Having a food thermometer is essential so that you can ensure cooked food has approached an appropriate temperature, before eating. Not cooking food to a high enough temperature can be harmful, as bacteria within the meal may not be killed, which can lead to food poisoning. There are also a wide variety of different types of food thermometers meant to facilitate all the different ways there are to cook food. Typically the most common are microwave ones, and oven-safe as well as instant read thermometers. Each have a different use, and depending upon how you cook, each will have a varying level of effectiveness in your home.
Microwave safe food thermometers are specifically engineered so that they can safely be used inside a microwave during cooking. This type of digital food thermometer will tell you the temperature of your food as it cooks. This is important for items like frozen dinners, or any other type of meat cooking that you would be doing. Any meal that you are heating to be eaten has to approach a certain temperature, before the food is guaranteed to be safe to eat. Use the food safety thermometer to make sure that your food is safe, and also refer to product packaging to determine the safest recommended temperature.
An oven food thermometer works about the same as a microwave model, only it’s intended for use in an oven. This is helpful when cooking big meals, like turkey, so that you can make sure the meal is fully cooked. Also that way, especially with poultry, you can be sure that the meal has approached a safe temperature so that there is no risk of food illness when eating.
The instant read food thermometer is intended for use after a meal has completed cooking. This is a cooking thermometer that you use after one cooking cycle, to see whether or not a longer cycle is required so that the meal can be fully cooked. This is handy for oven, or microwave use, without the need for a food thermometer that stays inside the meal while cooking. Instant read models also tend to be more versatile, and can be used for any cooking job, without the need to switch to a different thermometer to get an accurate read.
To purchase any type of food thermometer that you need, a department store like Walmart or Kmart will have a wide variety. Or for more advanced digital food thermometers with options like digital readouts, you’ll probably want to try a store that’s specific to kitchen related products. That way you’ll have a wide range to choose from, so you can find the best food thermometer for your specific needs. A thermometer for food can cost anywhere from $10 for a standard model, to up around $40 for more advanced technologies.
Remember that any cooking thermometer will require calibration before use, as it may need adjustment to ensure an accurate temperature reading. To do this, there is a very easy method available to you. Load up a glass of water with ice, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then put in the food thermometer, and it should read 32 degrees Fahrenheit, if not the thermometer will need adjustment.