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#1 Merlin

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 03:49 AM

I am so pissed I could scream. I have (had) two digital thermometers, the remote kind with the probe and the wire (a Polder and a Taylor). They both have seemed somewhat unreliable recently so I used BOTH of them on my rib-eye roast tonight. They read almost identical temps throughout the roasting period which gave me a modicum of confidence in their abilities. Took the roast out at 125 (I had kids here so wanted it a nice medium rare). I'm messing at the stove when my husband starts carving and I hear him say, "Oh no." I pray it's an underdone "oh no". No chance. The roast was well-done. I screamed and called for the kids. I held the the two thermometers up in my hands and said, "Watch this!" And threw them both in the trash. How could they both be wrong by the exact same amount????

Ok. Can someone point me too a reliable thermometer? Please? I never had this problem back in the old days when I just used one of those round mercury dial ones.


#2 mongo_jones

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 04:24 AM

mmmmm probe thermometer...

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#3 Ampelman

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 05:12 AM

QUOTE(Merlin @ Dec 25 2007, 10:49 PM) View Post
Ok. Can someone point me too a reliable thermometer? Please? I never had this problem back in the old days when I just used one of those round mercury dial ones.

For years, Cook's Illustrated has touted the "ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen". Reviews (culled by the manufacturer) are here. Pro/con views also available on various blogs, e.g. here (see comments section). Catch is, it'll set you back $89. blink.gif

In a 9/07 roundup of inexpensive instant-reads, Cook's sole "highly recommended" choice was an $18 model from CDN available here:

QUOTE
CDN ProAccurate Quick Tip Digital Cooking Thermometer DTQ450
Price: $17.95
Source: www.cutleryandmore.com
Average Response Time: 10 seconds
Probe Length: 4.7 inches
Comments: CDN won us over by meeting the testing criteria on all fronts. Quick 10-second readings put it only a step behind the test kitchen's high-end favorite, the ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen.

Article here.

I believe that Fine Cooking is partial to the inexpensive Taylor Professional Waterproof Digital Thermometer, available here.
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#4 Peter Creasey

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE(Merlin @ Dec 25 2007, 09:49 PM) View Post
I have (had) two digital thermometers, the remote kind with the probe and the wire (a Polder and a Taylor). They both have seemed somewhat unreliable


M, Now I am concerned.

I got a Sur La Table (Component Design Northwest, Portland, Oregon, Model TSP572 [Made in China]) digital probe. There were some recommendations of this particular probe.

We tried it for the first time yesterday with roast turkey and got obviously suspicious readings. Went back to our old reliable, tried and proven probe which read correctly.

We decided we were perhaps just doing something wrong.

Now your posting makes me very leery of this new device.


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#5 Daniel

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 03:56 PM

I had the remote wireless one and it lasted about three uses.. On the 4th use Miss A was roasted a lobe of foies gras while I was away on business.. Needless to say, the alarm never went off and the thing was ruined.. I have not used it since..

I go two or three non-wireless ones a year..

For me the only real reason you need a wireless probe is for smoking meats..
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#6 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE(Daniel @ Dec 26 2007, 07:56 AM) View Post
I had the remote wireless one and it lasted about three uses..


I think mine only lasted two uses!

#7 GordonCooks

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 05:49 PM

I have a cheapo Taylor and a cheapo MIU. Both purchased from Amazon and both have performed flawlessly. The former sits outside with my grill and the latter is used in the kitchen. Never a problem with either.
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#8 Merlin

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 08:44 PM

What I loved about the kind with wires is that they had an alarm that went off when the meat reached temperature, so I didn't have to constantly open the oven and stick the meat. Sounds as though they just aren't reliable. angry.gif

#9 Orik

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 08:49 PM

Your finger is a better tool for poking meat than any reasonably cheap probe.
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#10 Ron Johnson

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE(Merlin @ Dec 25 2007, 10:49 PM) View Post
I am so pissed I could scream. I have (had) two digital thermometers, the remote kind with the probe and the wire (a Polder and a Taylor). They both have seemed somewhat unreliable recently so I used BOTH of them on my rib-eye roast tonight. They read almost identical temps throughout the roasting period which gave me a modicum of confidence in their abilities. Took the roast out at 125 (I had kids here so wanted it a nice medium rare). I'm messing at the stove when my husband starts carving and I hear him say, "Oh no." I pray it's an underdone "oh no". No chance. The roast was well-done. I screamed and called for the kids. I held the the two thermometers up in my hands and said, "Watch this!" And threw them both in the trash. How could they both be wrong by the exact same amount????

