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Using a thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking. You can make an ideally cooked roast, pull a medium-rare steak off the grill, and complete a candy recipe perfectly every time. There are different types of cooking thermometers, so knowing how they work lets you pick the right type for your needs.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of eight types of cooking thermometers for you. Keep reading to learn how these thermometers work and what type is best for different foods and cooking techniques.
1. Candy Or Deep Fryer Thermometer
A candy thermometer monitors the temperature of sugar solutions as you cook. It is a handy tool for making fudge, caramel, syrup, chocolate, jam, jelly, and brewing beer. The markings on the candy thermometer denote the various texture stages of candy making. Capable of reading temperatures as high as 400°F, this thermometer can also be used for deep-frying.
To use a candy thermometer, hang the thermometer over the side of the pot by the affixed hook. Simply read the temperature displayed on the dial.
Taylor’s simplistic liquid candy thermometer comes with a handy reference chart that's printed on the storage case.
Get an accurate read as you cook with KT THERMO’s reliable, dial fryer thermometer.
Want to learn more about deep frying? Check out our post What Can You Use a Deep Fryer For?
2. Oven-Safe Dial
An oven-safe thermometer can stay safely in the oven while your foods cook. The easy to read dial tells you the temperature of the oven, and it denotes the range at which food is either warming, baking, roasting, or broiling. Oven-safe thermometers can withstand temperatures up to 600°F.
Use an oven-safe thermometer by either setting the stable base on an oven rack or hanging it from the oven rack by using a hook at the top of the dial. If your oven-safe thermometer has a probe, insert it into the food to monitor internal temperature while cooking.
Made from stainless steel, Rubbermaid brings commercial quality into your domestic oven with this durable, oven-safe thermometer.
Get a reliable read every time from the large dial display on Taylor’s oven-safe thermometer.
3. Thermometer-Fork Combination
The double-pronged fork end of this thermometer makes it a multipurpose grilling utensil. The fork end is equipped with a thermometer. Insert the fork into the meat, and a digital display on the handle gives you an instant read of the temperature. The thermometer-fork is not designed to stay in the food during grilling.
Cuisinart has designed this, programmable thermometer-fork so you can set it to rare, medium, or well and not worry about specific temperatures. Equipped with an LED to light up your grill at night.
Check out our post Can You Cook a Steak in a Non-stick Pan? for seven excellent tips on how to cook the perfect steak.
4. Instant Read Dial/Digital
An instant read thermometer gives a quick check, by inserting the stainless steel probe into food and waiting until a temperature is displayed on either a dial or digital display. The thermometer should not remain in food while cooking because it is not oven safe. It is a useful tool to check the temperature of stovetop recipes like soups and sauces, and oven recipes like roasts, casseroles, and baked goods.
Keep in mind that if you use an instant-read thermometer with a digital display, the battery will need to be replaced occasionally. You might also need to recalibrate your instant-read thermometer — both dial and digital types. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to recalibrate.
Juseepo’s instant-read thermometer gives you a reading in either Fahrenheit or Celsius within 4 seconds. As an additional bonus, the waterproof thermometer is equipped with a corkscrew.
The storage sleeve for KT THERMO’s instant-read dial thermometer double as a holder so you can safely insert the probe into hot foods.
By using voltage to gauge temperature, thermocouple temperature readings are fast and accurate. Inside of a probe, two fine wires of dissimilar metals are coupled together. Temperature causes a reaction between the metal wires. A cable leads from the probe to a digital display housing to give you the reading.
Because the probe is tiny, thermocouple thermometers are great for taking the temperature of foods with any thickness. They can read very high temperature ranges but are not designed to stay in food while cooking.
Precise, K-type thermocouple reads a temperature range between -328°F and 932°F.
6. Disposable Temperature Indicator
Single-use thermometers are designed to be used with specific foods by using a pre-set sensor to gauge temperature. You could potentially overcook or undercook foods if you check using the wrong type of disposable thermometer. Poultry, for instance, should be thoroughly cooked to 165°F, whereas a beef steak can be prepared medium-rare at 145°F.
Insert the sensor end into food. If the desired temperature is reached, the sensor changes color to let you know. After checking the temperature, toss disposable thermometers into the trash. Disposable thermometers prevent cross-contamination between foods. They are not designed to be inserted while cooking.
Color changing tips on these Cook’d Right thermometers tell you when your beef, hamburger, or poultry is cooked to perfection.
Great for grilling, because you do not have to think about temperatures. Taylor’s disposable beef thermometers are pre-set for steaks.
Most commonly used with poultry, a pop-up thermometer is designed for single-use. Pop-up thermometers can be inserted during cooking. The simple device is made from food-grade nylon with an internal stainless steel spring. Inside, an organic firing material packed around the spring heats until it has completely dissolved to release the spring, causing the top to pop up.
Accurately placing the pop-up thermometer is important so that it reacts to an internal temperature. Otherwise, the thermometer can pop on the hot exterior while the interior remains undercooked.
ChefCRAFT has pre-set these poppers to 170°F.
For a perfectly cooked turkey on Thanksgiving day, use HIC Harold Import Co.’s pop-up thermometers.
8. Oven Probe With Cord
Oven probe thermometers equipped with a heat-resistant cord can be used to monitor the temperature of the food from outside the oven. The probe is inserted into food, and the cord leads out of the oven where it connects to a battery-operated digital display housing. As food cooks, changing temperatures are instantly displayed.
An easy to read LED display lets you monitor two temperatures simultaneously using Harbor’s dual probe thermometer. Additionally, the display housing is magnetic for handy placement on the exterior of your oven or refrigerator.
Now that you know the types of cooking thermometers, you can pick the best fit for your kitchen.