Probe Thermometer

 

After freshly marinading the chef in wine or lager, your next essential is to make sure that you cook all food safely. Handling food with clean utensils, clean hands, having a clean cooking environment and making sure the food doesn’t hang around for too long are basics. To check whether the meat is ready to be served, check the internal temperature.

The only way to accurately do this is to use a probe thermometer. You can pick these up for less than £10. Make sure you keep the probe clean between measurements as you don’t want your attempts at food hygiene to be the thing that spreads the bugs. Use the probe into the middle of the food to be checked and let the thermometer come upto a reading before withdrawing. You will also get hints with well done meats and chicken, when the juices coming out of the probe hole are clear. An infrared thermometer will not do the trick as it measures surface temperature, even though they do look very cool with the laser dot.

Safe temperatures:

Beef
Rare 125-130F (52-54C)
Medium rare 130-140F (54-60C)
Medium 140-150F (60-66C)
Medium well 150-160F (66-71C)
Well done 160F (71C)

Lamb
Medium 140-150F (60-66C)
Medium well 150-160F (66-71C)
Well done 160F (71C)

Pork
Steaks 150F (66C)
Chops 150F (66C)
Ribs 190F (88C)

Chicken 165F (74C)

Burgers 160F (71C)
Sausages 160F (71C)
Hot dogs 140F (60C)
Gammon steaks 140F (60C)

 

We have all witnessed the charred outside of a barbecued sausage and then bitten in to find it’s raw or even frozen. This is all done to rapid and uneven transfer of heat or flames. If you want a sausage that tastes good and is an even temperature all the way through then try these 3 simple steps:

1 Is the barbecue ready to cook on? The flames need to have died down and the charcoal glows white. At that point you can start to cook. It doesn’t matter that the heat may start to go down. This is better than the coals still heating up.

2 Make sure the sausages are ready to cook. Nothing is worse than frozen or raw sausage. The many scare stories of food poisonning at barbecues come down to meat not cooked properly and maybe kept around too long before eating. One quick way to get a sausage up to heat is to simmer them for about 10 minutes in water or stock. Not only does this get them nice and juicy but it gets them to a consistent temperature.

3 Probe. An instant read thermometer should tell you when your food is ready to take off the heat. These are inexpensive, very easy to use and simple to clean. Safe cooking temperatures depend on what you are cooking, so a crib sheet will be coming out next week.

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