Wondering if your roast chicken is done? Making yogurt and want to know if the milk is the right temperature? Are you baking bread for the first time and want to make sure the water’s not too hot for the yeast?
An instant-read “meat” thermometer doesn’t take up much room, and can ensure perfect results in all these situations — and more.
For me, a thermometer that I’m going to use in a boat galley should be:
- no batteries needed
- instant read
- thin probe that slides in easily
- numbers large enough that I can read
- temperature range from 100° F. to 200° F. — for bread, yogurt and meat
- not large to store
- shatterproof with no mercury
The CDN ProAccurate Insta-Read Large Dial Professional Thermometer (shown above) meets these tests.
An instant-read thermometer is just what it sounds like. Unlike the older meat thermometers, you don’t leave it in while something is in the oven. Instead, you just stick it in and in a couple of seconds it tells you the temperature.
Many instant-read thermometers are digital — meaning they are battery powered. And they take watch batteries, which you can’t always find in the size you need. So I prefer a dial type, which the CDN one is. (I do also have a digital, which I use for many photos here to show exact temperature readings: if you want digital, I like this one).
Some dials are small, which make them really easy to tuck into a drawer. But that tiny size makes them almost impossible to read. So I opt for a LARGE dial — if I’m making something where I care about the temperature, I want to see the temperature.
TIP: There are a few things that I make “all the time” using the thermometer — yogurt is one example. I took a permanent felt marker (Sharpie) and made a little line on the outside of the dial at the desired temperature. This makes checking the temperature a snap. Just don’t make so many extra marks that you can’t tell them apart!
This thermometer has a really wide temperature range — from 0° F to 220° F. That will cover bread-making, yogurt and meats, although it won’t be sufficient for most candy (but you really need a candy thermometer that clips on the side of the pan if you’re going to make candy — this style just isn’t designed to be used for candy-making as you’d be likely to burn your hand trying to get a reading).
The whole thermometer is shatterproof, and contains no mercury. Both of these are important to me on a boat where there’s a greater chance of things breaking with the motion of the boat.And, speaking of the motion of the boat causing problems, there’s a protective sheath for the stem with a clip on it. If you take it on deck to check meat you’re grilling, you can clip it into a pocket so there’s less chance of losing the thermometer overboard. The sheath is also good for protecting the stem from breakage from other items shifting when it’s just sitting in a drawer.
Finally, should you ever find that it doesn’t seem to be reading correctly, it can be recalibrated by the user. At sea level, it’s easy — you know (fresh) water boils at 212!