And you can use one on any meat?
Yes. Chicken and turkey are some of the most difficult meats to cook right. With the use of a meat thermometer, you have a scientific way of making sure the food you’re serving is safe to eat. Beef is often served medium rare, so make sure you give the beef enough time to rest before serving. Using a thermometer can ensure any Sunday roast is perfectly cooked.
Can you use them on other foods like fish?
Yes. Most thermometers have an ultra-fine tip which can be used in very thick or even delicate foods to get the correct temperature. Fish is an important one to get right because it is often overcooked which means flavour is lost and it dries out.
What should you consider before buying one?
There are a lot of variations on the market, but the most important thing to consider is how accurate and fast they are – though this isn’t typically something the lower cost ones will advertise. Speed of response is another key element in choosing the correct thermometer; you don’t want to risk losing heat or flavour because you’re simply waiting too long for a temperature reading. Look for one with a fast-response stainless steel probe to give an accurate reading within a couple of seconds. Purchasing a very low-cost thermometer can actually be more expensive in the long run – remember: buy cheap, buy twice.
What do you think makes a thermometer a worthwhile investment?
A good roast beef joint costs in excess of £20. The ‘price per use’ of a meat thermometer will soon outweigh the overcooked or undercooked stress in the kitchen.
Do they tend to have any other features?
Absolutely. You can use a temperature guide to help make your thermometer more versatile in the kitchen. Most good models can be used on cakes, bread, jams and liquids where you need an accurate reading such as caramel and syrups.
How long should one last?
Most good thermometers come with a two-year warranty, but they are generally known to last a lot longer than that.