Society has so evolved that the meat you cook had to travel quite a long way before it gets even to the fridge. In that long journey comes the risk of food borne illness that increases in likelihood when food is not cooked at the right temperature. If you’ve ever bought groceries and had a long drive home, you’ve risked contamination with every degree it’s raised.
This makes the pocket thermometer a necessity if you want to safeguard your family. Many have mistakenly assumed a brown hamburger, for example, as already done and paid a stiff price with food poisoning. It is not good to entrust the safety of your family with your eyes especially when dealing with ground meat; remember, there’s a difference between “rare” and “still mooing”. With a pocket thermometer, you’ll always have one on hand, or pocket, as it were.
With every type of meat, be it poultry, pork, ground beef, or sausages, there are recommended cooking temperatures that must be reached to ensure all likely pathogens have been killed. For example, poultry has to be cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, ground beef at 160, and fish at 145. Only when these recommended temperatures are reached that you can serve the food with a near-guarantee that it’s clean and ready to eat.
Food thermometers are widely available at reasonable prices.There are two main types: the instant read and leave-in probes.Both are easy to use although they seem to have slight differences in purpose. With the instant read food thermometers, the user pokes holes in the meat and reading is obtained instantly. They are quite useful for spot checking in situations where you have a lot of meet cooking at the same time. From personal experience, I can tell you that this is how supermarket delis check the temperature on chicken tengers, potato wedges, and the like.
The leave-in probe, on the other hand, are better used for monitoring the progress of cooking. They are inserted to the thicker part of the meat and left there throughout the process. When we baked cookies in a Taurus, we used a leave-in probe that allowed us to detach and reattach the monitor without having to open and close the door; this ensured that we’d retain the heat in the car.
There is no question that a food thermometer would be a good investment. If you still do not own one, it is best to start choosing the best unit for your purpose; bearing in mind the speed, accuracy, sturdiness, temperature range and of course, the price. After all, it is the ultimate proof that in the kitchen, you are really working safely and getting food nicely done.