Salt & Fat: Probe thermometer

I don’t really consider a probe thermometer in the first tier of kitchen instruments, like I do a sharp knife and a sturdy pan. It’s a nicety, something you acquire when you want to add a little more precision to your cooking — you don’t need one when you’re roasting a chicken, but it sure does…

It’s amazing how such a simple kitchen tool can cause such frustration. I have also had my ups and downs with probe thermometers. I always use one and consider this tool an essential — mostly because things like roasted chicken and roast beef and turkey can over cook easily.

I have been using a Polder, and I like the fact that it has a wire that can take high oven heat. On the other hand, the model I bought makes you set the oven temperature as well as the preferred cooking temperature for the food. I hate doing that.

So I just bought an Oneida, but after reading your post, looked to see what kind of wire it has — it’s silicone coated and specifically says not to use in an oven higher than 400 degrees F. Wish I had read this before I bought it. I often roast food starting at 450 degrees to give it a crispy surface, then lower the temp.

I would love a followup on how you like the Oxo. I like their vegetable peelers so would be predisposed to try the probe.

My mother tested her chickens and turkeys using the fork method. You pierced the thigh and if the juices ran yellow you knew the chicken was done. Unfortunately, with that method you never knew for how long those juices were running yellow! I don’t know how she judged the roast beef. Somehow she had this internal clock that let her know the meat would be rare.