Kitchen thermometers have come a long way in the last several decades. There are many more options available today than the traditional metal-and-glass turkey thermometer. A food thermometer is an important element in the kitchen because of food safety issues as well as for comprehensive cooking projects such as candy making and deep frying. There are a few different kinds of thermometers to choose from.
A probe thermometer features an electronic monitor which allows you to check the temperature of your food item from the outside of the oven. A coil connects the probe to the base so that you can place the base on the counter next to the oven and a digital readout will tell you everything you need to know. You can also get models with a timer, dual probes and a beeper. There are also one-piece probe thermometers which are left in the food, although the oven does have to be opened to check the temperature.
These cooking thermometers offer advantages and disadvantages. The sensor is in the tip, so you can measure the internal temperature of thin meats as well as thick. The instant read thermometer cannot be left inside the food while it cooks so the oven door has to be opened, although the temperature is read within seconds so this should not present much of a problem. A fork thermometer, commonly used for grilling, is one type of thermistor. It’s best to use these thermometers toward the end of the cooking time.
The pop-up is perhaps the most well known variety of kitchen thermometer; there is usually one included with every commercially purchased whole turkey. The pop-up timer is just that – it pops up when the meat reaches the proper internal temperature, making timing a breeze. Disposable thermometers are similar in that they are designed to be used only once. These can be handy, although they only measure within about a 10-degree range, so you must purchase the appropriate type for the meat you’re cooking.
Candy and frying thermometers are designed to survive much higher temperatures than the typical meat thermometer (up to 400 F). They are also typically made to hang on the edge of the pot so that you do not have to continually dip them to check the temperature of your food. Other types of kitchen thermometers include those which can be placed inside the refrigerator or freezer in order to make sure your food is kept at the optimum temperature, and oven thermometers which tell you whether your oven temperature is calibrated to the settings on the dial.
Thermometers are affordable, functional components of a well-equipped kitchen and can be found in any kitchen supply store or discount chain. They help ensure that your food is cooked to safe temperatures and make candy-making easy and fun.
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