Ok. Can someone point me too a reliable thermometer? Please? I never had this problem back in the old days when I just used one of those round mercury dial ones.


This is exactly what happened to me last night. I took the roast out at 130. Except for the very center of a 5 rib roast, it was medium well to well done. I don't know if it was the thermometer or that big standing rib roasts should be removed from the oven at a lower temp than recommended.

#11 Evelyn

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:40 PM

QUOTE(Ron Johnson @ Dec 26 2007, 01:23 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Merlin @ Dec 25 2007, 10:49 PM) View Post
I am so pissed I could scream. I have (had) two digital thermometers, the remote kind with the probe and the wire (a Polder and a Taylor). They both have seemed somewhat unreliable recently so I used BOTH of them on my rib-eye roast tonight. They read almost identical temps throughout the roasting period which gave me a modicum of confidence in their abilities. Took the roast out at 125 (I had kids here so wanted it a nice medium rare). I'm messing at the stove when my husband starts carving and I hear him say, "Oh no." I pray it's an underdone "oh no". No chance. The roast was well-done. I screamed and called for the kids. I held the the two thermometers up in my hands and said, "Watch this!" And threw them both in the trash. How could they both be wrong by the exact same amount????

Ok. Can someone point me too a reliable thermometer? Please? I never had this problem back in the old days when I just used one of those round mercury dial ones.


This is exactly what happened to me last night. I took the roast out at 130. Except for the very center of a 5 rib roast, it was medium well to well done. I don't know if it was the thermometer or that big standing rib roasts should be removed from the oven at a lower temp than recommended.



Forget the thermometer for a rib roast. Try this method for rare/medium rare:

Bring roast to room temp.
Preheat oven to 500.
Season meat. Sprinkle lightly with flour. This seals in juices and makes for a lovely crust.
For each pound of meat, cook 5 mins and 10 seconds.
Turn off oven.
Leave in oven for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Under no circumstances open the oven door once you put the roast in. Not even for a second.

Totally foolproof if you follow the instructions exactly.




#12 mongo_jones

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:56 PM

QUOTE(Orik @ Dec 26 2007, 02:49 PM) View Post
Your finger is a better tool for poking meat than any reasonably cheap probe.


mmmmm etc.

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#13 Anny

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 10:01 PM

I too have 2 digital probe thermometers:
The expensive one, approx 60GBP, certified and used by the catering industry (ETI Thermapen 1 Digital Pocket Thermometer, Model 5 is for fahrenheit http://www.etiltd.co...en_colours.html ) and a cheapy probe with a wire I picked up in K-Mart for very little, approx 10USD, markings are WX...something or other.
The cheapy one is about +/-0.5C out from the expensive one.
I played with both on Christmas Day and had a perfectly roasted rib of beef at 56C internal temp (in oven set at 75C).
I've used the expensive one for some years to measure 5 rib roasts and never had a problem, same temp oven and internal temp of meat.
Like Evelyn, I leave the rib to stand for a few hours before serving. Always yummy!

#14 BackyardChef

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 08:42 PM

The Thermapen is fantastic for taking a quick, accurate reading of a temp-- a big plus when you're losing heat while the smoker door is open. In approx. 3 seconds I have a reading. The tips are fairly thin so they don't poke a big hole in the meat, but they are expensive, though. For a digital probe, I like the Taylor and have found it reliable when leaving it in a big cut of meat and monitoring temps.

I don't think any of the wireless models are any good reliably, but the Mavericks aren't as bad as the others. They have a tendency to loose their connection with the base, have a limited transmitting distance and really don't like walls or windows.....
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#15 Russ Parsons

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 10:10 PM

i've got a whole drawer full of instant-reads, digital and otherwise, and am on my third polder (wired, not remote). I haven't had a major problem with any of them. 1 thing: you do need to check multiple points. if you hit a fat vein, or get too close to the bone, that can throw them off. the one that i really ahd problems with was a wireless. stupid thing could be programmed with only pre-set temperatures (medium-rare roast was 140 degrees!).

and yes, resting after roasting is unbelievably important. depending on the size of the roast, you'll get a 5- to 10-degree push. most important, the juices will redistribute. this can make the meat look more done than it is, but it will be a lot moister.