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Old 11-04-2004, 06:58 PM   #11
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hummmm Well as pretty much a neophyte to cooking, I wouldn't dare try some things without my trusty thermometer :)

For example, in roasting a rib roast (or tenderloin or other "good" cut) I stick the probe in the meat and when the roast hits about 125 degrees, I take it out, knowing it will cook for awhile as it sits and the internal temp will raise another 5 to 10 degrees... about how I like my roasts...

I know experts can merely touch meat and tell whether it's rare, medium, etc... I can do that on steaks pretty well when I'm grilling, but I'm not good enough to judge a roast yet...

Same with chicken or turkey,, I stick the probe in the thigh, when it hits about 160-165 or so, I take it out... I know you can supposedly tell by testing (wiggling?) the leg or something.. but that too is beyond me.. so I NEED my trusty thermometers...

To test them,, the easiest way is bring some water to a boil and stick the thermometer in,,, if you're near sea level like I am,,, it should read about 212.. it won't, but a couple degrees won't matter...

or, drop a bunch of ice cubs in a bowl and put in a small amount of water, maybe put the bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes but don't completely freeze the water, then stick the thermometer in... should read about 32 degrees.

I've had some thermometers where I stick them in water that's boiling vigorously and it reads 200 and I KNOW I'm in trouble then.. 10-12 degrees off would ruin what most of what I try to cook.

Also, for some reason I've had variances with the same thermometer when using different probes.. have no idea why that would be.. but I've had a couple that just read goofy so I tossed them... (the probes, not the thermometer).

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Old 11-04-2004, 07:28 PM   #12
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Thermometer calibrations are normally done at 2 different temps - the lower end of the scale being the "zero" and the higher temp sets the "span" for digital thermometers - for analog you normally just set the "zero" and then check the higher temp for linear accuracy ... if it is off you can create a logarithmic scale chart to compensate for any difference between the zero and span numbers. Of course, that is for a scientific lab - +/- 1-2 degrees in cooking really isn't going to make that much difference.

To check the low end ... fill a glass, or something, with ice and add enough cold water to fill in the air voids in the ice - let it sit for about 5 minutes - give it a stir and check the temp - it should read 32-F.

To check the high end ... you need to know the temperature that water boils where you live. In the beltware area, it's close enough to sealevel that it should be 212-F. Boil some water - check the temp to see if it reads 212-F.

Analog thermometers tend to be more lenear than digital - but +/- 1% - 2% isn't critical in cooking.

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Old 11-04-2004, 07:29 PM   #13
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I've used instant-read thermometers for years at the various restaurants I've worked at. I prefer the analog type. Around here, the Health Department wants us calibrating our thermometers twice a week. I just get a glass of ice water, place the thermometer in, and if it's off, adjust it with a pair of pliars (there's a hex-nut on the back to get a grip with). Some of the really nice thermometers have a clip with the hex-shape punched out, so you just have to thread the probe through the clip, fit the hex-nut in, and adjust as needed.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mudbug
Know what, guys? I've never used any kind of thermometer, execpt the kind to take my kid's temp.
I am with you mudbug. I know when a roast or steak is done to my satisfaction by the way it feels, or when oil is hot enough for deep frying by putting in a test piece. It is how I was taught.

I do own about a dozen thermometers of various types, but I only use the candy thermometer. I generally forget that I have the others when I am cooking.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:28 AM   #15
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I learned without a thermometer too, choc. I can see its value ifor candymaking, but otherwise I seem to get along pretty well without one.
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:05 PM   #16
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Location: Central Florida
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I know what you're talking about Laurie.

The thing to look at is the temperature range and how the scale is marked. I have seen some "specialized" thermometers that don't actually give you the temperature ... just a range of "something" - like rare, medium, well done ..... or different stages for candy making. I like one that gives me the temp - I'll read my recipe and figure out what temp I'm looking for.

Audeo is right - Poulder is a great probe thermometer. I had one until my son borrowed it one night ... a few weeks later when I had given up on ever seeing it again I went back to get me another one, they were sold out, so I went to Target and got one made by Taylor ... works just as well.

I've got 4 thermometers - a candy/fry which is analog (humm ... baby son borrowed that one 6 months ago, too) - an analog and digital instant read probe (both made by Taylor), and my baking probe/timer made by Taylor.

I have an ACURITE digital thermometer with a probe that I use for deep frying turkeys which I assume cannot be inserted in the bird while frying because it reads the temperature of the oil.
This digital can be inserted in the bird while oven cooking with the door closed.
Do you know of a digital that can be inserted in the bird while deep frying?

Appreciate it,


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