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Old 11-03-2004, 04:36 PM   #1
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Cooking Themometers

I've been on the hunt for cooking/baking thermometers. I think I'd ultimately like to get a digital instant read thermometer. I know they are marketed as "meat", "candy", "yeast" etc........does it ultimately matter which I get? I'm thinking the real difference is that each "sepcialized" one has the specific target temperatures noted on it.

I hope I made sense. Thanks for any/all input.

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Old 11-03-2004, 05:25 PM   #2
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Boy, you'll probably get a host of suggestions here, but I'm partial to my Poulder! It's top of the line and not too expensive. What I'm waiting for is their dual-probe digital coming out eventually, which will certainly improve my turkey baking!

My Poulder has a long probe cord that allow me to connect to the "brain" outside of the oven, if I wish. S e x y !
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:58 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 11-03-2004, 06:50 PM   #4
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Thanks, Michael and Audeo.

So, do I really need a variety of thermometers? Can a thermometer packaged as a "meat" thermometer be used for candy.....meaning if i know what temperature I'm aiming for, can they be used interchangeably?

Thanks. I have a candy thermometer which I've used a bunch as well an instant read thermometer that I haven't opened yet. I was gonna take it back to Bed, Bath and Beyond and get one of the digital ones.

But if the instant read thermometer and the ones with the digital probes serve totally separate purposes, I"ll go and get the digital one. You never know what's a marketing ploy to buy duplicate products.
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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"Specialized" thermometers generally only cover a specific rage for whatever it is specialized for. For example - a "yeast" thermometer only needs to go up to 135-138F (the point at which yeast is killed) - a "meat" thermometer generally only has to go up to 180F ... while a "candy" or "fry" therometer needs to go up to at least 350F or beyond.

What you need depends on what you're using the thermometer for. I use all three kinds for different purposes. I use the probe for checking the internal temps of meat I'm baking or roasting ... I use the candy/fry for candy, frying, and canning .... and the instant read to checking the temp of water and such when I'm baking bread.
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:27 PM   #6
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Thanks, Michael. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'll hang on to my instant read thermometer....great point about checking for water. i guess i could use that for meat as well. I know the little case it comes with has guidelines for when meat is done cooking. I like the alarm function though, b/c it lets you know when the desired temperature has been reached. I guess I'll add the probe to my collection. Bed Bath and Beyond coupons come in handy for such purchases.

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Old 11-03-2004, 11:03 PM   #7
 
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This is very interesting...

I have a digital "meat" probe that is a complete delight...

Of course, being human, I cannot "bake" pastries or any other such things on a bet, but expect that MIFW is correct, and you should really use a specific task tool for a specific task...

I just dislike the cheapies that are analogue, and by far prefer the digital read out types, no matter who makes them...

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Old 11-04-2004, 05:17 PM   #8
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I have a digital instant read which I use for water, chocolate, etc... I have a timer/meat thermometer that is connected to the metal probe by a string, and remains outside the oven. It can be set to alert you when the meat reaches a set temperature. Very handy. For syrups and candies, I use an analog candy thermometer. This is, unfortunately, made of glass, and I have broken three of them in two years, usually by dropping them on the floor. Fortunately, they're only $5.00 CA a piece, so it's no big deal.
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:53 PM   #9
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Ah So... I find another topic I have some experience with... I have a PhD degree, sum-***-laude, in burning up instant read thermometers. While I'm relatively new to kitchen cooking per se', I've been barbecuing (slow cooking on charcoal) for a long time... So here's my experience and opinion.

I think I've tried every instant read thermometer on the market :) or so it seems.. and the one I've had the best luck with is the old standby Polder model 362-90 http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...uctTabShipping

It's the same thermometer Alton Brown uses (I had settled on it before I ever heard of Alton though) and from my experience, it's the most accurate one on the market... Each one will vary and you have to test yours to see, but mine typically have tested out no more than 2 +/- degrees off
... testing in boiling and freezing water.

Sadly I've bought other brands that have been off over 10 degrees or more... This Polder has the added benefit of being a nice countdown timer... I used to use it for monitoring the grill temperature when I barbecue (it's important to keep it between 250-275 degrees for slow smoking) but I've switched to the Maverick (see below) and I now use the Polder in the kitchen for roasting and for deep frying.. it's good for up to 392 degrees, so I rigged a clip to hold it on the side of the cast iron Lodge dutch oven I use for deep frying.

I've run the temp up to about 400 with no ill effects BUT the probes are very sensitive.. you have to be careful they don't touch anything hotter than 400 degrees of the burn up..new ones cost about $10.00. I've lost a LOT of them barbecuing if I'm not careful.. I typically stick the probe through a baking potato and set it on the grill, being careful the wire doesn't touch the grill.

I found the slickest (since sliced bread) remote thermometer I now use.. it's the two probe Maverick http://www.crazysaver.com/mav-et7.html and if you buy it HERE, you'll save about $20 or more over anywhere else I've found.. plus it has free shipping, no sales tax.. fantastic deal. I have two of them (I keep one as a spare 'cause if I don't, I'll burn one up and have to wait to get another one)... in BBQ you can use one probe for the meat and the other for the grill temp... although I seldom use it for meat anymore... not all pork pulls at the same internal temp, etc.. so I just guess at it and check. The Maverick probe is also more sturdy than the Polder and not as prone to burn up if you goof.

The BIG thing I love about the Maverick (btw, it's also been accurate to 2 degrees +/- of boiling/freezing).. is it's remote.. you hook or set the little transmitter outside the grill or oven.. and it claims to transmit up to 100 feet.. so I don't need to dash outside to check my grill temp.. or check my chicken or turkey.. I can sit and sip some scotch and/or beer and when monitor the temp from inside.. and when the alarm temp you set is reached, it sounds off LOUDLY... so lately I've just been using it with one probe...

IF you can spring for $38.00, I'd just get the Maverick and use it for everything... it's only $12 or so more expensive than the Polder (considering shipping added to the cost of the Polder).. so you'll soon love the remote feature.. surely worth the extra $12 IMHO.

If you REALLY wanna get THE best instant read thermometer.. get this one here:
http://www.thermoworks.com/products/...pen/index.html

It's really fast to give you a read if you're carrying one around to check on things.. the others can take up to 60 seconds.. this one reads fast,, and very accurate.. but it should for $80 bucks, huh? Should probably do the dishes too for that price!
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:29 PM   #10
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Know what, guys? I've never used any kind of thermometer, execpt the kind to take my kid's temp. My major Q is:

how do you know how accurate they are? what do you compare them with?
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