Getting the temperature right


Getting the temperature right


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

We have mentioned the importance of using thermometers to monitor cooking temperatures to prevent undercooking, along with periodically checking food storage environments to prevent food-borne illnesses. Additionally, food thermometers should also be used to ensure that cooked food is held at safe temperatures until served. However, it is important to note that thermometers are not a one-size-fits-all equipment as they come in several styles and vary in level of technology and purpose of use.

Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometers

An appliance thermometer can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer to monitor the temperature, which is usually critical in the event of a power outage. These thermometers are not usually designed to check the internal temperature of your foods during cooking, as they are specially designed to provide accuracy at cold temperatures.

Digital food thermometers


This thermometer comes with a digital display and probe which may have a thickness of 1/16 inch with a rapid response time of 2 to 5 seconds when the probe is placed inside the food. Given that these thermometers respond quickly the temperature can easily be checked in many parts of food; especially when cooking large items such as ham, whole chicken or turkey. The size of the probe also makes it a lot easier to use on smaller food items such as chopped meat, chicken breasts and casseroles. They are not made to remain in your food while cooking. Given that these are usually used in a commercial setting, thermocouples cannot be easily found in your resident home centre.


These are also equipped with a digital display and a probe which is approximately 1/8 inch in thickness. Time taken to register temperature is longer at about 10 seconds and these are also not designed to remain inside the food while it is being cooked. The semi-conductor in the probe allows this thermometer to measure temperature in thin foods, as well as thick foods. For more accurate results, the tip of this thermometer must be place in the centre of the thickest part of the food. Unlike the previous, this one can easily be found in your home centre.

Oven Cord Thermometers

This thermometer also registers the temperature in 10 seconds and allows you to check the temperature of food in the oven without opening the oven door. This is due to a base unit with a digital screen which is attached to a thermistor-type food thermometer probe by a long metal cord. To use, the probe is inserted into the food with the cord extending from the oven to the base unit which can be placed on the counter or attached to the stovetop or oven door by a magnet. these thermometers can also be used to check foods cooking on the stove.

Thermometer Fork

As the name suggests, this thermometer combines a cooking fork with a food thermometer. A temperature-sensing device is embedded in the fork. The food temperature is indicated on a digital display or by indicator lights on the handle within 2 to 10 seconds. These lights will tell if the food has reached rare, medium, well done — which makes it useful for grilling. Thermometer forks are not designed to remain in a food while in the oven or on the grill.

Dial Food Thermometers

Oven-safe and instant-read bimetallic-coil thermometers: These thermometers can be used for roasts, casseroles and soups. However, while the oven safe is designed to remain in the food while being cooking in the oven, the instant read is to be used at the end of cooking after food is removed. Both thermometers are not designed to check temperatures of thin foods, however.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon