About BBQ Meat Thermometers and Temperature Probes
Food and Shelter are among the basic needs of human beings. They have always tried their best to improve both these basic needs. They have employed different tools and techniques to fulfill their demands. They have also changed their ways of living and eating. Nowadays, processed foods have become very common all across the globe. This is because they save our time and energy. Different tools such as meat tenderizers, meat slicers and dehydrators alongwith different techniques are being used to improve the taste and aroma of the food. Earlier, there were no cooking tools and people used to cook food for an estimated time. Later, humans realized that overcooked food showed negative effects on the health. Therefore, they started using tools to check the temperature of the food.
What is a BBQ Meat Thermometer?
A BBQ thermometer is the tool to monitor the temperature of the food that is being processed. In other words we can say that it is the tool which really tells us what is happening inside the processor. Nowadays, these thermometers are considered as necessary for food processing as forks and knives are considered important. There is an alarm in these thermometers which warns the user when the food is cooked. It minimizes the chances of overcooking. The research has proved that millions of people across the world die of eating overcooked foods. With every passing day, their importance is increasing as people are becoming more conscious of eating fairly cooked food.
Why are BBQ Meat Thermometers Used?
It is a scientific fact that the meat we eat consists of about 75% of water. Cooking meat at an estimated temperature without any thermometer may destroy the nutritional contents in it. This means that in order to enjoy the real taste of the meat, we should cook it at such a temperature and time that one third of water should be present in it. This not only increases the taste of the food but also maintains its nutritional benefits. Thus, BBQ thermometers are used to retain the taste and nutritional benefits of the food.
Different Kinds of BBQ Thermometers
The research has proved that meat causes illness until it is cooked at some specific temperature (above 70degress c). To do so we use BBQ thermometers of various kinds that have different temperature limits to show the current temperature of the meat. If you have a BBQ grill like a Weber Q you will most likely have a built in thermometer, but these aren’t the only types available. The following are the main kinds of BBQ thermometers that are being used all across the globe.
1. Thermapen BBQ Thermometers
This is the most commonly used BBQ thermometer which gives an extreme accuracy in showing temperature of the meat. It has a probe to get into the center of the large piece of meat. This thermometer is water proof and can be used at any place without any fear. It is fast enough that it shows the temperature within two seconds. This thermometer has also the options to check temperature both in Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. It was first introduced in 2015 and so far it has passed through many improvements. It can show the temperature ranging between -58 and 572 degree Fahrenheit and -50 to 300 degree centigrade. It usually has a large display to show the temperature and this display can rotate as the device rotates.
2. ThermoPop BBQ Thermometer
This is another very small and easy to use BBQ thermometer which also has a clip for keeping it in the pocket. It has a probe of about 4.5 inches which can sense the temperature in just 6 seconds. Its display is also easy to rotate and is convertible to Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. It is also equipped with a backlight which automatically turns off with the temperature display. This thermometer was invented in 2013 and has now become splash proof. It can also show the temperature between -58 and 572 degree Fahrenheit.
3. Instant Read Digital Thermometer
This is another very nice and accurate thermometer that comes with a sleek probe and a Meat temperature magnet. It has the ability to measure the temperature in just 6 seconds with high degree of accuracy. If the probe is covered, it becomes waterproof. It can also measure the temperature from -58 to 572 degree Fahrenheit.
4. Chefalarm BBQ Thermometer
This is also a very good BBQ thermometer with an alarm. It means that you can leave the kitchen until the alarm rings. Its accuracy is a little lesser than other BBQ thermometers. There may be a difference of 1.8 degree Fahrenheit. There is also a long probe with it that can resist the temperature of 700 degree Fahrenheit. It can also be used an instant read thermometer because its probe is too much sleek and can go the center of a large meat piece. The alarm can either be set at low or high temperatures.
5. Wireless Dual Probe BBQ Thermometer
These are the modern BBQ thermometers that are very easy to use and monitor. These have two probes that can be inserted in the meat or one in the meat and the other in oven, grill, smoker or even a dehydrator when making jerky. A good example of a multi probe thermometer is the Inkbird IBT-4XS. There is a transmitter and receiver module in this BBQ thermometer. You can take the receiver module with you in your living room. When the temperature limit is reached or cooking is done the transmitter sends the radio signals on the receiver module and you can see on the display what is happening in the kitchen. It has the ability to measure the temperature in just a few seconds.
6. Infra-red Laser Guided Gun BBQ Thermometer
As the name suggests, this BBQ thermometer is in the form of a little gun that works with the help of infra-red rays. For obtaining accurate results, it should always be used on dark surfaces because the shininess of stainless steel surfaces may lead it to give inaccurate temperatures. This thermometer also comes with meat temperature guide magnet and can measure the temperature up to 1022 degree Fahrenheit.
Benefits of Using BBQ Thermometers
There are a lot of benefits of BBQ thermometers and, therefore, their use is increasing with the passage of time. Following are the main benefits of using these thermometers.
- Remedy for Food borne Illness
- Prevents Overcooking meat
- Eliminates Guessing
- Help in Food Serving
- Reheating Food
How to Use BBQ Thermometers
The use of almost all the BBQ thermometers is the same. These all have small or long sleek temperature probe. While using insert this probe into the center of the piece of meat and the display will start showing temperature. Most of these thermometers show temperature within seconds. You have to ensure some factors to make them work long. These are:
- Never leave them in the rain.
- Avoid dropping them as the display may break.
- Also try to use it within temperature ranges.
- Never smash the cable because it may break from inside and you may not know the problem.
- Always keep the probes clean and dry because these may fail. It is even better to purchase some extra probes to avoid any difficulty.
- Regularly clean the probe as carbon may build up at the tips. Also clean the rest of the parts regularly.
- Try to store these in their proper packages when not in use.
Combining the above tips and the information from our post on how to use a bbq thermometer, hopefully this will be enough for you to confidently start barbecuing using a meat thermometer.
Popular questions about meat thermometers
Can you leave a meat thermometer in the meat whilst cooking?
This depends on the type of thermometer. Digital instant read thermometers should not be left in the meat. They are to be inserted and left in only until the temp reaches that of the internal meat temp. Probe thermometers can be left in the meat and often cooks will use multiple probes to monitor both the meat temperature and the temperature inside the smoker or grill.
How do digital meat thermometers work?
Digital thermometers use a probe which has a small electric current running through it. The resistance in which this current travels is measured and converted to a digital temperature reading .
What is the best thermometer for smoking meat?
For smoking meat it would be ideal to operate a digital thermometer with multiple probes. It can be a wireless or wired unit with one probe used to monitor the meat temperature and one to monitor internal temp of the bbq. By using a probe it allows monitoring of temperatures without opening the smoker lid and releasing heat.
How long does an instant read thermometer take?
An instant read thermometer is not so instant afterall. Most take anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds to produce an accurate reading. Each brand will have a different required time so please read the instructions.
Do I need a meat thermometer when making beef jerky?
When making beef jerky it is important that the meat reaches a temperature of 60 degrees celcius or over. This prevents any bacteria from surviving on the meat. If your jerky dehydrator does not have an inbuilt thermometer then using a digital probe thermometer would be a great way to monitor the temperature inside the dehydrator. One way to further avoid food bourne bacteria is to use salt and also vinegar in your beef jerky recipes. This will increase the PH and prevent bacteria from living.