Table of Contents
Temperature is a critical aspect of cooking. Who hasn’t made a meal in the oven with two dishes that require different temperatures? Sure, one dish might have a temperature 25 degrees higher, but that just means it will cook slightly faster, right? It doesn’t work out that way, which is why getting the temperature right is so critical. As it turns out, there are a few major reasons for using a food temperature probe in a kitchen setting.
What is a Temperature Probe?
What does a food temperature probe even do in the first place? To put it simply, it is used to measure the internal temperature of foods. Meat, chicken, and fish all need to reach a certain internal temperature. Some professional chefs can figure out whether it is cooked by touch, but it isn’t a skill that many have.
Using the food temperature probe allows for a more accurate reading. Getting that accurate reading is critical for two very important reasons. If you haven’t been using a temperature probe when cooking, here are the biggest reasons that you might want to consider making the move.
The single most important reason to use a food temperature probe is due to safety. A wide range of foods can become dangerous to ingest if they aren’t cooked to a proper temperature. Raw meat of any kind needs to reach a certain internal temperature before it can be safe to consume. Meat can be confusing, especially because there are situations where it is possible to consume raw meat safely.
Chicken and pork, when not cooked through all the way, can be very dangerous. They have bacteria that can be harmful to the digestive system. Best case, someone who has ingested uncooked chicken or pork will get violently sick. It only gets worse from there.
Using a food temperature probe ensures that things like that don’t happen. As important as it is for cooking meals at home, it becomes even more important in a professional setting. The very last thing that a restaurant wants to do is give a patron food poisoning due to undercooked meat. Even if there are no legal ramifications, word tends to spread fast when someone gets sick at a restaurant.
A very close second to food safety is food quality. No one, regardless of the setting, wants to eat a bad meal. Whether you are cooking for yourself or serving guests at a restaurant, the quality of the food is important. Even small changes in temperature can have a large impact on the quality of that dish.
Some foods are a bit more flexible and easier to manage. Things like proofed bread, smoked meats, tempered chocolate, and brewed beer – among other things – require very specific temperatures for the proper consistency and quality. Using a food temperature probe means getting the temperature down to a few degrees. Anything more than that can compromise the food.
Choosing the Right Probe Thermometer
There are a few factors worth taking into consideration when choosing a food temperature probe. The first of which is accuracy. If a food temperature probe is not accurate, then you need to find another one. Some of the better food temperature probes can get down to just a few degrees to improve consistency and quality.
Temperature range is important as well. The last thing anyone wants to do is to switch between several different thermometers in order to get a reading. There are some that serve a wider range of temperatures, ensuring greater convenience than others.