Things You Should Never Do with an Instant Read Meat Thermometer
An instant read meat thermometer is needed to tell if your meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature. It is an essential tool that can tell you when the food is cooked correctly and out of the danger zone to avoid food poisoning. Using it can be a simple process. However, sometimes many people make mistakes that lead to incorrect readings. In this guide, we are going to discuss some of the most common things you should never do with your instant-read meat thermometer.
An oven-proof thermometer means one that can be left inside the oven when you are cooking. However, not all thermometers are oven-proof. Some food thermometers cannot be left inside the oven while you cook, since this can damage them. So, make sure you check first when purchasing your meat thermometer if it’s oven-friendly or not.
2. Do Not Insert the Thermometer Beyond the Indicator Mark
Instant read meat thermometers have indicator marks that show how far you need to place the probe inside the food. Placing them beyond the mark may result in incorrect readings and even destroy the display screen.
3. Never Wash the Instant Read Thermometer Inside the Washing Machine
Remember that most meat thermometers have a digital display screen, which may be splash proof but not completely waterproof. So, do not insert it into the washing machine. Instead, if you want to clean it, simply wipe and clean the probe with soap and hot water.
4. Do Not Use the Meat Thermometer for Multiple Purposes Without Cleaning It First
For example, if you are cooking different meat cuts and poultry at the same time, then do not go ahead and place the thermometer in each one of them without cleaning it first. This can lead to the spread of germs and bacteria, especially if they are not properly cooked. Remember that bacteria can still be transferred to the meat and contaminate it if it was not cleaned. To stay on the safer side, then clean the instant read meat thermometer after every use.
5. Avoid Putting the Thermometer Near the Bone or Surface
Do not hit the bone or place the probe near the surface or fat, since this will produce inaccurate readings. Bone and fat can conduct heat, which means that it will produce higher readings than its surrounding areas. Thus, the number one rule for using a food thermometer is to insert it into the thickest part of the meat. This is the only way that you can get proper readings.
6. Do Not Place the Instant Read Meat Thermometer Directly or Near Heat
Some parts of your digital thermometer are made of plastic. Therefore, if you place the tool near hot surfaces or directly on heat, then the plastic will melt and damage your thermometer. So, after using it to check the temperature, then place it somewhere safe and do not leave it near the heat.
7. Keep Your Meat Thermometer Calibrated at All Times
A good instant meat thermometer should always produce accurate readings. But you also must help it achieve that. One effective way of doing so is by placing the thermometer inside an ice bath. This is to test and adjust it to give you the best results. You should calibrate your meat thermometer at least once a month or if it has been dropped.
Placing the meat thermometer in an ice bath may sound easy but most people get it wrong many times. Make sure that the ice is resting at the bottom of the container and then the water. For accurate results, then stir the water and ice thoroughly with the probe while taking the temperature then let it sit for a minute.
8. Do Not Remove the Meat Thermometer too Quickly
Do not just place the probe inside the meat and remove it quickly before the thermometer finishes reading the temperature. When you place the meat thermometer inside the meat, you should wait for a few minutes to get the correct readings. Try holding the thermometer for a minute or two for best results.
How to Clean the Meat Thermometer the Right Way
Now that you know the common mistakes to avoid when using the instant read meat thermometer, it is time we check on how to clean it properly. Usually, most of us will clean it in soapy water and that is it.
However, when we have used the thermometer to check the temperature for different meats including poultry, then we want the tool to be really clean. Besides, who knows what kind of microscopic and harmful bacteria might be hiding on the thermometer after all the poking? And since the thermometer cannot go into the dishwasher, how can we ensure that we have cleaned it thoroughly? Below are simple steps to clean the kitchen thermometer:
- Start by cleaning the probe in hot soapy water. This is to remove any grease or food particles. Moreover, this will help kill bacteria.
- After that, clean the stem of the thermometer. The best way to go through this is by wiping it with rubbing alcohol or holding the stem in boiling water for at least thirty seconds. Germs and other harmful bacteria are sure to die at this point.
- Do not forget to wipe the display screen and the back of the thermometer. But do not insert this part in water.
There you have it. That is everything that you should never do with an instant read meat thermometer. A meat thermometer is an essential kitchen gadget that can help in ensuring food safety as well as helping you cook your food evenly. No one wants to serve overcooked or undercooked food that can pose harm to others. Instead, we all want to enjoy tasty and properly cooked meat. And the only way we can achieve that is by using a food thermometer. So when you are using a smoker thermometer in the kitchen, then try to avoid all the mistakes that we have mentioned above.
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