If you bake or cook regularly, a good digital thermometer is a kitchen tool you must have. I’m sure some of you will question whether or not you need to spend $100 on a digital instant-read thermometer. Personally, if I am going to use my valuable time to cook, I want to achieve the best results possible. Using the right tools is very helpful. A good thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking, gives you more control and consistent results. We’ve learned that it pays to monitor the temperature not only of meat but also of cakes, breads, poaching water, butter, caramel, custards, and even baked potatoes.
Here are the reasons why you really need a digital thermometer:
No doubt, you already have a thermometer or two lying around the kitchen – one for meat, one for frying and candy making. Older dial-faced analog thermometers do not have the necessary range to test everything from meat to frying oil. With a digital thermometer, you only need one!
ACCURACY AND SPEED
If a thermometer is inaccurate, what’s the point? Analog thermometers can be very inaccurate. They can be thrown off by dropping them, using them at too high a temperature or getting jostled in that drawer of utensils you keep it in. Speed is crucial, too. If you are testing something in the oven with the oven door open and the heat escaping, you want an instant temperature. A digital thermometer registers an accurate temperature in 2-3 second.
SAFETY AND FOOD QUALITY
By carefully monitoring your food temperatures, you drastically lower the chance of foodborne illness. But also, using NEW CDC guidelines, you can prevent overcooking as well. For example, the USDA now tells us chicken is safe to eat at 157 degrees instead of 165 degrees, resulting in a far juicier chicken.
I hope this will help you decide that a quality, digital kitchen thermometer is something you not only need, but deserve.
My favorite digital thermometer and recommendation is the Thermapen Mk4 by ThermoWorks for about $100. If that is over your budget, you might get the ThermoPop, also ThermoWorks for about $30. I have not used the ThermoPop, but it is made by the same company and gets good reviews.