With the help of a food thermometer you can find out the internal temperature of any food item while cooking. There are many types of food thermometers which are very useful in the kitchen. Scroll down for more details.
Do you know pork should be cooked at an internal temperature of 160ºF in order to make it safe for eating? Usually people consider food to be cooked by just judging the color or according to the time it takes to be cooked. But to ensure the food is cooked properly and that it is completely free from micro organisms, especially in the case of meat, you need to maintain a proper temperature for a particular period of time. This you can determine with the help of a food thermometer which is also known as a kitchen thermometer or meat thermometer. There are many different types of food thermometers available in the market which are specially designed to find out the temperature of the food item while it is cooking. So, let’s go into details about these thermometers and find out the how they can help in cooking.
Types of food thermometer
Two major thermometer measuring appliances available in the market are refrigerators and ovens. A refrigerator is used to keep food items in a lower temperature whereas the oven is used to increase the temperature and cook the food. Both of these appliances are different from food thermometers. A food thermometer is used to measure the internal temperature of the food item either at the time of cooking or when the cooking is done. These thermometers are very helpful in cooking the food properly and at an optimum temperature. Different food thermometers have different specifications and accuracy. These thermometers may either be used for all the food items or to measure only specific foods. There are some thermometers which can be used only once like the pop-up timers and single use temperature indicators. Following is the explanation and specification of some of them. Have a look.
|Types of Food Thermometers|
|Digital Food Thermometer
These thermometers show their readings in a digital format. They are quite accurate and quick. They are not oven safe and can get spoiled if they come in contact with water. Following are some of the thermometers which fall under this category.
|Thermocouple||2 to 5 seconds||It is one of the most expensive food thermometers. It is quick in giving readings and can measure thick as well as thin food items. It cannot be used while cooking food but can give quite an accurate reading once you feel that the food is nearly cooked. It should be inserted at least ¼ inch inside the food for accuracy. It can be easily calibrated to get reading.|
|Thermistors||10 seconds||It can give accurate and quick readings and can measure any type of thick and thin food. It can be used when the food is nearly cooked according to the time it takes. Some of these thermometers can be calibrated but check the company’s manual for detailed information. It should be inserted at least ½ inch inside the food.|
|Oven Cord Thermometers||10 seconds||This thermometer can be used while cooking. That means it can remain inside the oven or the cooking pot. It can be used to measure most of the foods but it cannot be calibrated. It should be inserted ½ inch inside the food for better results.|
|Thermometer Fork Combination||2 to 10 seconds||This thermometer is in the shape of a fork which has a digital display of temperature. It can be used for most of the foods but the temperature cannot be measured while cooking. Temperature is measured when the food is about to cook completely. It cannot be calibrated. For accurate results insert the fork completely or at least ¼ inch inside the food.|
|Dial Food Thermometers
These thermometers display the temperature on a big round dial which has a long metal stick which is inserted inside the food material and the core temperature is recorded. It is not so accurate and can even give false readings sometimes. Following are the thermometers under this category.
|“Oven safe” Bimetallic-Coil Thermometers||1 to 2 minutes||It is made up of two metals and can be used to measure roasts, casseroles and soups and can work while cooking. The readings are not always accurate due to heat combustion. Some models can be calibrated hence read the product manual before buying it. It is bad at measuring thin food. It needs to be inserted 2-2 ½ inches for better results.|
|“Instant Read” Bimetallic-Coil Thermometers||15 to 20 seconds||It can be very good for roasts and soups. It cannot measure thin food unless it is inserted sideways. You can use it at the end of the cooking time as when it is about to be cooked. You can get the readings from the thickest part by inserting 2-2 ½ inches inside the food. Some of its models are calibrated. It is easily available in the stores.|
|Other Food Thermometers
There are many other types of thermometers also which are very helpful in finding out the right temperature of the food item. Following are some of the thermometers which include the single use thermometers and which are used for liquid substances.
|Single Use Temperature Indicators||5 to 10 seconds||This thermometer has a temperature sensitive material which changes the color when the specific temperature is achieved. It is available in a specific temperature range and is intended for specific foods only. It can be used while cooking. Once the color changes it cannot be used again. Hence they are called single use thermometers. It should be inserted at least ½ inch deep.|
|Pop up timers||—||This is a single use thermometer which is usually used for roasting turkeys and chickens. It is also food and temperature specific as soon as the food reaches its specific temperature, it pops up which acts as an indication. It is made up of nylon and a stainless steel spring and firing material inside it. It can be used only once.|
|Liquid Filled (Glass or Metal Stem)||1 to 2 minutes||It can be used while cooking. It is filled with a liquid which rises as the temperature increases. It cannot measure thin food. Some models can be calibrated which you can check in the product manual. The metal stem can sometimes give false reading due to metal conduction. The glass stem can pose a danger of breaking while it is in the food. It should be inserted 2 inches inside the thickest part of the food.|
These were some of the food thermometers which are used to measure the internal temperature of the food. You can get all these thermometers from the market according to your requirement and necessity. Do not judge the cooked food according to the color as it may still contain many harmful microorganisms specially in case of meat. I hope this article was helpful and informative.