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How To Properly Use A Meat Thermometer in Two Easy Steps

Using a quick-read meat thermometer is easy peasy.  Let’s make sure we’re doing it right, shall we?

How To Use a Meat Thermometer in Two Easy Steps:

1) Insert thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the meat.  If need be, insert thermometer horizontally.  Thermometer should not be touching bone or fat.

2) Wait 10-15 seconds before reading.

BAM!  You’re now an expert in meat thermometers.  Easiest tutorial, evah!

Here’s a scan of the chart I use to determine the degree of doneness:


Technically, the thermometer should be inserted two inches and there’s a very good reason for that.  Quick-read thermometers sense temps from the start of the tip to the end of the probe. Two inches allows for an average temp along that area. Remember, if you can’t get a good probe from the top of your meat, go horizontally. (anyone else snickering like a 12-year-old boy?!)

Do I do two inches every time?  No.  But, the caveat here is that I’m a veteran cook and also use my sense of touch, smell and sight to determine doneness.  If you’re just starting out and learning how to cook, using a quick-read meat thermometer will ensure food safety.


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Here’s the thermometer I use:

image source: Amazon

It’s easy to read and I like that it’s old school (but you may prefer a digital reader).

One more thing, and this is important: after you’ve inserted the thermometer into the meat and it isn’t done yet, make sure and thoroughly wash the thermometer before inserting again.  You don’t want to transfer any bacteria from probe to probe (seriously…stop laughing!) that will make you sick.







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Ashley Leigh

Monday 21st of October 2013

Everyone always makes fun of me for using a meat thermometer, but I laugh at them because I know I'm not going to kill anyone with my food, lol. Thanks for this! I have trouble getting 2 inches sometimes, as well. :)

Mrs. Tucker

Tuesday 22nd of October 2013

First lol of the day! Thanks for that! I, for one, appreciate that you aren't killing anyone.


Monday 21st of October 2013

This is great! Thank you! I always feel like I am doing something wrong when I take the temp of my meat because it always looks done but I am not getting a done reading. But now I realize that I am not putting it in far enough. I guess I am always worried I will touch the pan! Found your post via Pin It Monday Hop! Glad I did! Hope you will stop by my link party on friday for family fridays!!!!! BTW I will be pinning this!!!

Mrs. Tucker

Monday 21st of October 2013

Thanks for the pin! I think most folks don't realize that they need to insert the probe instead of a mere poke.


Monday 21st of October 2013

with so much cooking time coming up thanks for refreshing me come see us

Mrs. Tucker

Monday 21st of October 2013

It's such a time saver! Glad to refresh your memory!

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