A digital meat thermometer is a great cooking tool to add to your arsenal of cooking supplies. These gadgets will definitely take the guesswork out of cooking. They work by measuring the internal temperature of your cooked meat or poultry (or even a casserole) to ensure that a safe temperature is reached, harmful bacteria has been destroyed and your food is cooked to perfection; And a digital meat thermometer will also prevent overcooking.
It is very simple to use a meat thermometer. You insert it through the fat side of the meat while being careful not to touch any bone as bone conducts heat faster and you will get a false reading. For example, if you are inserting the digital meat thermometer into a turkey, push it into the thicket part of the breast near the inner thigh to ascertain an accurate reading. For roasts, steaks, and pork chops insert the stem into the center of the thickest part away from not only bone but also fat and gristle. For food like ground meat patties, you would insert the stem sideways and for food like meat loaf, you would place it into the thickest section. This is also true for seafood, casseroles and egg dishes.
Most digital meat thermometers are accurate to within plus or minus one to two degrees Fahrenheit. Before you purchase a thermometer be certain that it is a meat thermometer and not a candy thermometer. Be sure that you look for a dial that is easy to read and that it is made with a clear, shatter-proof lens. Buying a stainless steel digital meat thermometer is important as well. You do not want to purchase plastic as some plastics contain formaldehyde, a chemical that can leech into your food if it gets too hot.
According to the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service there are certain internal temperatures that food must reach in order to be considered safe to eat. The examples below are for well done food:
170 degrees for steaks, roasts and pork chops
165 degrees for chicken and turkey
165 degrees for egg dishes and casseroles
There are such a wide variety of digital meat thermometers from which to choose rising in price from a few dollars to over one hundred dollars. For example you can get a CDN Proaccurate Stainless Steel digital meat meat thermometer for approximately fifty dollars. It is a great buy if you enjoy backyard grilling as it can be used in the oven and for grilling. It includes an automatic off after ten minutes feature and it can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. The Super Fast Thermapen digital meat thermometer is a top of the line thermometer that was originally made for professional chefs. Purchase price is around eighty dollars and it is fast and accurate as it will display temperatures in only three or four seconds. This model includes a reduced diameter needle tip that only requires 1/8 "immersion allowing you to take the temperature of even the thinnest meat patties. It automatically comes on when you open it and shuts off when you close it.
With the rise of food related illnesses, a digital meat thermometer would make a sensible and a handy addition to your cooking resources.