Cooking meat to the proper temperature is one of the biggest challenges of cooking at home. Undercook turkey and Thanksgiving is ruined, overcook steak and that’s money down the drain. The difference between undercooking and overcooking can be just a minute or two, and if you’re trying to cook, say, two different pieces of meat of varying thickness to medium-rare, it can be an incredibly daunting task. You can poke at a steak to attempt to gauge its doneness, you can stab a chicken and see “if the juices run clear,” you can cut into a steak or burger (which doesn’t actually tell you much of anything), or you can do what the pros do: invest in a probe thermometer, and never undercook or overcook a piece of meat again.
There are two types of instant-read probe thermometers: the ones that you hold in your hand, and the ones that you leave in. handheld ones are great for steaks and other foods you’re cooking on the stove; leave-ins are best for roasts, chickens, turkeys, or other pieces of meat you’re cooking in an oven. You set the temperature you’re looking for, insert it into the meat, and wait for the alarm to go off.
The great thing about instant-read probe thermometers is that they take the guesswork out of cooking meat. Once you decide that the ideal steak temperature for you is 130, every steak from there on out will be cooked exactly to your liking. Yes, they’re pricey, but once you start using one you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. You can find all the probe thermometer styles you’ll ever need at ThermoWorks.com.