How to Use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer

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Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that roasted meat or poultry is thoroughly done. Instant-read thermometers are versatile and fast, and provide a temperature reading in just a few seconds.

Things You'll Need

  • Meats
  • Instant-read Meat Thermometers
  • Pot Holders
  • Roasting Pans
  • Roasting Racks
  • Pot holders
  • Read the instructions that came with the instant-read meat thermometer.

  • Prepare meat or poultry as desired and put into oven or microwave, but do not insert the thermometer.

  • To test doneness, pull roasting pan out of the oven or microwave and insert instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching bone.

  • Wait a few seconds for the reading to appear.

  • Remove thermometer and put meat back into oven if more cooking time is needed.

  • Repeat until meat is done according to temperature on the thermometer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instant-read meat thermometers come in a variety of styles, including digital and dial-type thermometers. Digital thermometers generally require a battery.
  • Buy a dishwasher-safe meat thermometer for easier cleanup.
  • Expect to pay between $15 and $20 for a good instant-read meat thermometer.
  • Meat thermometers can be used for more than measuring the temperature of meat. Some can also be used - for example - to measure water temperature before you add yeast, or to measure the temperature of warmed-up leftovers to be sure they are safe to eat.
  • Check your meat or poultry recipe for correct temperature ranges.
  • Meat thermometers are generally used for larger cuts of meat - roasts, whole turkeys, and so on. The thermometer needs to penetrate the meat thoroughly without touching the bone. For smaller cuts, cut into a piece to check for doneness.
  • Most instant-read meat thermometers are not ovenproof, so be sure you do not leave one in the meat while it is cooking.

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