While many of us are not natural born chefs, there are plenty of tools out there to help perfect your cooking. This article will discuss the basics of digital meat thermometers and what to look for in the best thermometers, as well as how they can help you in your day to day cooking.
What is A Digital Meat Thermometer?
As the name suggests, a digital meat thermometer gives a digital readout on whatever you are cooking. This thermometer is designed with a pointed probe, making it easier to pierce meat and accurately determine the temperature of your meal.
How Do They Work?
Digital Meat Thermometers, much like other types of thermometers on the market today, work by combining two pieces of metal. One piece of metal expands at a lower heat, and the other piece of metal expands at a higher heat. When working together, the metals twist, creating the temperature readout.
What Are the Uses and What Professions May Need This Type of Thermometer?
For the most part, digital meat thermometers are designed to be used while cooking meats. Many people utilize them particularly while they are roasting meat in the oven, grilling over a barbecue, or smoking meat over wood chips. The perfect cut of meat is only one part of the equation when cooking. Ensuring that your meat is cooked to the correct temperature based on food safety and your preference.
Additionally, a meat thermometer, digital or analog, can also be used while cooking other foods, such as baked treats, egg dishes, and can even be utilized for deep frying or candy making, though there are specific thermometers that are better designed for both of those uses.
Those who are going to need a digital meat thermometer in their professional life are those who are obviously working with meat on a regular basis. This may include chefs in restaurants, those who are working in smokehouses, and those who feel like a professional chef when they are cooking at home. Additionally, those who are working in food inspection and safety will utilize digital meat thermometers to ensure that restaurants are cooking meats to proper temperatures and maintaining proper heating techniques.
Types of Digital Meat Thermometers
There are two different types of digital meat thermometers. The first is an instant read digital thermometer. This thermometer is generally used towards the end of the cooking process and can be inserted into multiple places in the meat to ensure that all parts of the meat are cooked to the proper temperature. This type of thermometer works the best for thinner cuts of meat.
The other type of thermometer for meats is a leave in digital thermometer, and can be highly customizable. This type of thermometer leaves the probe in the meat throughout the cooking process and has a digital readout located outside of the oven, grill, or smoker. This type of thermometer can either utilize a wire that connects the probe to the read out, or can be wireless. The wireless thermometers often have the capability to be hooked up to your smartphone via bluetooth, so you can keep your eye on your meat throughout your home.
Benefits of Digital Meat Thermometers
Digital meat thermometers tend to run a little bit more expensive than analog thermometers, but there are a couple of different benefits of digital meat thermometers that make it the ideal for everyday use.
The biggest benefit of the digital thermometer is the fact that it is digital. Many of these thermometers measure down to the tenth of a degree, which means you don’t have to try to guess if you are sitting at 162 degrees or 164 degrees. This can especially helpful for those who are elderly or visually impaired and would have a difficult time reading analog thermometers.
Additionally, digital meat thermometers are important for chefs of any skill level. While it can be easy to follow the recipe or rely on past experience for how long a meat has had to cook in the past, so many different factors can come into play with how long it will take to roast beef shoulder or smoke a rack of ribs. Making the perfect meal every time relies on cooking it to the perfect temperature every time. A digital meat thermometer will help you achieve that.
Accuracy of Digital Meat Thermometers
The accuracy of a digital meat thermometer greatly depends on the brand, and unfortunately, is commonly linked to the price you are willing to pay for a thermometer. Many of the more expensive options are not only accurate, but are accurate to up to one tenth of a degree.
Features To Look For In A Digital Meat Thermometer
There are three different features that are among the most important to look for when you are shopping for a digital meat thermometer.
The first is accuracy. For some dishes, being off a couple of degrees will not change the end result. However, for a steak done precisely to your preference, a couple of degrees can make a huge difference. Having a thermometer that is accurate to the tenth of degree will ensure you get the level of doneness you crave every time.
Additionally, it is important to find a digital meat thermometer that reads quickly, providing accurate results within 3 to 10 seconds. This is important as this will help to keep your oven at an even temperature, and ensure that delicate cuts of meat are cooked to the exact right temperature.
Temperature presents are also a handy feature on digital thermometers. Many of us have trouble remembering specific temperature recommendations, so having present timers right on your thermometer, particularly on the leave in digital thermometers, can be incredibly helpful in the long run.
There are a variety of different brands of digital meat thermometers on the market today, and narrowing down all of the options can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, we have put together a list of the best digital meat thermometers on the market today to help you find the best option to suit your needs.