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Video:How to Use an Instant-Read Thermometer

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An instant read thermometer is a great tool to check the progress of your meat. Learn what an instant-read thermometer is, and how to properly use one, for your next dish.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use an Instant-Read Thermometer

Overview of Meat Thermometers

Using a meat thermometer properly helps you prepare meat to perfection and avoid any harmful bacteria. Meat thermometers can be oven-safe models or instant-read models. Either model can come as analog dials or digital readers.

How to Use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer

An instant-read thermometer cannot be used in the oven. Upon removal from the oven it is used immediately by inserting it into the meat at any stage wished during cooking. The meat must be pulled out of the oven in order to get a reading.  They are not designed to remain in the food as it is cooking. They are inserted only when you wish to quickly check internal temperatures to assure your meat or food is cooked at a safe temperature.

Be aware that different types of meats require different temperatures to be considered safe and done, no matter how you prepare them.

For accuracy, the sensing area of the thermometer is 1/2 inch to 2 inches long, and this area must be completely submerged in the deepest area of the food. Insert the instant read thermometer into the thickest part away from fat, bone and gristle of the meat. Insert sideways in thin items such as patties.

Always check cooked meat and poultry in several places with an instant read thermometer to ensure food safety.

Checking the accuracy of a thermometer by using the ice water method. Fill a large glass with finely crushed ice. Add clean water to the top of the ice and stir well. Immerse the thermometer stem a minimum of 2 inches into the mixture. The thermometer should read 32 degrees F after 30 seconds.

Most meat thermometers are accurate to within plus or minus 1 to 2º F. After each use always wash the stem of the thermometer thoroughly in hot, soapy water.

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