Instant Read Thermometers
I am often asked what is the single most important thing that a person can buy to improve their food or BBQ. This brothers and sisters is that item. Not a $10000 smoker or grill set up, a small handheld device that can often be picked up for 20-80 bucks. You will likely see this device mentioned in most of my recipes.
Why do I need this?
In America we have unfortunately been ingrained into a Betty Crocker-time and temp method of cooking. While that may work for baking and some cooking applications, that is not the way you cook meat. At least good meat that is.
Each piece of meat comes from a different animal with a different fat content, marbling, toughness, etc, so we can't assume it will all cook the same way every time. Add onto that regional difference in elevation and cooking conditions and simply using time and temp just does not work most of the time.
With meat, and especially large or slow cooked meats we cook to either an end temperature or texture.
Tired of your mother-in-law telling you to put her steak back on because is is not done enough, or the disappointment in cutting into your prime rib only to discover that it is well done? An instant read thermometer has you covered. It takes a lot of the guess work out of what you are cooking so it comes out tender and juicy every time (or dry as shoe leather for the mother-in law if that is what she wants).
Great you have convinced me, so which one should I get.
I am not paid anything by any of the following companies and, as always, will only ever recommend items that I have used personally or that come highly recommended from a trusted source. That said, when it comes to instant read thermometers the Thermo Works Thermapen tends to be the gold standard in this department, and it has never let me down. It provides accurate temps in about 1 second so you can quickly check a temp and then get back to cooking. That said, I have also been very pleased with the less expensive Javelin Pro, which has many of the same features for a fraction of the cost of the ThermaPen.