Digital Thermometers

Types of digital thermometers & their culinary uses.

Thermocouple:

Of all food thermometers, thermocouple thermometers reach and display the final temperature the fastest - within 2 to 5 seconds. The temperature is indicated on a digital display. A thermocouple measures temperature at the junction of two fine wires located in the tip of the probe. Thermocouples used in scientific laboratories have very thin probes, similar to hypodermic needles, while others may have a thickness of 1/ 16 of an inch. Since thermocouple thermometers respond so rapidly, the temperature can be quickly checked in a number of locations to ensure that the food is thoroughly cooked. This is especially useful for cooking large foods, such as roasts or turkeys, when checking the temperature in more than one place is advised. The thin probe of the thermocouple also enables it to accurately read the temperature of thin foods such as hamburger patties, pork chops, and chicken breasts. Thermocouples are not designed to remain in the food while it's cooking. They should be used near the end of the estimated cooking time to check for final cooking temperatures. To prevent overcooking, check the temperature before the food is expected to finish cooking. Thermocouples can be calibrated for accuracy.

Thermistors:

Thermistor-style food thermometers use a resistor (a ceramic semiconductor bonded in the tip with temperature-sensitive epoxy) to measure temperature. The thickness of the probe is approximately 1/ 8 of an inch and takes roughly 10 seconds to register the temperature on the digital display. Since the semiconductor is in the tip, thermistors can measure temperature in thin foods, as well as thick foods. Because the center of a food is usually cooler than the outer surface, place the tip in the center of the thickest part of the food. Thermistors are not designed to remain in the food while it's cooking. They should be used near the end of the estimated cooking time to check for final cooking temperatures. To prevent overcooking, check the temperature before the food is expected to finish cooking. Not all thermistors can be calibrated. Check the manufacturer's instructions.

Oven Cord Thermometers:

This food thermometer allows the cook to check the temperature of food in the oven without opening the oven door. A base unit with a digital screen is attached to a thermistor-type food thermometer probe by a long metal cord. The probe is inserted into the food, and the cord extends from the oven to the base unit. The base can be placed on the counter or attached to the stovetop or oven door by a magnet. The thermometer is programmed for the desired temperature and beeps when it is reached. While designed for use in ovens, these thermometers can also be used to check foods cooking on the stove. Oven cord thermometers cannot be calibrated.

Thermometer Fork Combination:

This utensil combines a cooking fork with a food thermometer. A temperature-sensing device is embedded in one of the tines of the fork. There are several different brands and styles of thermometer forks on the market; some using thermocouples and some using thermistors. The food temperature is indicated on a digital display or by indicator lights on the handle within 2 to 10 seconds (depending on the type). These lights will tell if the food has reached rare, medium, well done, etc. Particularly useful for grilling, the thermometer fork will accurately measure the internal temperature of even the thinnest foods. The thermometer fork should be used to check the temperature of a food towards the end of the estimated cooking time. Thermometer forks are not designed remain in a food while in the oven or on the grill. Thermometer forks cannot be calibrated.

Gerry O is a chef and publisher of Asian recipes. His site can be found at http://www.asianrecipesonline.com

6 Tips for Perfect Homemade Hard Candy

There's nothing better than the juicy, flavorful hard candy from your local gourmet candy shop... Read More

Outdoor Chefs Choose Gas Grills

How many of you remember dad trying to get the charcoal started? The mess, time... Read More

How to Cook a Lobster

French chefs plunge them into boiling water; English ones, in an attempt to appear more... Read More

Making Homemade Pasta for Dinner Tonight

Homemade pasta cooked al dente (to the teeth), is a chewy and light treat. Here... Read More

How to Care for Your Cast Iron Skillet (includes recipes)

Some of the best meals I've ever eaten were made by my grandmothers in their... Read More

Cool Summertime Cooking

Summertime--and the living is easy! But the kitchen is hot!! It's time for some cool... Read More

What Are Scoville Units?

To understand what a Scoville Unit is, one must understand what they measure. All hot... Read More

How to Make a Cajun Roux

The process of preparing Cajun food is in no way hurried and involves a layering... Read More

Family Meal Planning Made Easy

As moms, we have hectic lives. Whether we work out of the home, in the... Read More

Ten Proven Tips to Buy the Best Meat Available

Ten Proven Tips to buy the Best Meat AvailableAs you look through the meat section... Read More

What is a Serving Size?

Have you ever wondered how much a serving really is. Well, pull out your box... Read More

Whats a Pan Dowdy?

Cobblers and dowdies, crisps and crumbles, buckles and betties-what are all these desserts?With a little... Read More

Baking Perfect Breads, Cookies, and Desserts

We're all looking for that perfect pie, or cookies, or loaf of bread. It doesn't... Read More

Cooking With Kids--Safely!

