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Old 02-11-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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digital thermometers are strange

I just don't get it. Every!!! time I cook a pork roast or a beef roast, I put the thermometer in a thick part (trying not to get into the fat and I don't poke through the other side). Just when I think I have it in a good spot - I put it in the oven. Than all of a sudden it's like 20 minutes later it acts like it's done. Usually I just KNOW based on experience and the size (especially when it's on a very low heat like 300) that it's not done. I did sear it first and it's a small roast. Anyways I poked it into a few different spots and it finally went from 140 (which I was going to take it out and let it rest) down to like 128. It's up to 135 now. I'll just keep it there for now. But this happens every time. It's kind of frustrating as I can't just put it in and be safe that it's in a good spot.

On another note - I can't believe after searing it - how fast it seems to be cooking on 300 degrees.

My mom recently cooked a 3lb roast and said she cooked it on low for 3 HOURS at 325 and said it came out great. Never even used a thermometor. Although I thought if roasts are overcooked it might not taste that great. Right now mine is in a slow cooker with beef broth and some onions. I did give it a good sear. Not sure the size though.

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Old 02-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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I think the problem may be that meat doesn't cook evenly. I usually test in several spots that I think might be the thickest part of the meat and then rely on the lowest reading (especially with fowl).

Of course, you may have a bad thermometer, too -- normally the temperature goes up a few degrees once the meat is removed from the heat and allowed to rest.

As for your mom's 3-pound roast that she cooked for 3 hours at 325, I assume it was a pot roast and not something most people would serve medium-rare (like a rib roast). With that sort of dish, I never bother with a thermometer as there's no chance it's not hot enough -- the only question is whether it's been cooked long enough to become tender. Same with your slow cooker.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
I think the problem may be that meat doesn't cook evenly. I usually test in several spots that I think might be the thickest part of the meat and then rely on the lowest reading (especially with fowl).

Of course, you may have a bad thermometer, too -- normally the temperature goes up a few degrees once the meat is removed from the heat and allowed to rest.

As for your mom's 3-pound roast that she cooked for 3 hours at 325, I assume it was a pot roast and not something most people would serve medium-rare (like a rib roast). With that sort of dish, I never bother with a thermometer as there's no chance it's not hot enough -- the only question is whether it's been cooked long enough to become tender. Same with your slow cooker.
Woops meant to say dutch oven. Seared it first and than put dutch oven with cover on into the oven. My husband doesn't remember what kind of meat it was. It was a shoulder I think. He got it at BJ's and it was already cut up and put into the freezor. So it doesn't matter with some roasts if you don't care about the temperature and just cook it on low for 3-4 hours? I ended up taking this one out after the thermometer hit 143. Haven't tried it yet though.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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Woops meant to say dutch oven. Seared it first and than put dutch oven with cover on into the oven. My husband doesn't remember what kind of meat it was. It was a shoulder I think. He got it at BJ's and it was already cut up and put into the freezor. So it doesn't matter with some roasts if you don't care about the temperature and just cook it on low for 3-4 hours? I ended up taking this one out after the thermometer hit 143. Haven't tried it yet though.
It was only 143 after 3 to 4 hours in the oven? Maybe your oven is the problem. Anyway, if you cook a chunk of beef in a Dutch oven for that long, you shouldn't have to worry about the temperature of the meat -- it will (or should be) very, very well done, probably falling apart.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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I never cook my roasts to a temp, I always check for fork tenderness after a minimum of two hours. Beef isn't chicken or pork. cook temp is not as important as tenderness. With beef, imo, if you have enough liquid, you can't over cook it. I do roasts in the crock for 8 hours and they fall apart and taste heavenly.

I would ask others but I believe the general consensus might be that tenderness as opposed to temp is what is more important with roasts.

Wanted to add I noticed yesterday when I went to buy a digital thermometer they didn't have any available, they were all dial. I wonder if there's some "known" issue with digitals for cooking meats.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:53 PM   #6
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hmm no after searing it, it was done in less than an hour once I put it in the oven.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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hmm no after searing it, it was done in less than an hour once I put it in the oven.
How long did you sear it? I sear for less than a minute.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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I never cook my roasts to a temp, I always check for fork tenderness after a minimum of two hours. Beef isn't chicken or pork. cook temp is not as important as tenderness. With beef, imo, if you have enough liquid, you can't over cook it. I do roasts in the crock for 8 hours and they fall apart and taste heavenly....
What you say makes sense for pot roasts or other beef cuts cooked in liquid, but not for something like a standing rib roast or a New York Strip or a joint of beef, which are dry roasted -- you can't test those with a fork if you want your meat to less than well-done but not raw. When roasting such cuts, a good meat thermometer -- digital, analog, instant, or regular -- is a great help.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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I bought an expensive digital meat thermometer that reads very fast. Very helpful for figuring out the average internal temperature. I think it was close to a hundred bucks and to me, worth every penny.

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Old 02-12-2009, 12:19 AM   #10
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I'm reading Legends post as if he/she is inserting the thermometer before placing the roast in the oven, is that the normal thing to do??
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