Smoker Heat Management: Do You Need a BBQ Thermometer?
The main work of a BBQ thermometer is to produce accurate temperature readings when smoking meat. It helps to choose a highly-accurate thermometer because you can rely on it to cook safe and nutritious food for your family. Other things can affect grilling temperatures. But if you have a good meat thermometer, you can identify these things and correct them.
Another thing to remember is that you need to take care of different temperatures. The most crucial one is the internal cooking temperature of your meat. The other one is ambient temperature. Whether you take control of your smoker and food temperatures from a distance or next to it, a thermometer is an irreplaceable tool. Why is a grill thermometer so imperative? We will tell you next.
Raw meat will have some degree of contamination with pathogens. Read on to know the germs you can find in different kinds of meat.
- Raw poultry meat – Undercooked poultry meat is the most dangerous to eat. For instance, eating raw bird meat can cause Campylobacter bacterial poisoning. Once you consume it, you can notice symptoms like muscle cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Poultry meat can also have salmonella and clostridium perfringens bacteria. These pathogens can cause deadly symptoms. To prevent these, make sure you attain an internal cooking temperature of 165°F (73°C) via your smoker thermometer.
- Beef meat – When ground, beef meat consists of a higher concentration of E.Coli bacteria. People who have E.Coli bacterium in their gut may complain of inflammation and ulcers. Research also points to the hemolytic uremic syndrome. It is a condition that affects the kidneys leading to their failure. To prevent kidney failure and blood clots formation all over the body, use a remote thermometer to measure the internal temperature of beef as it cooks.
- Lamb meat – Contaminated lamb can host staphylococcus aureus, E.Coli salmonella enteritidis, and campylobacter pathogens. You cannot catch these germs unless you cook contaminated food poorly, leaving bacteria alive. Again, you can avoid fatal symptoms by measuring the internal cooking temperatures of your mutton or lamb. The safest minimum temperature for ground lamb meat is 160°F (71°C). The right internal temperature for mutton is 145°F (63°C).
- Pork – How do you catch trichinosis? It is by eating pork or ham that contains Trichinella spiralis parasite. The best condition for contamination is the consumption of undercooked or near raw pork. Though trichinosis will seldom cause death, it can cause severe muscle pain, vomiting and nausea, and fever for two mo With an electronic meat thermometer, you can cook pork to the recommended minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Reheating temperatures for ham or pork is 165°F (73°C).
Unless you are cooking chicken meat, most other whole meat can cook safely at around 145°F (63°C). All ground meats will cook well at around 160 to 165°F (71-73°C). Any ChefsTemp thermometer will help you avoid foodborne diseases as long as you use it well. Insert it in the thickest part of your meat and ensure it is not touching fat, gristle, or bone.
Common meat thermometers for smoker temp management
It is necessary to know before buying one. Each brand will have you use their gadget in a particular way to achieve the best results. Ensure that you recall that after buying your thermometer. You can use different types of thermometers when managing smoker temperatures. The most prevalent thermometers include the following:
- An instant read meat thermometer – It is a digital thermometer that reads temperature well when you insert it deep into a cut of meat. About a half-inch depth is fine, and you should leave the device inside. The best gadget can generate a reading in 2 to 10 seconds.
- Oven-safe thermometer – Not all thermometers are oven-safe. So you need to read the product description or label properly if you require a thermometer for oven use. An oven-safe gadget can stay 2.5 inches deep into the thickest area until it cooks fully.
- Dialinstant-read thermometer – It is a traditional type of meat thermometer. It is less reliable when capturing temperature readings of cooking food. However, you can slightly rely on this manual thermometer if you insert it about 2.5 inches deep into the fattest part of your meat. It will take temp readings in about twenty seconds, making it the slowest. Most dial thermometers cannot withstand high grill or oven heat.
As you select the right BBQ thermometer, consider the type of meat you love smoking. Even if you barbecue your favorite meat often, it does not mean that it is the only cooking method you can use. Thus, choose a kitchen thermometer that can help you when roasting or frying food. If you grill other kinds of food, a multi-use thermometer can help you manage the smoker heat well.
Do you need a thermometer when reheating meat?
The answer to this question is yes. When storing raw meat, use a thermometer to ensure you do not reach the temperature danger zone. A temperature range of 40 to 140°F (4-60°C) is within a danger zone. It can permit bacteria to multiply when storing raw meat. When serving cooked meat, you need a BBQ thermometer to measure a minimum of 140°F (60°C).
Store any leftover meat within two hours of cooking. If you have stored meat at room temperature for more than two hours or at around 90°F (32°C) for one hour, do not eat it. If you have to eat leftover meat or dishes with pieces of meat, reheat them to an internal cooking temperature of 165°F (73°C) in your oven, microwave, or pan.
To manage smoker heat effectively, consider buying the best food thermometer first. Once you get the right gadget for your cooking needs, use it to prepare safe meat. Use a thermometer to prevent foodborne bacteria from causing poisoning and ailment. Some pathogens can cause fatal consequences. So it is good to use your thermometer to reach the required minimum internal temperatures for the kinds of meat you cook. Lastly, use your BBQ thermometer to control the temperature of raw meat or cooked meat in the fridge. When you want to eat stored cooked meat, make sure you reheat it to the temperature level we have recommended here.
Discover more recipes and learn kitchen tricks by joining our cooking family on Facebook.
Shop now for products used in this post:
You may also like: