Cooking a large roast or a whole turkey can be a daunting task for the home cook. It is so easy to overcook the roast and ruin an expensive piece of meat. Or even worse, undercook the meat and end up serving a possibly unsafe piece of food. The key to a perfectly cooked roast is to make sure the meat has reached the proper internal temperature. But how can you measure the temperature in thick foods? The answer is to use a meat thermometer specially designed to measure the temperature of relatively thick or deep foods.
4 Types of Thermometers That are Suitable for Thick Meat
There are four main types of thermometers to consider. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
1. Digital instant-read thermometer
You can use a digital instant-read thermometer for both thick and thin foods. The probe must be placed at least 1/2 inch into the food. So it can measure thin foods or be inserted deeper to measure thicker foods. The instant-read thermometer gives the correct temperature reading in about 10 seconds. The quick speed makes it easy to quickly check multiple parts of the roast to make sure it is all cooked properly.
The temperature is shown in numerical format on a digital display. One drawback is the digital instant-read thermometer does require a battery. You should know how to change the batteries of a thermometer. However, most serious cooks find that the advantages of the digital instant read-thermometer outweigh the inconvenience of having to buy batteries. Here are links for these useful digital instant-read thermometers, hope can help you there:
2. Dial oven-safe thermometer
Dial oven-safe thermometers are one of the simplest thermometers available. One advantage is that they do not require a battery, so the thermometer will always be ready to use. You must insert the thermometer 2-2.5 inches deep into the food. They work best in thicker cuts of food and might not work well in very thin foods. They can remain in the roast while it is in the oven. However, because the thermometer will become very hot, it is difficult to move the thermometer to check other parts of the roast. It also can take 1-2 minutes before a dial thermometer shows the correct temperature. The dial is also not very precise compared to a digital read-out.
3. Dial instant-read thermometer
The dial instant-read thermometer is one of the most common thermometers. It can be easily purchased; many grocery stores even sell them. Like the oven-safe dial thermometer, this thermometer must be inserted 2-2.5 inches deep into the food. This depth makes it unsuitable for thin foods. This type of thermometer also measures the temperature very quickly- around 15-20 seconds. Again, the dial can be challenging to read precise temperatures compared to a digital display. It does not require a battery. It is not oven safe. Instead, you use it after you remove the food from the oven.
4. Thermometer-fork combination
The thermometer-fork combination thermometer also measures temperature within 20 seconds. The thermometer portion is built into one of the tines of the fork. The read-out is on the handle. This type of thermometer is advantageous when grilling since you have both the serving fork and the meat thermometer in a single tool.
Tips for Placing Food Thermometer in Thick Meat Correctly
There are two factors to consider when deciding your goal internal temperature of thick cuts of meat. The most important is food safety. The USDA publishes a food safety guide with target temperatures for each type of meat. The second factor is personal preference – do you like your meat rare? Or well done? Again, you can use a chart to determine what temperature to aim for with each type of meat.
Once you’ve decided your goal internal temperature for your cut of meat, you need to place the food thermometer properly. The wrong placement of the thermometer can lead to incorrect results.
First, you should always measure the temperature in the thickest part of the meat. The thickest part is usually colder than the thinner parts. If you only probed the temperature in the thinner areas, you could serve a piece of meat that was raw in the thicker portions. It is also essential to measure the temperature of the meat itself, not the fat or gristle.
The thermometer should also not be near a bone. Bone, fat, and gristle or cartilage all conduct heat differently than the meat, so you could get an incorrect temperature reading if you place your thermometer in these areas. You should also check the temperature in several places to make sure the entire piece of meat is cooked correctly.
When measuring the internal temperatures of poultry, such as chicken or turkey, you should be sure to check both the breast and the thigh or leg. The light and dark meat cook differently. Generally, the dark meat takes longer to cook, so you need to check the temperature of the thigh to make sure the bird is done.
Why ThermoPro instant-read thermometer is best for Thick Meat?
ThermoPro offers a wide variety of instant-read thermometers that are designed to measure the internal temperatures of thick cuts of meat. They have large, easy to read digital displays making it very easy to see the temperature. They come at a variety of price points, so there is a thermometer for your budget. A great value is the TP-02S, which reads the temperature in about 5 seconds! It also shuts off automatically after 10 minutes to preserve battery life.
They also offer specialty probes, such as the TP19 waterproof thermometer, which is easier to clean with soap and water. Or the TP15 is excellent for long cooking projects, such as smoking. For this type of cooking, you need to measure the temperature many times over several hours. The TP15 has a needle tip, so you don’t fill your meat with large holes. Despite being thinner, the TP15 can survive insertion into thick cuts of meat. It is not fragile at all!
Using a meat thermometer while cooking removes so much stress! When you use a thermometer designed for measuring the temperature deep inside foods, you will never serve an incorrectly cooked piece of meat again. An instant-read thermometer means you can quickly check the doneness of your entire roast by probing multiple paces in your roast. Once you cook with an instant-read meat thermometer, you will probably never go back to guessing if your meal is well cooked!