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I am terrible at cooking steak. I like them blue or rare, but always cook them for far too long often ending up with a well done steak when trying leave it juicey. When furnishing my new house I may have gone a bit crazy on the gadget front, but this digital meat thermometer is one of the star buys that hasn't been relegated to a draw.
The thermometer is branded with Heston Blumenthals name, who is to blame for my interest in the science of cooking (yes I even measure the temperature of water for cookinng mashed potato...and it makes a difference!)
The thermometer is compact being about 15cm long (The probe part is about 12cm). The main part of the thermometer consists of a head with a digital temperature readout and below this there is a long metal spike for sticking in the meat. It is supplied with a silicone coveing that fits over the spike to avoid breaking the probe.
If I had read the instructions first I may have noticed that you have to remove the silicone case before use. Obvious now but I was curious about such low temperature readings to begin with.
Once the silicon case is removed, the device is turned on using one of the three buttons on the head. The buttons are for the on/off function, changeing from degrees farenheight ot celcius and a hold button.
Once the screen has loaded up the air temperature is displayed so that you can see that the device is working.
Recommended temperature for cooking various meats are easily found via a google seach (This website is good http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/MeatTemperatureChart.htm)
For information a steak should have the following internal temperature;
Blue - 115 degF
Rare - 120-125 degF
Medium Rare- 125-130 degF
Medium - 140-145 def F
Well Done - 160degF and above
To measure the temperature of the meat, the pointy end of the probe is poked into the item so that the point is at the position where you want to take the measurement. It takes about 10 seconds for the readout to stay constant which indicates that the temperature being displayed is correct.
The build quality of the probe is good, it feels solid and the display and buttons function easily.
The one flaw I have found is that the probe is not waterproof. Whist intended for use with meat I have also used it for measuring liquids boiling in pans (It's not suitable for sugars and things with very high boiling points). I dropped it in and the display stopped working. After a few days it did dry out and return to normal working order.
The silicone sheath is well made and has a clip for attaching the probe to a pocket. Maybe useful for, a masterchef, but I tend not to use the clip.
I bought this for about £10 from Robert Dyas on the highstreet. It is excellent valve as salter always make great products and this has seen heavy use in my kitchen.
This is an excellent addition to your kitchen. If you take an interest in cooking, I reallly believe that a bit of reading up and measuring the temperatures in meats and other cooking methods makes a huge difference to the quality and taste of food. Very highly recommended due to perfect simple usabilty and a very reasonable price.
Technical Details (off of Amazon)
Heston Blumenthal precision by Salter Digital Meat thermometer
Ensure meat has reached a safe cooking temperature with the meat temperature guide in instruction booklet
9mm display for easy reading
Quality stainless steel body
Non-slip silicone grips
To start with I initially bought this product for general everyday use at home when cooking! Just to have in the draw and use when needed! Decided on this one at the price because i thought it would be good quality being a Heston Blumenthal!!!! This was not the case!
When i first opened the box and saw the product I was quite happy it looks nice it has a stainless steel body and the non slip silicone grips are a brilliant idea for a product like this! It was very simple to use and I was very impressed when i used the product it worked efficiently!
But Then... I used the product about 4 times before the on/off button stopped working. All the buttons are very flimsy!I thought something associated with the name Heston Blumenthal would be of a lot better quality and last a lot better! I returned this item a i still had my guarantee and purchased a much better product for around the same price.
I would definitely not bother it is not going to last being used frequently! Such a shame because my initial opinion on this product was of high standard but after researching it when mine had broke i saw this is happening a lot!
Its getting closer to that time of year when Turkeys are on the menu, and its makes the meal a whole lot better when the meat is juicy and cooked to perfection. I don't have one of those do everything ovens which steam cooks as well, and my over is never accurate on cooking times so its often difficult to know when meat is cooked or not, and I have a tendency of giving it a few minutes more to be safe. This can occasionally mean it's overcooked. This is more of an issue with poultry which needs to be cooked properly.
I've used analogue/non-digital thermometers before and often found them slow to give a reading so figured a digital version would give a quicker reading. I bought the Heston Blumenthal branded Salter meat thermometer for around £10. It looked ok and was cheap enough and Ive never had an issue with the Salter brand before so assumed even though cheap they would do the job well.
The thermometer is very compact at only 15cm in length, the majority of which is the stainless steel probe, a silicone grip on the sides of the display for holding, the display itself is encased in stainless steel with a black plastic base and silicone base to this which the probe connect to. Separating the plastic and stainless steel body gives access to the battery compartment, it's not a simple task to get to the battery which is a CR2032 battery (included) and ideally this could have been simplified. I've had mine for almost a year and no signs of needing a new battery - more than likely due to its only turned on for a few minutes at a time.
The Thermometer comes with a probe cover, a thick black plastic cover which fits neatly over and has a pen style clip for clipping onto clothing if required. The Probe itself is 12cm so easily enough to get internal temperature of large joints of meat or big turkey breasts, and is easily cleaned afterwards.
The Thermometer is simple to use with just 3 buttons, On/Off, Temp F/C and Hold. Simply press the on button and scrolling text shows its turned on and then instantly shows whatever temperature the probe is at, so an accurate room temperature is given, simply select temperature reading, Celsius or Fahrenheit and stick the probe in the meat. The reading then starts to climb until the temperature is reached.
It takes on average 15 seconds to hit a temperature, which whilst not super quick it is a little quicker than an analogue style thermometer. I would have preferred it to be under say 5 seconds. Although with meat the temperature holds for some time if removed from an oven so its not been an issue
On the side one of the silicone grips doubles as a hold button pressing this holds the reading; this is good as previously the non digital one I used would start to fall in temperature. I should also point out this isn't one of those leave in thermometers so it shouldn't be left in the oven with the meat. Quite a few of the more expensive ovens do come with internal thermometer probes and these would be preferred but a new oven is more than a tenner!
On the plus side its accurate, reasonably quick, simple to use and does the job well. It does prevent over cooking meet. Its also accurate for anything else and whilst its branded as a meat thermometer, it also works on reading any over temperatures, liquids and for Jams.
It comes with a paper instruction leaflet which in small text gives the various cooking temperatures for different meats and even gives temperatures for rare, medium, well done etc. This is useful if you don't remember what they all should be but being a small paper leaflet is less than ideal. Whilst you could obtain temperatures online they missed a great opportunity to improve the product at little cost. They could easily have added the details in a scrollable form or written around the probe cover.
Whilst I feel having a digital reading (advertised as accurate within 0.1 degree) is easier to read than the non digital type the time taken to provide a reading is not a huge amount quicker. I would expect you could buy a similar device which includes preset temp readings in the display so you don't have to look them up or remember them for around the same price or just a few quid more. Its for these reasons Ive given 3 stars.