Essential Tools – Thermometers

There are just a few kitchen tools that I consider essential and thermometers are at the top of the list.  Much of cooking really comes down to science. Time and temperature are important for food safety and consistent results when cooking.  Using a thermometer is a way to ensure both.

This photo shows my collection, each having their own specific uses:  In the lower left is a bi-metalic stem thermometer (with a red plastic cover just beside it), the kind you may see in a chef’s pocket or sleeve on their jacket. It has a dial display for checking the temperature of the thickest parts of cooked foods.  To the right is a white Remote Roasting Thermometer  connected to a probe on a wire cord from Williams-Sonoma. This has a digital display for a more accurate temperature reading than the bi-metalic stem thermometer, able to monitor temperatures from outside of the oven while food is cooking inside the oven. This thermometer will sound an alarm when a preset the temperature is reached for a varity of meats.  I won’t cook a whole turkey without it.

Next over is the red-handled Infrared Laser BBQ Surface Thermometer by Maverick. Designed to measure the surface temperature of BBQ grills, it also has many other uses in the kitchen. This very accurate tool will sense the temperature of an object without touching it, displaying results digitally in Fahrenheit and Centigrade. I use it most often to determine when my stove-top skillet has reached the right temperature for cooking. The photo on the left is from the Maverick product description found on Amazon’s website.

Lastly, the thermometer on the far right in my collection above is an every day oven thermometer that you can pick up at most grocery stores. This hangs from the center rack inside the oven and keeps track of temperatures in a similar way the bi-metalic stem thermometer does. It has a dial display and is not as accurate as a digital display thermometer but very useful to have.

Oven temperatures swing widely depending on manufacturer and age of the oven. Each time the oven door is opened heat is lost.  Oven thermometers help you monitor what is really happening inside. For best results use thermometers in cooking and calibrate those that will allow you to do so. See manufacturer for instructions.

Upcoming recipes will make reference to all of these thermometers and more.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Deb G on March 5, 2012 at 7:55 am

    You forgot my beloved candy thermometer – my fabulous annual peanut brittle can not be made without it! Anyone who likes to cook the “sweet stuff” needs one of these in their repertoire to differentiate between soft ball and hard crack without guesswork. I’m probably not as religious as you in the use of the others although I do own and occasionally use the instant read and oven probe style.


    • I’m glad you mentioned the candy thermometer, it is essential to working with melted sugar. There is a lot of molecular chemistry involved and you are brave to venture there! I’ve not tried it myself.


  2. There are different types and kinds of digital thermometers available in the market today. Meat thermometers are gadgets used to measure the temperature of meat, whether turkey meat, ham, roasts, and even poultry. The types of digital thermometer being sold in the market today have specification depending on the type of use.


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