With the holidays approaching, it’s important to keep food safety in mind. One of the best ways to ensure that the food you make and serve is safe to eat it to use a food thermometer. But do you know how to use a food thermometer correctly?
First, you should know that there are several types of food thermometers. The most inexpensive and common is a dial thermometer. This has a dial on a stem that is attached to a probe. You can find these thermometers are most grocery stores. This thermometer is not always the most accurate, but it will give you a general reading.
The second type is an oven-proof thermometer that you use while the food is cooking. A probe goes into the meat roast or whole chicken or turkey, then a cord extends outside the oven to the dial that shows the reading. These can be digital or dial thermometers. You remove the food from the oven when it reaches the safe final internal temperature (or 5°F below that temperature with a 5-minute covered stand time).
Candy thermometers have larger temperature ranges, since the sugar solutions are often cooked to 300°F. These utensils look like a ruler, with a bulb at the bottom. They clip onto the side of a saucepan. To use when making candy or syrups, make sure that the bulb is in the sugar syrup but not touching the bottom of the saucepan.
Finally, instant-read digital thermometers consist of a probe that is attached to a plastic body and folds out. The digital reading is the most accurate, but these utensils can be expensive. You should know that the thermometer will usually time out after a few minutes. To restart it, just clip the probe back into the body and open it up again.
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