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Monday, November 1, 2010

Tips: Oven vs Instant Read Thermometers

The age old question as you stare intently over a pan or into an oven, is it done yet? You can slice your meat open - not the best option. Or you can skewer it with a thermometer being careful to avoid any bones or coming in contact with the bottom of the pan. Now if you're going the thermometer route before you put your thermometer into the oven and close the door, you need to know if it's an oven thermometer. If it's not, you'll find out soon enough; it'll melt.

We have a meat thermometer. At one point, I knew if it was an oven thermometer or an instant read thermometer; I'm no longer sure. I think it's an oven meat thermometer as it seems to take forever to get to some temperature other than 0. Or alternatively, we just don't really know how to use it.

Because we had the option to review a product from Cookware.com, a CSN Store, we looked at the thermometers they had available. The models we considered were:
  • Taylor's Connoisseur Instant Read Thermometer for $15.99 (not oven safe but has silicone grips for safe and easy handling - our current thermometer does get hot to the touch)
  • Taylor's Connoisseur Meat Thermometer for $19.99 (oven safe with safe temperature for meat clearly marked)
  • Polder's Dual Probe Thermometer (THM-360) for $29.99 (oven safe with type of meat and "doneness" of meat settings - fancy!)
  • Taylor's Commercial Wireless Thermometer for $34.99 (oven safe with programmable settings and customizable alerts when meat is almost ready and is ready)
One thing that would be helpful to anyone browsing Cookware.com is if they offered tips on which thermometer is the right one for the task at hand. Every cook, from the novice to the most experienced should have a meat thermometer but depending on what you're going to be cooking and how, you don't need all the bells and whistles and you need one - instant read - versus the other - oven - meat thermometer or both meat thermometers.

We braise meats as well as roast and broil them, so we actually need two meat thermometers. One we could use in the oven - placed in the meat at the beginning of the cooking that you can read without opening the oven door and removing the entrée. And another that we can quickly read whether or not meat on the stove top is ready.

In any case, we're getting a new meat thermometer. Now we just have to determine which one we're getting first.

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