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Old 01-25-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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Cooking tool Frustration!

I hate it when tools you rely on don't work properly. Here's my latest failed tool experience. I purchased a pair of pork sirloin toasts, bone-in. hey came packaged together and sold for a very good price. Last night I fugured that I'd cook up both at the same time, using one for the dinner meal, and one to slice for sandwiches or maybe turn into pulled pork. I placed dial-type meat thermometers into the meat, with the point pushing into the roast center. I cooked the roasts uncovered, starting in a 460' oven for 20 minutes, and finnishing at 375 until the thermometers both read 165' F. I removed the roasts and let them rest. To my surprize, there was blood on the plate.

A quick cut into the meat showed me much more red than I wanted in pork. I don't mind a bit of light pink, but no red. At 165' read at the center, the meat should have been white throughout. And where the thermometer tips were located, the meat was the most red.

I know that my quick-read thermometer is off by 15 degrees as well. But it's off in the other direction. It shows 165 when the food is 180, as confirmed by an accurate thermometer that the health inspectors tested with at the last chili cookoff I competed in.

I guess I'm just going to have to spend more money on a better thermometer. I think I'll go digital this time around.

Any other tool-failure rants are welcome on this thread.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 01-25-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
... I know that my quick-read thermometer is off by 15 degrees as well ...
Many non-electronic, quick read thermometers can be calibrated easily - We used to do it all the time when I worked fast food.

Here are some instructions on how to do it.

While your thermometers had issues, how about your oven? I would have thought, at the temperatures you used, the meal would have been done. Do you have an oven thermometer?

Tom
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:24 PM   #3
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My dial-type went wonky on me, too, after a few years. Maybe they just get old?

Now, when I really need to make sure my digital is accurate (like when I am catering and can't screw up) then I test it in ice water to make sure it reads 32 or 33.

Here is America's Test Kitchen review of thermometers
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:50 PM   #4
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I'm constantly testing my probe thermometers. I have three, two at home and one at work.

Lately, I've been having problems with my hand-held can opener. It's one of the Swing-away types that both the cutting wheel and the "cog" (I guess?) that advances the can are both geared together the help move the can. What's happening, is that when I open a can, when I'm about 3/4 done, for some reason, the blade stops cutting, and either actually jumps off the can, or will start cutting again in about a half-inch.

PeppA doesn't have a problem with this can opener. I guess it's just the position in which I hold the opener in relation to the can, but, I haven't changed anything that I'm aware of.

I'm still getting fed up with it, to the point that I'm considering buying another one.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:54 AM   #5
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Thermoeters

I have several digital thermometers but I like my basic probe thermometer the best. I use the type that has a notch in the actual plastic sleeve for adjusting the thermometer. This way you can set your thermometer in a glass of ice water and calibrate in either direction until you are at the proper reading. You can find a nice Cooper or Taylor for under ten dollars that can be calibrated.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:38 PM   #6
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I have a Polder with an alarm that I leave in the meat from the get-go and a Taylor digital that I use to doublecheck when the Polder says the internal temp is right. Fortunatley they run almost identical, plus the time in the oven usually closely matches the recipe time, probably because my oven is also pretty much on the money based on my oven thermometer. I consider myself very lucky (knock on wood).
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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And just one other comment. 165* is 'way too done for pork these days. It will be dry and tasteless at that temp. Take it out at 145* and let rest at least 20 minutes.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:52 PM   #8
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And I might hazard a guess that the ends of the thermometers were against the bone giving you a VERY erroneous reading.
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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I stayed away from the bone. The thermometer tip was almost dead-center in the thickest part of the meat. I believe that a new thermometer is in order.

And as for cooking to 165, that is the desired final temp. I remove the pork at 150. It is always nice and juicy. I do the same with poultry, and my turkeys are legendary around these parts. They are the bird of choice at all family gatherings. I've even been asked to make them for weddings and special occasions outside of my family.

The reaason that I mention the turkey is that, in my experience, pork is similar in texture and reacts to heat in the same way.

I'm thinking of purchasing another probe-type digital thermometer, with a temperature alarm that I can set. I just want it to be accurate.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-27-2006, 02:21 PM   #10
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I can't seem to calibrate my probe thermometers; I have 2 and neither was very expensive. I'm using the basic instructions from the link provided earlier.

If I calibrate to 32 deg. then try them out in boiling water, they don't register 212 deg. If I calibrate to 212 deg. then try them out in ice water they don't register 21 deg. And just for fun, they don't register the same temps.

Do I just have crappy thermometers and need to upgrade, or am I doing this wrong?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
Paul
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