How to Use a Meat Thermometer

Whether you’re hosting a holiday dinner or a barbecue party, a brisket is sure to please the crowd. It’s rich, flavorful, smoky, and crispy!

However, not everyone has the skill to make that perfect piece of protein. Meat that is slightly over or undercooked is an absolute no-no. Besides, if you’ve ever eaten one or seen Gordon Ramsay go berserk on a chef who cooks his meat unevenly, you know how important it is.

So, to keep your meat out of the danger zone, you must use a meat thermometer for smokers.

Perhaps the next question popping in your head is, “How to use a meat thermometer?” To know that and more, read the guide below.

What is a Meat Thermometer?

A meat thermometer is a tool with a probe that you can insert into the piece of meat or other food to gauge its temperature.

In other words, this device eliminates the need to cut your food, which otherwise adversely affects the protein’s texture and taste.

So, if you’re not a seasoned chef, a meat thermometer has you covered! Here’s how this gadget comes in handy as a kitchen essential.

  • It allows you to calibrate the minimum internal temperature of protein.
  • By precisely measuring the meat’s temperature, it successfully eliminates harmful bacteria from the meat.
  • It helps cook tender, juicy, and perfect meat every time.

Types of Meat Thermometers

Before knowing how to use a meat thermometer correctly, choosing the best meat thermometer that fits your needs is imperative. Below, we’ll discuss some types of meat thermometers.

Wireless Meat Thermometer

As the name suggests, a “wireless” thermometer eliminates the hassle of inconvenient wires. Whether you are cooking in an oven, electric smoker, or a pellet grill, a wireless Bluetooth meat thermometer gives an accurate temperature reading every time.

With this device, you will be able to get instant readings from your phone, so you won’t have to stand by your food as it cooks.

Also, if you accidentally step out of range, the thermometer makes an audible beep to alert you.

However, if you opt for a Thermopro meat thermometer, it includes a wireless remote with an incredible range of 300 feet.

Instant Read Meat Thermometer

You can instantly read the temperature of your food with a digital meat thermometer. Insert the probe ½ inch into the thickest part of the meat, and the temperature will be displayed in 7-8 seconds.

However, make sure not to leave the device in food for long as it might get stuck and ruin your food eventually.

Wifi Meat Thermometer

Another reliable temperature measuring device for protein is a wifi meat thermometer, which can be connected to your smartphone. All you need is a wifi connection, and you’re all set.

Whether you cook on a pellet smoker or a grill, you can track your food from anywhere in the house. So, you won’t have to hover over your grill the entire time. Another plus is that its range is far more extensive than a Bluetooth meat thermometer.

How to Use a Meat Thermometer Properly

Your investment will not be worth it if you do not know how to use a meat thermometer correctly.

So, in addition to choosing the best meat thermometer for smoking, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Opt for an Oven-Safe Thermometer

Some thermometers do not survive in the toaster ovens and grills. They also might stick to your food and negatively impact its taste.

So, make sure you go through the product description to ensure that you’re purchasing an oven-safe thermometer.

With such a thermometer, there are no concerns regarding food safety. Additionally, they come in handy when roasting a large piece of meat or the whole chicken.

Test Your Thermometer

Make sure to check your thermometer first. For that, you need to follow these steps:

  • Get an empty container.
  • Place 5-6 ice cubes in it.
  • Add a cup of water to it.
  • Place the thermometer probe inside.

When the thermometer reads zero degrees celsius (or 32 Fahrenheit), it’s ready for use!

Locate the Right Spot

When cooking, you cannot simply insert the thermometer anywhere in the meat; instead, you have to put it into the thickest part. Why? Because it takes the longest to cook.

If, for instance, you place the thermometer in the wrong spot, you might end up with an undercooked piece of meat.

But how can you identify the thickest part of protein? Here’s how:

  • For whole chicken or turkey, insert the probe into the inner thigh just below the breast.
  • For steaks and roasts, place the thermometer in the thickest part right in the center.
  • Hamburgers and chicken breasts etc… are thinner. So for these, you need to insert the thermometer from the side.

Lastly, make sure that the probe does not touch any bone area, else it will give you incorrect readings.

Get the Depth Right

If the thermometer barely touches the depth of your food, you may get inaccurate readings. So going in deep to the right depth is a crucial step.

Most thermometers require you to insert the probe about ½ inches (1.3cm) in the protein. Besides, a few thermometers also have a small indicator for depth measurement/accuracy.

Check the Temperature at the End of Cooking

When you feel your meat is ready, check the temperature before you remove the thermometer.

If the meat hasn’t reached the minimum safe temperature, let it cook for another five minutes. Here are examples of minimum temperatures for different types of meat.

  • Beef (160°F)
  • Whole Chicken (165°F )
  • Fish (145°F)
  • Lamb (160°F)
  • Ham (145°F)
  • Ground Turkey (165°F)
  • Pork Butt (195°F)

Wash the Thermometer Probe

Ensure proper cleaning once you’re done preparing that flavorsome meat. Also, make sure to wash the probe thoroughly to avoid contamination.

Expert’s Video – How to Properly Use a Meat Thermometer

Bottom line

To master the art of preparing tender, juicy, and evenly cooked meat, invest in a high-quality meat thermometer. However, you must use it properly to smoke a brisket on a grill.

If you want your meat to be finger-licking good, make sure to follow the steps we’ve discussed above. It’ll sure impress your friends and family!