How To Purchase An Instant-Read Thermometer
How To Use An Instant-Read Thermometer
Seven (7) instant-read thermometers were tested and evaluated according to the following criteria:
Readability: Thermometers were rated on how clearly we could see and read the numbers.
Response Time: Simply put, the faster, the better. When tested in boiling water, times of ten to twenty seconds to achieve a readout of 212 degrees were rated excellent, twenty to thirty seconds were rated fair, and times above thirty seconds were rated poor.
Accuracy: Thermometers should register exactly 212 degrees in boiling water and exactly 32 degrees in a slurry of crushed ice and water. If these readings were off, the thermometer was downgraded.
Design/Features: This category encompasses disparate factors that can make the thermometer a breeze or a real pain to use, such as the length of the stem; the ease of cleaning of screens or dials; on/off switches or automatic shutoff to save batteries; battery availability; and accurate readings in shallow liquids. See Testers Comments, page 28, for any particular notes on these issues.
Temperature Range: More often than not, instant-read thermometers are used within the relatively narrow temperature range necessary to monitor the internal temperature of meat, poultry, or bread.
Occasionally, though, you may wish to know the temperature of a freezing sorbet or ice cream, or double-check the temperature of hot oil prior to frying in it. Therefore, thermometers capable of taking very low (0 degrees and below) through very high (375 degrees and above) were upgraded.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right.
Check out Linda’s web pages on using thermometers when cooking:
Rating Instant-Read Thermometers
BRAND – Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer
PRICE $85.00 ***
RESPONSE TIME *** 5 seconds
FEATURES *** 4 1/2-inch stem
TEMPERATURE RANGE *** -58F to 572F
BRAND – Taylor Digital Pocket Thermometer, Model 9840
RESPONSE TIME *** 10 seconds
ACCURACY ** 2 high
FEATURES *** 4 3/4-inch stem
TEMPERATURE RANGE ** -58 to 302
BRAND – Polder Cooking Thermometer/Timer (Digital)
RESPONSE TIME ** 30 seconds
FEATURES *** 5 3/4-inch stem
TEMPERATURE RANGE ** 32 to 392
BRAND – Cooper Digital Test Thermometer, Model DFP450
RESPONSE TIME *** 17 seconds
FEATURES ** 4 5/8-inch stem
TEMPERATURE RANGE *** -40 to 450
Source: Information from the Editors of Cooks’ Illustrated Magazine.