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Old 08-02-2006, 12:29 PM   #1
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Oven thermometors recommendations

Hi,

I have realised that my oven (a very old gas oven) is definately not at the right temperature for things. Since I can't replace the oven at the moment, I thought to get an oven thermometer.

I'm just a bit confused between the various types of thermometers. Ideally I'd like to get two. One for meats and one for the actual oven for when I bake etc. I'm not sure which thermometer works for what. And I've seen mention of a 'candy thermometer' and not sure what that is for either.

Could someone give a rundown on the oven thermometers I might need and any suggestions?

Thankyou!

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Old 08-02-2006, 12:51 PM   #2
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Well I do not have much experience with oven thermometers (the ones that tell you how how the actual oven is), but what I do know is you want one that has large enough markings so that you can read it without removing it from the oven. You also want one that is stable, meaning it will sit nicely on the rack or hang from the rack without falling over.

For meat thermometers what I would recommend is a probe thermometer. Polder is a well known brand that a lot of people like. The way these work is that you have a metal probe that is connected to the thermometer by a wire. You place the probe into the meat (or whatever you want to take the temp of) at the beginning of the cooking process. You close the oven with the probe inside the meat. The wire comes out of the oven and goes into the read out. You can set a target temp so that an alarm will go off at that temp and you will know it is time to take your food out of the over. These are very useful tools.

A candy thermometer is something a bit different. They are used for higher temperatures. You can also use them for deep frying. They are designed to take the temp of oil or melted sugar. You would not use one of those in your oven.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
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The types of thermometers you mention are very different and serve different purposes.

An oven thermometer is usually has a 1" or 2" dial with a needle that shows the temperature -- you leave it in the oven so you can check the actual temperature against the setting on your oven's knob. Taylor makes a decent one -- they're not too expensive.

As for meat thermometers, I prefer the instant read type. They have a long, pointed metal probe (sort of like a knitting needle) that you stick into the meat; there's a small dial on one end that shows the temperature of the meat. It takes only a few seconds to get an accurate reading. These are really indispensable, in my opinion, when cooking large roasts and poultry. These usually run around $10 for a good one, such as a Taylor.

There are also "regular" meat thermometers -- they're similar to the instant read thermometers except you leave them in the meat. The dials get spattered with meat juices over time, and they're not as good for testing the meat in several places, which you should always do.

I have another type of meat thermometer, a remote thingy -- it has a probe that goes in the meat, then a wire that your run through the oven door to a digital readout that sits on the counter. You can then wear a remote device that will show the temperature and beep when the meat is done. I've used it once! I like gadgets, what can I say.

Candy thermometers are usually for the much higher temperatures you encounter when boiling the syrups needed for making candy, up to 400 degrees. They clip on the side of the pot in which the syrup is being cooked. They're also useful for deep frying. I have two, a glass one with a mercury thermometer inside, and a dial type with a metal probe. They're probably not suitable for measuring your oven temperature.

HTH!
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:13 PM   #4
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Hi,

Thankyou for your replies. Very helpful! I think I'll get a couple and see which ones work well for me.

Just in regards to the candy thermometer - would that be good for cheesemaking? I need a thermometer I can test the temperate in a pot.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:19 PM   #5
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I do not know much about cheesemaking, but my initial guess would be yes. What tempuratures are you looking for in cheesemaking?
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turando
Just in regards to the candy thermometer - would that be good for cheesemaking? I need a thermometer I can test the temperate in a pot.
I don't know -- I've never made cheese! My two candy thermometers have a range of 100 to 400 degrees. If the temperature you need for cheese is in that range, I guess they would work.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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A "meat" thermometer and a "candy" thermometer are basically the same thing, but the candy thermometer registers higher temps. It usually goes up to 400, while a meat thermo usually goes up to maybe 225 or so.

These days, it's better to buy a good instant read thermometer that will go from 0 to 500. Then you can use for meat, candy, frying, cheese, etc.

Read here

Make sure you test the accuracy of your thermometer by testing ice water or boiling water before youuse it.
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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Cheese making temperatures are crucial in providing the best environment for the cultures to bloom and pervade the milk and curd. Temperatures generally range from a high of 190 degrees F. for pasteurizing the milk to a mid range of 75 to 140 degrees F. for blooming and cultivating the cultures.

Candy thermometers most commonly cover a range from 100 degrees F. to 400 degrees F. A good cheese making thermometer will measure from 0 degrees F. to 220 degrees F.

I use my digital thermometer with probe for cheese making.
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