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Choosing a Kitchen Thermometer


Previous Page Choosing a kitchen thermometer: Use the following information* as a guide to purchasing and using a kitchen thermometer. Omaha Steaks sells a thermocouple type thermometer called: Perfect Temp Thermometer (#1324) which is both a digital timer and thermometer. It features an alarm which sounds when a preset temperature is reached. Just preset the final temperature, insert the probe into the food and wait for the alarm to sound. *Based on technical information provided by USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (10/97).

Types of Thermometers Speed Placement Usage Considerations
Liquid-Filled 1 to 2 minutes At least 2 inches deep in the thickest part of the food - Used in roasts, casseroles, and soups
- Can be placed in a food while it is cooking
- Cannot measure thin foods
- Calibration cannot be adjusted
- Possible breakage while in food
- Heat conduction of metal shield can cause false high reading
Bimetal
(oven-safe)
1 to 2 minutes 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep in the thickest part of the food - Can be used in roasts casseroles, and soups
- Can be placed in a food while it is cooking
- Not appropriate for thin foods
- Heat conduction of metal stem can cause false high reading
Bimetal (instant-read) 15 to 20 seconds 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep in the thickest part of the food - Can be used in roasts, casseroles, and soups
- Use to check the internal temperature of a food at the end of cooking time
- Can be calibrated
- Cannot measure thin foods unless inserted sideways
- Cannot be used in an oven while food is cooking
- Temperature is averaged along 2-3" of probe
- Readily available in stores
Thermistor
(digital)
10 seconds At least 1/2 inch deep in a food - Gives faster reading
- Can measure temperature in thin foods
- Digital face easy to read
- Cannot be used in an oven while food is cooking
- Available in "kitchen" stores
Thermocouple (digital) 5 seconds 1/4 deep, or deeper as needed - Fastest
- Can quickly measure even the thinnest foods
- Digital face easy to read
- Can be calibrated
- More costly, may be difficult for consumers to find in stores
When will it arrive?
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