Instant Read Thermometer Temperatures

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Wonder if your burger is done? Or your steak? How about that loaf of bread? Never guess again -- and never overcook things "just to be safe."

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.  And I made it into a PDF so you can download a copy and either keep it on a Kindle or tablet, or print it out and post it.  If you have some other key temperatures, leave a note in the comments!

Don’t have a thermometer? Here are my two faves (links are to Amazon): this digital one shown in the photo above is good if you can get batteries; this analog one is great if you can’t.

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  1. Geez, Girlfriend…you just never run out of ways to be helpful to your fellow cruisers! Thanks so much for this…will be very useful 🙂

    BTW – how ya healin’ ????

  2. Vala Richmond says:

    Love it, love it – I never remember the right temps either – thanks! I will have to add a section for Tea though – if you are making black tea it’s easy – use boiling (or 210) – but if you want green tea, or white or an oolong you have to use lower temps (like from 160 to 180). without a thermometer I always use the water way too hot…

  3. YES- this is amazing. Thank you! I never know what temp things should really be…

  4. This looks good. Will have to try it. Thanks!

  5. Looks good, I’ll check this out.

  6. Michele says:

    What instant thermometer do you suggest?


  7. So true- we use ours for everything from baking (I have a pound cake that’s best taken from the oven at a certain internal temp) to yogurt-making to settling bets! Our instant read is a tether that plugs into a small base unit I can use as a timer, or preprogram different temps. Love it.

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