Well, if you are like me – a lot.
I’ve been on the quest for an effective kitchen thermometer ever since I started cooking 2 years ago. I started with the recommended Taylor brands :
I have used them for quite sometime now. The one on the left is broken since it got wet when I left it in the sink (weren’t they supposed to be waterproof anyway?); I threw it after this shot was taken.
Then I saw the Taylor remote thermometer which was very effective in measuring the temperature of a roast while it was cooking. My hubby also uses it on the grill if he was cooking a cut of meat that he was not used to.
But since our new oven had a built in thermometer probe, I have stopped using it for roasts.
When I started cooking at very low temperatures like 190°F for duck confit, my less than stellar results led me to purchase what are known as oven thermometers. I have three of them and they do not necessarily agree with each other so I usually take the average of their readings. Actually they drive me crazy sometimes. Either they fall off to an area where it is impossible to reach (especially in a hot oven) or they disagree with each other with a difference of more than 50 °F (and yes I put them in the same area in the oven and tested them). If you guys can offer a more reliable model please let me know.
My desire to cook deep-fried food and make caramel properly also led me to purchase these:
Eventually, the slow response-time readings of my old Taylor thermometer had me looking for a new device with quicker temperature feedback. After quite some research, I bought the Thermapen and I am very happy with it:
After attending Harold McGee’s class, I just had to have an infrared thermometer. This is currently my most-used thermometer. I use it for making caramel, melting chocolate and browning butter. I also use it to make sure my butter and eggs are at room temperature. Heck, I use it to check the HH’s temperature – just for giggles.
And last but not the least, meet my new gadget. The thermocouple. It is a thermometer that can measure two items at the same time. Let’s say you want to find out the temperature of the meat vs. its braising liquid or how hot the pan is vs. the roast itself. I have not quite figured out how to work it yet. I couldn’t even turn it off when I first got it and I thought it was broken. Turns out I had to clear out some readings to enable the power button. It had a very brief instruction guide, but if this was McGee’s favorite thermometer, it might just be worth the trouble.