I myself am a qualified chef (done all the necessary City & Guilds qualifications and worked in two top end London restaurants and so on, and worked in take aways and all sorts on and off when I needed to earn some money!) and although I no longer work as a chef know a thing or two about kitchen equipment. Back in the early 1990s (I don’t recall exactly when but around there) new EU regulation came into force with regards to the catering industry and everybody had to pass a test to work in a kitchen; also food storage units (fridge etc) had to be checked twice daily to ensure they were the correct temperature and so on. Ergo thermometers for food and the kitchen.
I remember clearly we used to keep a cup of water in the fridge, we’d stick the thermometer probe into the water and hope it was the right temperature (under 8, or is it under 5, honestly not sure now.) Freezers are the same, an ice cream freezer has to be around -8c (I can’t recall the exact figure) and a “deep freeze” under -18 (which explains why your ice cream at home is hard, it’s in a freezer too cold for it.) Then of course food had to be tested the other way, the centre of a joint for example *should* be 63c or more and so on. The bonus of a good and accurate thermometer is in knowing how well your meat is cooked in the middle, on a joint of beef the lower the temperature the rarer the joint.
Last night we had a barbecue (glad it was last night, looks like it’s going to tip down here all day today) so we tried this out on some of our food as I can’t abide sausages burnt on the outside and raw in the middle; now obviously being an experienced chef I can tell if it’s cooked or not just by prodding it with my finger but obviously not everyone has this ability.
There’s no on/off switch, it switches on and off by “extending” the probe (look at the pictures to see what I mean) and if you leave it “on” it will after a few minutes turn itself off. It comes with the necessary battery and can be toggled between Celsius and Fahrenheit (for awkward Americans and those who insist on sticking to imperial measurements haha!) You sterilise the probe by simply giving it a clean by sticking it into boiling water. The “finish” of the handle is pretty robust and sturdy, much better than I would expect for the price (I’ve seen a lot of variations on these over the years) and smoothly contoured.
The probe is accurate and has an impressive temperature range from -50 to -300 (if your meat is at 300c I recommend you don’t eat it.) The packaging is easy to open, none of that blasted laser welded rip your hands open plastic stuff here. For the price this is absolutely excellent, like I say I’ve seen a lot of variations on these over the years and this is pretty much spot on. Oh and it’s blue, like plasters in a kitchen …. In other words food isn’t blue, so this falls in something it’s easier to see, just like the aforementioned plasters.
If you’re in the market for a thermometer get this one, it really is very very good.