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Thermometer Tips

Use a food thermometer to make sure foods have been properly cooked to a safe internal temperature. Plus you won’t over cook your food.

There are several types of thermometers available:

  • Dial oven-safe: This type of thermometer is inserted into the food at the beginning of the cooking time and remains in the food throughout cooking. By checking the thermometer as the food cooks, you will know exactly when thick cuts of meat, such as roasts or turkeys, are cooked to the safe temperature. This type of thermometer is not appropriate for use with food that is thin, like boneless chicken breast.
  • Dial instant-read: This thermometer is not designed to stay in the food during cooking. When you think the food is cooked to the safe temperature, you check it with the instant-read thermometer. To do this, insert the instantread thermometer into the thickest part of the food. Insert to the point marked on the probe—usually to a depth of 2 inches. About 15 to 20 seconds are required for the temperature to be accurately displayed.

    This type of thermometer can be used with thin food, such as chicken breasts or hamburger patty—simply insert the probe sideways, making sure that the tip of the probe reaches the center of the meat.

  • Digital instant-read: This type of thermometer does not stay in the food during cooking—you check the temperature when you think the food is cooked.
  • The advantage of this type of thermometer is that the heat-sensing device is in the tip of the probe. Place the tip of the probe in the center of the thickest part of the food—at least 1/2 inch deep. About 10 seconds are required for the temperature to be accurately displayed.

    This type of thermometer is good to use for checking the temperature of a thin food like a hamburger patty. Just insert the probe from the top or sideways to a depth of 1/2 inch.

    (FYI: Pop-up timers are reliable within 1 to 2 degrees, but it’s best to check with a food thermometer.)


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