School's out! And summer is a good time to introduce your child to chores in... Read More

Better Baking Technique: Is it Done Yet?

Are my breads, cookies, or cakes baked and ready to come out of the oven... Read More

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream (Without an Ice Cream Maker!)

COLFAX, WISCONSIN - June is Dairy Month and what better way to celebrate than with... Read More

Wok this Way! (Part 4 of 5) Cleaning and Caring for Your Wok

Non-stick woks do not require seasoning, and come with simple cleaning instructions from the manufacturers,... Read More

The Almighty Beer-Can Chicken

A popular method of cooking chicken in recent years both in Barbeque contest as well... Read More

Foods That Freeze Well

"Can I freeze it?" is a question often asked in our homes, and for good... Read More

Once-A-Month-Cooking: How to Make Your Plan Work

As one of the oldest children in a family of nine, I know that cooking... Read More

Kitchen Canister Sets - How to Beautify Your Kitchen

Kitchen canister sets are a great way to accent your kitchen and give you more... Read More

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Apricots

When buying apricots, always look for those that are firm, plump orange fruit that gives... Read More

Better Breakfasts Ideas

Nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With breakfast,... Read More

Two for One Dinners: Pork

If you find leftovers boring, uninviting or downright "yuck," then here are some ideas to... Read More

Troubleshooting Cookies

If your cookies are too tough . . . You may have used too much... Read More

Gourmet Sauces, Rubs and Marinades - Give Your BBQ a Gourmet Kick

Many individuals agree that the sauce on barbecued meat is like the icing on a... Read More

Cooking -- What You Need To Know

From ancient times till the nineteenth century cooking was basically a survival skill. The nineteenth... Read More

How to cut a cake

Have you ever wondered how to cut a cake? I have had a lot of... Read More

What?s the Thick on Roux? Thickening Soups and Sauces

Soups and sauces can be thickened in a variety of ways. A sauce must the... Read More

Why do We Need to Knead?

Bread dough needs to be elastic in order to capture the gases created by the... Read More

Is Cooked Food Really All That Good For Us?

In nature all animals eat living foods as yielded up by Nature. Only humans cook... Read More

Storing Fats and Oils

The human body requires the intake of six types of substances for survival: Fats, carbohydrates,... Read More

Unique Cake Decorating With Flowers

Flowers as a Cake Decoration, unique and easy to place on every one of your... Read More

6 Steps to Grill the Perfect Steak

There's nothing better than a nicely grilled juicy steak.But how come I can't duplicate that... Read More

How to Grill Most Any Vegetable You Can Think Of!

Grilling vegetables is easy. The fact that more people don't do it is the strange... Read More

Keeping and Wasps and Flies Away from your Barbecue

It is one of life's oddities that we take a lot of trouble refrigerating meat,... Read More

To Fry Or Not To Fry?

Here's a little known factoid - did you know that KFC changed its image by... Read More

How to Peel Almost Anything

The great English cook Prue Leith once famously remarked "life's too short to stuff a... Read More

Do you own an AGA or RAYBURN cooker ?

The Cooker-rail....This is a novel way of increasing the drying area for people who like... Read More

10 Smart Shopping Tips To Protect Your Family From Getting Sick

Prevention of food poisoning starts with your trip to the supermarket. Here's how to start... Read More

Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens were made for baking. In the hands of a practiced baker, a Dutch... Read More

The Best-Kept Secrets of Beef Revealed! Get Ready to Become the Meat Expert in Your Family!

Do you helplessly stand at the meat counter looking from package to package, not knowing... Read More

50% Less Cooking

50% Less Cookingwithout hitting the fast food button! Don't you just cringe when some clever... Read More

Peppercorns & Ways To Use Them

New and exciting varieties of peppercorns are becoming available to chefs everywhere. Pre-ground pepper out... Read More

Picture Perfect Bread

The secret-at least most of it-is in the rise. The most common mistake that we... Read More

How to Bake: Bread on the Grill

One of the slickest tricks we know is baking bread on the grill. Once you... Read More

Little-known Tips for Easy Holiday Baking

Are you wondering if you have the time to bake homemade Christmas cookies this year?... Read More

Bread in the Woods

We really like fresh bread while we're camping. There is something about bread products that... Read More

High Altitude Baking - A Cooks Guide

High altitude baking can be a real adventure for the cook, with a number of... Read More

The Noble Crescent Roll - How to Roll a Masterpiece

Ahhh?the noble crescent roll. In some forms it has its origins in the Middle East... Read More