Cooking 101: The Meat Thermometer

Our Meat Thermometer

It’s a tool I can’t do without. Something more experienced chefs absolutely hate, and new chefs don’t know they need. It’s the MEAT THERMOMETER.

They range from $13 to $54 on Amazon and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Some are waterproof, some are rechargeable. It all depends on what you like. We got the cheap-o one and have had to replace the small battery once in the 6 years we’ve had it so it hasn’t failed us yet.

Why do you want a meat thermometer?

Well, it’s easy to read every recipe on the internet and get a different cooking time. For instance MY WING RECIPE is different than the one on WHOLE KITCHEN SINK, which is different than MEATLOAF AND MELODRAMA because, everyone likes theirs cooked a bit differently and everyone’s ovens and air fryers and toaster ovens are all different! Where you live, the humidity and the temperature of your kitchen can all effect cooking time and your ultimate oven temperature.

How do you make sense of those recipes?

Every stinkin’ one of those recipes agrees you should have your wings at 165 degrees when they come out of the oven. So even though my outdoor mini oven bakes hotter and quicker than my old apartment oven, I know I have to get the wings to the same temp no matter what.

What temp am I looking for on this meat thermometer?

Glad you asked. Here’s a handy guide.

Meat Temperature Guide

“Before Resting” means that you should be poking your meat to these temps and then taking it out of the oven so you can literally let it rest on the counter. The meat will keep cooking at least 5 more degrees and it will absorb some of the juices left in the pan.

Cheap and easy to use, this meat thermometer has saved many a dinner.

You always want to poke the thickest part of the meat to measure if it’s done or not. I also use my thermometer for unauthorized uses like seeing if I made the luke-warm water too hot for my bread recipes, or checking on a sauce temperature. It can’t take the heat of a candy thermometer, which is made to go up to 400 degrees F, but it works just fine for most of your kitchen needs.

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