A meat thermometer is a must-have tool for smoking meat. It’s important to use a thermometer to ensure that your meat is cooked to the proper temperature. A meat thermometer can help you avoid food poisoning and make sure your meat is cooked perfectly every time. There are many various types of meat thermometers available, so be sure to select the one that best suits your needs.
Types of Meat Thermometers
Remote meat thermometer:
This meat thermometer is inserted into the meat and has a probe that stays outside. It has a digital readout that can be set to alarm when food reaches temperature or left to sound an alarm when the temperature goes above or below the desired level. This type of meat thermometer has a range of -58° F to 572° F (-50° C to 300° C).
Digital meat thermometers:
This type of meat thermometer is inserted into the meat and has a probe that stays outside. It has no alarm, but it does have an attached digital readout. If you choose this type of meat thermometer, you’ll need a separate probe. Digital meat thermometers have a range of -58° F to 572° F (-50° C to 300° C).
Stovetop meat thermometers:
This type of meat thermometer is inserted into the food and has a metal probe that stays on the stove or grill and cannot be removed. The metal probe can be inserted into the meat or left in the pot as you cook. This type of meat thermometer has a range of 100° F to 450° F (38° C to 232° C).
Oven-safe meat thermometers:
This type of meat thermometer is perfect for roasts and other large cuts of meat because it has a long stem that measures internal temperatures from up to 2 inches away from the bone. To use this type of meat thermometer, insert the stem directly into the roast’s center, be careful not to hit any bones, then place it on a cooking rack in a shallow pan filled with 1 inch of water.
Leave room between the oven wall and the probe to circulate the heat. Oven-safe meat thermometers have a range of 100° F to 450° F (38° C to 232° C).
Dial stem meat thermometers:
This type of meat thermometer has a large face that’s easy to read and has a metal needle that measures internal temperatures from 1/4 to 2 inches away from the bone. To use this type of meat thermometer, make an X with your thumb and index finger, then insert the stem through the hole between your fingers. Be sure not to touch any bones as you insert it into the thickest part of the roast or poultry; leave room between the oven wall and the probe so the heat can circulate. Dial stem meat thermometers have a range of 100° F to 450° F (38° C to 232° C).
How to choose a meat thermometer:
Due to the different types of meat thermometers available at Mr Review Expert, it can be difficult to choose the one that’s right for you. Here are some things to consider when choosing a type of meat thermometer.
Digital meat thermometers are the easiest to clean because all you have to do is wipe them down with a wet cloth or toss it in the dishwasher. Some digital meat thermometers can be washed under running water, but if yours can’t, never submerge it. Wipe stovetop and oven-safe models with a damp cloth after using them, then wash them as directed on the manufacturer’s label. You’ll also need to wash dial stem models after every use since they cannot be submerged in water.
Types of probes:
If you only plan on cooking large cuts of meat that will reach their proper temperatures within an hour or so, you won’t need a remote probe because one that stays outside the oven is fine. However, if you plan on cooking small cuts of meat or poultry that cook quickly and don’t need long amounts of time in the oven, you’ll need a probe with a digital display because it’s more accurate than an oven-safe model.
Types of temperature ranges:
If you only plan on cooking food to rare or medium-rare temperatures, then all the meat thermometers previously mentioned will work for you. However, if you plan on cooking food to very specific temperatures (like beef steaks), choose one with the broadest range possible so that it can measure high temperatures and low ones.
Finally, consider each meat thermometer’s warranty before making your purchase. Digital models typically have more comprehensive warranties than stovetop models.
How to use a meat thermometer:
Regardless of which type you choose, all meat thermometers work the same way. Here are some tips on how to use them properly.
Inserting the probe:
Always wash your hands before inserting or removing the probe from food to avoid contaminating it with bacteria. Digital probes should be inserted 4 inches into large cuts of beef, lamb, and pork; 2 inches into veal, turkey, and game meats; 1 inch into thin cuts like fish fillets; and 3/4 inch for chicken pieces.
If an instruction manual came with your digital meat thermometer, follow those guidelines instead of these ones. Oven-safe probes should be inserted 4 inches deep into food, leaving 2 to 3 inches of the stem outside of it.
Always insert it in the center of large cuts of meat and poultry; if cooking thin cuts like fish fillets or chicken pieces, you’ll need to hold them against a flat surface to ensure that they’re wide enough for the probe’s prongs to fit into. Stovetop probes should be submerged before turning on the stove, but digital ones shouldn’t because they can damage their internal components.
Test your readout:
Oven-safe and stovetop models cannot be submerged, so you’ll need to test the temperature on your wrist before you cook with them. Simply place the probe part of the meat thermometer underneath your wrist like a pen and wait about 10 seconds for it to get an accurate reading. If the readout is high or low, adjust it accordingly by turning its knob or pushing one of its buttons. Once you’re satisfied with your desired setting, insert the probe into your food according to the instructions above.
Storing digital models:
When storing digital meat thermometers, make sure that they are dry before putting them away because moisture can damage their electronic components. Store them in a drawer or on the kitchen counter; never store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
As you can see, meat thermometers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So, before purchasing yours, think about how often you’ll be using it, the cooking techniques you employ, and whether or not your dial stem model is oven-safe.