Cooking is all about heat – controlling it, transferring it and sustaining it. When it comes cooking you need to make sure the oven temperature is properly set, your boiling or simmering temperatures are just right and the food is perfectly cooked through. There’s a fine line between pink and perfect and tough as old boot leather. And the best way to do this is with an infrared thermometer. Here are 5 benefits to using an infrared thermometer in the kitchen.
- Accurately check oven temperature
Baking is a precision activity. Some baking requires an exact temperature to get the perfect height rise or textured crust. While all conventional ovens have a clear temperature gauge, these can’t always be trusted to deliver a precise temperature. And in the case of wood fire ovens, there may be no temperature gauge at all. Additionally, most ovens will show significant temperature variations at different points inside the oven.
With an infrared thermometer you can quickly and safely check the temperature at any point in the oven and ensure you’re cooking at the precise temperature you need.
- Check food temperature
Whether you’re storing, cooking or serving food, the correct temperature is essential. In some cases, the right temperature could be a matter of life and death. Depending on the temperature, the food may be raw, undercooked or overcooked. Raw or undercooked foods like chicken or seafood can dramatically increase the risk of food poisoning. Food that isn’t stored at the right temperature can be subject to bacteria growth, which can also result in serious food poisoning.
Checking the food temperature isn’t just about avoiding illness. Overcooked or undercooked food can also ruin the flavour and texture. Some foods are very sensitive to temperature and may require being heated to a very specific temperature to be cooked properly.
In the case of meats like steak or chicken, some people will pierce or cut into the meat to check the colour to determine whether it’s done. This will cause the meat to lose its juices and dry out.
With an infrared food thermometer you can check the surface and core temperature of foods without having to actually penetrate the food. You can also check the temperature at various points to ensure it has cooked through consistently. This can be particularly helpful for roasts or whole baked fish or poultry where different areas of the dish will cook at different speeds.
- Won’t damage food aesthetics
As the old saying goes: the first bite is with the eye. But if you’re chopping and digging into the food to see if it’s cooked, then it’s going to seriously damage the aesthetics of the dish.
With an infrared thermometer you can check the internal temperature without having to cut or pierce the food, leaving it completely intact and ready for pristine plating.
- Avoid cross contamination
Whether it’s a commercial kitchen or your kitchen at home, cross contamination is a major cause of food poisoning. Cross contamination occurs when bacteria from undercooked or raw food is transferred to other ready-to-eat foods. Using a traditional meat thermometer presents a significant risk of cross contamination, since it could transfer bacteria from undercooked meat onto other foods.
Since an infrared thermometer doesn’t make physical contact with any food, you eliminate one possible risk of cross contamination.
- Improve food consistency
If you’re cooking large quantities of food or multiple servings of a dish, you ideally want it to be as consistent as possible. Inconsistent temperatures can often result when you’re making large batches of food or you’re reheating large quantities of food. And that can mean inconsistent flavours, textures or quality across the dish. With an infrared thermometer you can quickly check the temperature at multiple points to ensure you have a consistent cooking or serving temperature.
For the ultimate in cooking precision, invest in an infrared kitchen thermometer today.