Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Kitchen thermometer tips

As much as I love throwing ingredients together without measuring, I hate guesswork when it means my end result is lacking.

I use a kitchen thermometer nearly every day, and the quick minute or two it takes is well worth the effort!

I actually have two thermometers: a glass candy / deep frying thermometer like this and a meat thermometer (nothing fancy, similar to this one).

Kitchen Tip: To see if your thermometer is accurate, place it in boiling water. If it's accurate, it should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit! :)

Why do I love my thermometers? Here's a few of my top reasons! :)

#1. I can make the perfect coffee or tea, every time. I'm particular about my coffee and tea, and the water temperature makes a big difference to me. For my coffee, I like to use 185 degree water in the AeroPress coffee maker. For tea, it depends on the kind (see this post for the best water temperatures for various kinds of tea!).


Our at-home dinner date: Grilled New York strip steak,
asparagus and onions, and mashed potatoes. :)

#2. I don't have to guess about whether meat is fully cooked. When I was first learning to cook whole roasted chickens, using a meat thermometer helped me perfect the process. Especially when I'm learning to prepare a new cut of meat or kind of fish -- having a meat thermometer allows me to know the meat is done without over-cooking it.

#3. I can check to see if homemade bread is done inside. Use a meat thermometer to check bread for doneness: it should be about 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit. (Poke thermometer into the bottom of the loaf if you want it to still look perfect on top!)

Kitchen Tip: If bread isn't done, immediately return it to the oven to finish baking. I've found that when bread (or pizza crust!) isn't fully cooked but is allowed to cool for even 10 minutes or so, when I try to finish baking it it just doesn't get done right.

A thermometer is also useful for making homemade yogurt. ;)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, we need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Sugar-free lemonade options (Adrienne)
2. 16 ways to use leftover whey (Jill)
3. Reduce meat in casseroles (SnoWhite)
4. How to freeze strawberries (Stacy)
5. How to keep tables clean when they have cracks (Ashley)
6. Homemade bread tips (Anne Jisca)

Comments

Thanks again for hosting, Tammy!
I am sharing something that has helped us save LOTS of money and care for our health as well: Homemade lemonade, including a stevia-sweetened option.

Enjoy!

Here it is: http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/anti-candida-diet-lemonadehomemade-sugar-free-lemonade/

If you are a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), here are some tips for making the most of your investment.

It's rhubarb season: http://shanonhilton.blogspot.com/2011/06/recipe-rhubarb-sorbet.html. Thanks for hosting! --Shanon

Hi Tammy!
Today I'm sharing 16 ways to use up any leftover whey you may have hanging around after cheesemaking. Don't pour it down the drain! ;) Thanks for hosting!

http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/06/16-ways-to-use-your-whey.html

Stretching meat across meals

http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/mexican-bake.html

Thanks for hosting, Tammy! Glad you are back.

How to freeze strawberries. :-) Thanks Tammy!
http://www.stacymakescents.com/freezing-strawberries

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

I agree with you. Having a thermometer around the kitchen is so useful!

My tip is how to keep tables clean when they are full of cracks.
Ashley

http://7forhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/06/tuesdays-tipvacuum-your-table.html

Here's a link to my post on making homemade bread from scratch: http://annejisca.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/how-to-make-bread-video-tutorial/

Thanks, Tammy!

Easy to go breakfasts, gluten free mcgriddles.
http://gluten-freefoodstorage.blogspot.com/2011/06/gluten-free-mcgriddles.html

Hi, I worked in the food industry and we found that using really cold ice water was easier and faster than using boiling water to gauge a thermometer's accuracy. Granted, we didn't use candy thermometers, just the regular stick type we could adjust if they were inaccurate. :)

I was thinking I'd read something somewhere about altitude changing the temperature at which water boils... I did a quick search and found one site that said it's actually barometric pressure more than altitude. Regardless, I found another site that said this:

How does the boiling temperature of water change with altitude?

While at sea level the boiling point of water is 212° Fahrenheit, for every 500-foot increase in elevation, the boiling point drops one degree. Thus, at a city 5000 feet above sea level, water boils at 202°F. (http://geography.about.com/library/faq/blqzbiolingwater.htm) Now, I'm going to try to get to bed at a decent time instead of clicking around to confirm this, but I wanted to put it out there. :>)

PS - wow, the word captcha instead of the math one took me by surprise! :>)

How to freeze Onions
http://www.isavvymom.com/2011/04/08/kitchen-tip-freezing-onions/

I love how it makes it easy for me to just pull out the onions out of the freezer to add to whatever I am making. No need to chop and cry everytime :)

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