Few dishes out there rival the masterpiece that is a slab of juicy steak. But if you have made steak before, you know that you never get second chances once you mess up. People can get very particular about how they want their meat done; some people prefer their steaks well done while for others, the bloodier it is, the better.
So you can imagine what an epic disaster it would be to overcook or undercook a piece of meat. That’s why it is so important that you arm yourself with a good kitchen thermometer that can help you prepare juicy, succulent roasts and steaks every time. And it’s not just steaks that are hard to prepare, roasting a large big bird for the holidays or preparing lasagna for the family? You’ll need a good meat thermometer for those too!
No matter how good of a griller you are, it is nearly impossible to accurately tell whether a steak is ready merely by looking at it. Visual cues may work for other dishes, but they can be deceiving when it comes to grilling. The exterior of your meat or roast may look tantalizing while the inside sits cold and raw.
Of course, cutting into the steak or poking it with a fork is one way to check for doneness. However, when you do that, you effectively release all those wonderful juices and flavors that make the meal delicious. As such, the most foolproof way to grill anything if you want to avoid ending up with chewy and dry meat that even your dog would have a hard time eating is to use a quality thermometer.
A case for thermometers
A grill thermometer may be a small gadget, but it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to grilling. Not only will it take away all the guesswork from the grilling equation, but it will also ensure that you end up with the exact result that you wanted in the first place.
Straightforward to use, affordable and portable enough that it can be stored easily in one of your kitchen drawers, a kitchen thermometer can ensure that you end up with perfectly cooked meats all the time. A kitchen thermometer, like almost all types of thermometers, is designed to measure the internal temperature of anything that you are grilling whether steaks, roast or poultry.
As a cut of meat continues to cook, its degree of readiness is impacted directly by its internal temperature. As such, the reading that you get from a meat thermometer will accurately indicate whether the cut of meat that you are grilling is done or cooked as desired.
Meat thermometers come with a sharp-pointed metal probe that is then inserted into the core of the meat. The dial or digital readout of the thermometer then records and displays the meat’s internal temperature so that you can cook your meat until it’s just right.
So why should no one grill without a good meat thermometer?
An accurately calibrated thermometer is a grilling must-have for several reasons that include:
It takes the guesswork out of the equation
As mentioned earlier, most experienced grillers can tell when their meat is ready to be served. However, even the best of us make mistakes; more frequently than we would like to admit, which is why a good thermometer is so crucial.
There are many varieties of meat thermometers from oven going meat thermometers that are designed for use for larger meat cuts like whole chickens and turkeys to instant-read thermometers that are available in both dial and digital versions.
Thermometers ensure that your food is safe to eat
The last thing you want when you prepare a meal for your family is for them to fall ill as a result of your cooking. When you rely on a simple meat thermometer, you can be sure that the food you are grilling has been cooked at the right temperature to kill all those botulism bacteria that can poison you.
Your senses will fail you sometimes
Rather than guesstimate when your cut of meat (or casserole) is ready, it will only take you a few seconds to poke that thermometer in the meat to check its temperature. You cannot just rely on the look of the meat especially if you are grilling in a poorly or dimly lit area or when dealing with sensitive foods such as poultry or fish.
For certain meats, the color of the protein may change depending on how long it has been exposed to oxygen. Therefore, when you first cut into the meat, it might appear perfect only for it to turn really red later on. The only way to stop this from happening is to rely on a quality meat thermometer.
You’ll finally be able to serve steak at dinner parties
Everyone has a preference when it comes to steak. And if you are preparing steak for a dinner party, keeping up with people’s steak requests can be daunting. But not when you have the right meat thermometer.
When you rely on your trusty little thermometer, you can prepare steak until it is just right for everybody in your dinner crew. Regardless of the number of requests that you get, you can be sure that your meat will remain juicy and tender throughout.
When it comes to grilling large format meat, nothing can ruin your day faster than a slab of underdone or worse, overdone meat. And no, you do not want to add a few more minutes of cook time ‘just to be sure’ because what you will be left with is a cut of meat that’s as dry as the bone underneath it.
Further still, not giving your meat sufficient cooking time can leave harmful bacteria unscathed, creating the ideal scenario for you and your guests to develop food-borne illnesses. Sure, experienced chefs probably have the skill and experience needed to give them a six sense for when the meat is done. However, if you are a mere kitchen mortal, you will definitely need a trusty meat thermometer to ensure that none of these scenarios occur.