At first, I called my instant-read thermometer a “meat and yogurt thermometer” because that was pretty much all I used it for.
But I now use it for so much more — not just meat and yogurt, but fish, bread, stuffing, cakes, casseroles and more. I used to worry about many foods being underdone and giving us food poisoning, so I’d cook them until I was sure they were done. That usually meant that they were actually overdone. By using the thermometer, it’s rare that we have dry and tasteless food any more — or bread that’s a bit gooey in the middle. It’s really helpful if you’re baking with an Omnia Stove Top Oven and foods don’t get as brown as you’re accustomed to.
My problem, though, was that I never had a single list of ideal temperatures. I started with a printout of the FDA list, and then kept scribbling in other temps as I learned what worked best for various dishes. Or I’d write it on the recipe. Sometimes a recipe would even tell me the temperature! Other times, I’d stick a Post-It note somewhere. And then I had to find it again when I wanted it.
I finally gathered all my notes up and typed all the temperatures up into one single page, which I printed and taped inside a door right over my main counter.
Want a copy? It’s part of my FREE mini-course, Cooking for Adventures:
Don’t have a thermometer? Here are my two faves (links are to Amazon): this digital one (if it’s unavailable, this one is similar) shown in the photo above is good if you can get batteries; this analog one is great if you can’t.