Meat Thermometers---Need Help
I have one of those meat therms. with a rod (maybe 5 in.?) that you stick into the meat, and then connect the rod with a wire to a device that sits on the counter and gives you the current meat temp. In general I like the therms. that you don't have to keep opening the oven to check--BUT--this one is a bit awkward and resulted in undercooked roast chicken at dinner last night. (Fortunately no guests so I wasn't embarassed!)
My theory is that the rod part is too long and gets knocked around in the oven. It's also so long that in a smaller meat (last night was a 5-lb. bird) there's not necessarily enough meat to really get the rod into. (This has worked well with rack/leg of lamb, though--more meat is my theory.)
So, fellow CHers--can you give me any tips on a good therm. that works with all types of meat AND that has an out-of-oven read out so I don't have to keep opening my oven? Or if you have tips for the one I have I'd greatly appreciate it!
Thanks for the suggestions, all. First, it's an MIU brand, but it looks just like the Polder. (I have no idea when or where I got this thing!) Sometimes the probe hits the top of the oven, but that's my fault, not the therms!
I think I had 2 issues last night--one, bird too small/incorrectly placed probe (which I've always placed correctly before, so who knows) and a probe that's lost it's edge--Bob, I took your suggestion just now and didn't get up to 212, that was a great idea for testing!
So, lessons learned . . . get rid of this one (doesn't seem readily accessible and they're pretty cheap) and buy a polder w/extra tips so I can go back to fully cooked chicken, lamb, etc!
I've used Polder's for years, and have had to buy new tips (about $10) many times. I don't know whether it has to do with the wire getting pinched too much or what, they just don't last very long. But it's worth buying the tips for the convenience of not having to open the oven all the time, not to mention the audible alarm you can set, freeing you from having to watch the temp constantly.
My strategy is to A) keep a spare tip on hand at all times, and B) test the current one before every use by inserting the tip into a pot of boiling water, not letting it touch the sides. If you're anywhere near sea level it should read 212°. If it's off by more than a few degrees, toss it and open the new one. And test that one too, I've had at least one defective right out of the package!
I think that's it. There are no other thermometers that will give you a more accurate temperature reading while still in the oven. "Knocked around in the oven...?" What's in your oven banging things around? ;-) You can find an oven with a built in probe thermometer attachment, but I think the Pyrex brand (or something similar) is likely better. Maybe the chicken was too small and the thermometer was incorrectly placed?