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Nov 27, 2009 10:19 AM

meat thermometer

I am looking for a little help. Two weeks ago, my meat thermometer died. It was given to me by my SIL who had 2. I have no idea of the brand (already chucked it), but it was fantastic for roasting chickens. I picked up a Taylor wireless thermometer as a replacement. I put it in my turkey (which was still frozen in spots - I know, but I gave it 5 days!) and it read 50 degrees. After less than 5 min in a 325 oven, it was climbing past 80 degrees with no end in sight. Yeah, not working. Luckily I have my trusty instant-read one, and the turkey was very good.

So what kind of thermometer do you recommend? I really like having one with a probe I can leave in the oven, and the digital display that signals near the end. I do not need a wireless unit that I can carry with me, but it is ok if it has one. Any tried & true? Any to avoid? Also, where did you buy the ones you like? THANKS!

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  1. I think the probes in those leave-the-probe-in types of meat thermometers have a tendency to fail, and when they do it's usually cheaper to buy a whole new thermometer. I had a Maverick that came with *two* probes, which was nice, but eventually they both failed. Now I have CDN Proaccurate, but judging from the Amazon comments I'm lucky it still works.

    I'm itching to buy a Thermapen, top-rated by America's Test Kitchen, but that's $96. I know that's not what you're looking for, but its maker, ThermoWorks, also makes the type you're talking about:

    If I were looking for that type now, I'd probably go with the ThermoWorks. Polder is another popular make I'd consider. But I think there's no such thing as a tried and true thermometer of that type, which is why when my CDN breaks I'm going to an instant read Thermapen and will give up on the leave-the-probe-in type.

    1 Reply
    1. re: philly888

      Interesting, that link to the Thermoworks looks exactly like the one (not the same name on it-paid $24) I got 10 years ago that the probe failed on because I soaked it. Just bought one at Costco Business Center for $16 and it looks exactly the same. Think the brand says MIU France (package says made in China). Hooked the probe to the old thermometer and it works like new.

      Can't justify buying a Thermopen as much as I'd like one.

      Look the same?

      check out the company MIU, they're in China and make the same one for different companies.

    2. Word of advice don't immerse or soak the probes in water at the point where the probe attaches to the wire. When moisture gets inside the probe that tends to be a killer. Just wipe it off to clean the probe. I've been satisfied with those inexpensive $20 ones made in China.

      1. love the Thermopen, but not up for that right now. I guess what got me was I know the original one I had was not expensive,and lasted almost 2 years. I never soaked the probe, and I figure 2 yrs was pretty good. The new one (about $30) did not work from the start.
        I'll mess around with the one I have, see about returning it for another, & try again. Thanks.

        1. After perhaps the most succesful thanksgiving turkey ever, I really am happy with my new thermoworks probe thermometer, wish I had gotten it sooner. Thanks to everyone re not submerging the probe in water, I just did a quick wipe cleaning and I will be careful, hopefully extend its life as long as possible.
          it is so great to know exactly when the temp is reached. it is great to be able to insert when you start cooking, and are not rushed to chose the correct spot . Prerviously i have used stick types and it seems like you are opening the door of the oven, testing, opening , testing, and not sure if you really stuck it in the thickest part, cause everything's so hot to handle.
          I had resisted a better thermometer for a long time, now I see it was a case where my tendency towards anti gadget cooking was really a handicap. I don't roast a lot of meats, and just a couple sad and expensive over cooked mistakes, made me feel I can't. Now I am thinking a really nice beef roast for xmas, I have thermometer confidence....

          5 Replies
          1. re: ciaolette

            Works great on steaks and chops when you want to know exactly when they're done.

            Always take into consideration the "target" finishing temperature. When you let meat rest the temperature will continue to go up, called carryover cooking . Depending on the temperature it's cooked at and the period of rest the final temperature can be 5-10 degrees (maybe 15) higher when it's done resting. On a turkey the temperature can rise 10 more degrees in 30 minutes if you've roasted it at 350 degrees. Roasted at a lower temperature of 200 degrees and it might only rise 5 degrees when at rest. Larger cuts of meats like roasts and turkeys can hold more residual heat and the temperature will go higher.

            Confirmed that some of Thermoworks products are made by partners in Asia. Look on the back and will probably say "Made in China". Looks exactly like first one I bought from Williams-Sonoma and it was called Acu-Rite (made in China).

            Funny a company out of China would be called MIU France

            Some research on the internet and people have had success fixing the "wet" probes by putting them in an oven at 200 degrees and "drying" them out. You can get replacement probe for like $7.

              1. re: Paulustrious

                Curious...why would a digital thermometer using a AAA battery require a UL approval?
                I thought it was only required on electrical things that are plugged into an electrical socket?

                1. re: monku

                  Sorry - I was responding to the wrong message here. I don't believe meat thermometers need certification - but I could be wrong. I guess there could be a recall if a product is deemed unsafe. (eg undercooked food)

                  ULC (Candian UL) is required for all sorts of things - for example concrete blocks, insulation, extinguishers, fire doors. You are welcome to browse the list :-) ....

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    I browsed the your link before and understand things you mentioned.

                    These day's anythings possible. Some child is going to get a hold of one of those digital thermometers and kill themselves with the probe and they'll have to repackage it with a child warning.