on the BBQ. It can tell you whether your steak is rare or well done; just how you might like it. Prod the meat as it’s cooking on the grill to check its temperature and to see how cooked it is. Press the “taste” button to see if your steak or burger is already grilled to your liking. Easy and delicious. Less chance of messing up.
How to Use a meat thermometer.
Ok, now that you have a list of thermometers to check out. Here’s what you do once you decided on one.
- Insert it into the thickest part of the meat but do not hit the bone.
- Look for a temperature of 5 degrees below the “actual” final temperature you are going for
- Remember the meat continues to cook after you’ve taken it out of the oven or any other heat source.
- Always wash your thermometer with hot soapy water after each use.
OK, Let’s say your meat is ready to cook and you don’t have a meat thermometer, or you can’t find one, or you accidentally dropped it down the garburator. Are you up the creek without a paddle?
Follow these tips to test for doneness. They are not as super accurate as your $150.00 Thermapen meat thermometer but will do in a pinch.
Test doneness by doing the poke test
- Poke the neat at centre of the meat (least cooked area) The more rare it is, the more tender it will be and the less bounce back the muscle will have.
- If the centre feels squishy – it’s rare
- If the centre feels like the heel of your relaxed hand – its medium
- If the centre feels like the heel of you flexed hand – its well done
- if it feels the like tip of your nose – it’s overcooked.