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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Taylor's Connoisseur Instant Read Thermometer

After careful consideration, we chose two items from CSN Store Cookware.com to review. The first item was the Taylor 501 Connoisseur Instant Read Thermometer for $15.99. 

As mentioned earlier, we already own a thermometer. We just weren't sure if it was a meat thermometer or an instant read thermometer. Luckily, we were able to locate the product instructions for the thermometer we already owned and find out. Our other thermometer is a Good Cook's Meat Thermometer. So we decided to purchase an instant read thermometer over another meat thermometer. If you're wondering about the differences, check out our Tips post.

We tried out the Taylor 501 Connoisseur Instant Read Thermometer for our one month wedding anniversary celebration. Unlike the meat thermometer we'd been trying to use for instant reads in the past, the thermometer does read the initial temperature of the meat faster. 

While we saw browning of our chicken we didn't see noticeable changes in the temperature readings. Thinking our Taylor instant read thermometer might be defective, we pulled out our Good Cook Meat Thermometer. 

It confirmed the reading of the Taylor thermometer and showed increases in the temperature as the cooking progressed. The instant read thermometer, however, didn't measure increases in temperature as well as the meat thermometer. I think this is probably because you're supposed to remove the instant read thermometer in between reads rather than leave it in.

Both thermometers stopped at roughly 150 degrees. We finally removed the chicken from the pan and sliced one open. The juices ran clear and the meat was white - although a tad overcooked. (Hel'um has a good description of how to tell if your chicken is completely cooked and safe to eat.)  This would lead me to believe that our thermometer is probably off by about 15 to 20 degrees. 

Unfortunately the Taylor instant read thermometer we purchased doesn't appear that it can be calibrated. Other instant read thermometers from Taylor, such as the 560 Gourmet Instant Read Thermometer and 801 Weekend Warrior Instant Read Thermometer, can be. Poor calibration doesn't make the thermometer useless it just means you have to mentally note the difference and take that into account each time you make a measurement.

Based on the calibration, I'd recommend not purchasing this particular instant read thermometer or any thermometer that doesn't have a way to adjust the calibration.

NOTE: We received the products from CSN Store Cookware.com to review free of charge. There were no restrictions on which product(s) we chose. The opinions contained herein are entirely our own.

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