Meat Thermometers

November 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're cooking this holiday season, a good meat thermometer can come in very handy. Consumer Reports has done some cooking of its own to see how accurate meat thermometers are. As a professional chef, Amalia Greco knows the value of a good meat thermometer. "That's the only tool that's going to be able to tell you when your meat and poultry is completely cooked."

Consumer Reports tested 11 meat thermometers for accuracy and for how well they respond to temperature changes. There were thermometers you insert and read immediately, and others that you leave in food as it cooks. Today's meat thermometers have gotten, well, fancy.

Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports, says "Many of these thermometers are wired probes that connect to digital displays. Some actually speak to you. The Weber is actually a wireless probe that lets you check the food's temperature from 300 feet away; using a remote unit you can clip to your belt. Unfortunately, the thermometer didn't perform as well overall as others we tested."

Some thermometers let you track temperatures on two different meats at the same time, great for a big holiday meal.

One of the top-rated thermometers, this 30-dollar Polder, offers that feature. It's one you leave in while cooking.

If you want to save some money, consider this 16-dollar Taylor Weekend Warrior thermometer. It's one you insert in order to get the temperature reading.

When it comes to thermometers, Consumer Reports says a thermometer for your refrigerator can be handy, too. It can help you make sure your food is being kept cool enough. Food refrigerators should be set to 37-degrees.

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