A meat thermometer may sound like a newcomer to the table since it looks like a fancy cooking tool that only chefs would use. The truth is that a meat thermometer can be extremely handy in the kitchen and it takes out the guesswork out of your cooking. If you ever needed to cut a turkey or a larger piece of meat repeatedly only to check if it is done, you know perfectly well how tedious and inconvenient this might be. Here are the main reasons why you should be using a meat thermometer.
Avoid food borne illnesses
The main problem with uncooked food is that it can be home to bacteria and other pathogenic agents that lead to foodborne illnesses. Meat is extremely delicate in this respect, and, if it is not sufficiently exposed to heat, it can harbor dangerous disease carriers. The USDA highly recommends the use of a meat thermometer to tell you if your food is cooked enough, so it is safe for human consumption. There is a safe minimal temperature at which all the harmful microorganisms in meat are destroyed, and without a special thermometer, you cannot be 100% sure.
The problem is that, according to experts, you cannot depend on color changes and texture, to make sure that your food is safe for consumption. However, if you use a meat thermometer, you will know for sure that the safe minimal temperature was reached.
While uncooked food is dangerous for your health, there could be other inconveniences that you can get rid of with the help of a meat thermometer. Many people are frustrated when they check the meat they are cooking and notice it that it is already burned and sometimes even impossible to eat. Modern meat thermometers even come equipped with alert functions to let you know when the desired temperature has been reached. This way, you never risk overcooking your food, and you will be a better cook than ever before.
Maintain food at a safe temperature
You can use a meat thermometer in the process of cooking, but you can also use it to check foods when they need to be maintained warm or cold. The thermometer will let you know if the food is being kept at a temperature that makes it safe for eating. So, as you can see, there is quite a broad array of applications for such a device. You can use your food thermometer not only when cooking, but also in refrigerators or cabinets where the food is kept to be maintained warm and ready to eat.
When cooking, you need to place the meat thermometer in certain areas, so you can be sure that you are taking the temperature right. For poultry, somewhere in the breast area is the best place for using the thermometer. For other types of meat, like beef, pork, lamb, and many others, you should find the thickest part and insert the thermometer there, away from any bone or fat tissue.