Hmm, I’m not sure this is cooked through…
From frying meat, to thickening fudge, temperature is key. Too hot and it’ll burn, too cold, and you could end up with inedible grub – worse still, the wrong cooking temperature could make you very ill.
Today, I’ve been having a good nose around the Digital Meters site, part of the Heatmeister UK family business, and learning about the kitchen meters they have on offer, and why they’re such important tools to have in the kitchen.
As a vegetarian who cooks for the rest of my non-veggie family, I’m particularly conscious of the dangers of undercooked meat, so I’d say a basic meat thermometer, priced at just £4 is a must if you’re roasting chickens, or cooking other large pieces of meat.
For jam, toffee or fudge making, at the very least, you’ll need a jam thermometer, £6.50, which is made from stainless steel, and clips to the side of your pan. There are also handy marks along the length showing the optimal temperatures for jam, caramel, hard crack, soft crack and so on.
And of course, to ensure food is cooked safely but not burned, you need a timer. I tend to use my phone and get it covered in water, flour, jam and other things that will surely shorten its life, so I reckon a waterproof digital countdown timer, £14.40, is a much safer bet.
For the more diligent cook, it turns out there’s a whole range of digital meter options to step up your game, such as the more accurate digital meat / core temperature thermometers, ranging price from £24 to £40, or the rather techy looking infrared thermometer at £60.
If you jar or can food at home or professionally, you’ll know how important it is to sterilise the jars first, and you’ll also know that you need to make sure the food reaches a high enough temp to kill dangerous bacteria during prep. You may also need to monitor the pH level of each batch to ensure low acid foods are properly prepared to avoid botulism risk. For this, you can get pH testing meters from £265 to £319.
Of course, it’s perfectly possible to cook without fancy meters and gadgets, but if you want to cook in a way that’s accurate and safe, I reckon some of these meters would make a very sensible – in some cases essential – investment.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.