It happens to everyone: you spend hours roasting an upscale cut of meat (or agonizing minutes searing a flowery steak), only to over- or undercooking it. That’s why learning the way to use a thermometer is often a life-changing, money-saving, and anxiety-reducing revelation. Plus, although How to Use a Meat Thermometer may seem allusively technical, the process couldn’t be simpler!
Choose What Type of Thermometer You Need
There are several types of meat thermometers. You’ll find the 2 most elementary styles, the bimetallic and bulb thermometers, at the most grocery stores. These are inexpensive options that are easy to seek out, but they will take for much longer to offer a temperature read-out and are not as accurate as other options. Also, their glass parts can easily break.
How to Use a Meat Thermometer
Digital instant-read thermometers provide far more accurate results, so they’re the Epi Test Kitchen choice for meat thermometers. There are two main types in this category:
• A digital instant-read thermometer gives you an (almost) instant readout, and it’s easy to use. We love the Thermopop from Thermoworks, or, for a good faster read-out, the pricier Thermapen).
• A digital probe thermometer, which connects the probe that you insert into the meat with a separate device that contains temperature readout and customizable alarm settings, is great for roasting or smoking larger cuts of meat for long hours, like turkey or beef standing rib roast.
We love the Thermoworks ChefAlarm, which incorporates a 6-inch probe that connects to the read-out device with a commercial-quality cable.
Place the Thermometer Correctly
For the foremost accurate reading, place the thermometer into the thickest portion of meat, avoiding fat and bone. You’re looking to seek out rock bottom internal temperature – that’s the foremost accurate temperature for the core of the meat.
Most thermometers require you to insert the probe a minimum of 1/2 inch into the meat (only 1/8 inch for Thermoworks models), but if the meat is thicker than an inch, you’ll probably want to go deeper than that to reach the very center.
If you’re employing a Thermoworks thermometer, the temperature reading is taken from the very tip of the probe, so watch the read-out as you push the probe into the meat.
The temperature should keep dropping because the probe goes into the deepest a part of the meat – if you see the temperature beginning to rise again, you’ve gone too far.
Check the Meat Temperature Early and Often
For a bigger roast, start checking your meat about a half-hour before you expect it to be done; for thinner, smaller cuts, start testing the meat 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time. To hit the proper doneness, aim for the meat temperature given in your recipe, also as food-safety charts.
It’s important to recollect that meat will continue cooking after it’s far away from the heat – this is named carryover cooking.
It’s not much of an element with smaller cuts of meat, like chicken pieces, steaks, and chops, but large, thick roasts of beef, lamb, veal, pork loin, or even large turkey breasts should before faraway from the warmth once they reach 5 degrees but their desired doneness temperature.
Give these larger cuts 5 to 10 minutes of resting time, and therefore the temperature will get up to perfect doneness and the juices will have many times to redistribute into the meat.
Bonus Tip: Calibrate Your Thermometer
To quickly test if your thermometer is accurate, dip the tip into a bowl of drinking water. It should read 32°F or 0°C, the temperature that water freezes at. Many digital thermometers have a push-button or recalibrate button, so if the temperature is off, you’ll likely fix it – just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The sooner you are doing that, the earlier you’ll start making perfectly cooked meat again!