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A Comprehensive Guide For Thermometers: Types of Food Thermometers And Their Differences

A Comprehensive Guide For Thermometers: Types of Food Thermometers And Their Differences

Food thermometers or cooking thermometers are essential equipment for restaurants or food service establishments. If you wish to serve perfectly roasted steak or pork to your patrons, you need a high-quality thermometer. To run a successful and profitable foodservice establishment, you must understand the key differences between various thermometers and their applications. 

The Different Types of Cooking Thermometers

There are various types of food thermometers available in the market. Here is a comprehensive list of different types of thermometers that are perfect for your restaurant or foodservice establishment: 

1. Thermocouple Thermometers: Thermocouple thermometers are designed for quick and accurate temperature reads. With these thermometers, you can get the temperature reading in less than 5 seconds. These thermometers can be calibrated quickly. You can measure the temperature of cooked food accurately with thermocouple thermometers. These are ideal for frozen meats, hot and cold foods, and various liquids. Thermocouple thermometers come with an interchangeable probe functionality to measure hot and cold foods. 

Thermocouple Thermometer

2. Thermistor or Digital Instant-Read Thermometers: Thermistor thermometers are instant-read probe-type thermometers that can be used to measure temperatures quickly. These are ergonomically designed and can be carried easily. Thermistor thermometers are ideal for meat, baking, and various other foods. 

3. Infrared Thermometers: Most infrared thermometers are perfect for various applications. With infrared thermometers, you can measure the temperature of foods by proximity. These infrared thermometers come equipped with infrared light and measure the temperature of surfaces without touching the food. Infrared thermometers come without probes which makes them hassle-free to use.

Infrared Thermometers

4. Oven-probe Cord Thermometers: Oven-probe thermometers are among the most popular types of thermometers used by the foodservice industry. These come equipped with a probe that can be placed inside meat or food items during cooking or baking. Some advanced oven-probe thermometers come with remote display monitors and notification features to alert the chef after certain temperatures. Oven-probe electronic cooking thermometers are perfect for cooking meat or pork. 

Oven-probe Cord Thermometers

5. Thermometer-Fork Combination: Fork-type thermometers can provide accurate readouts in 2 to 10 seconds. These versatile thermometers can be used to monitor the temperature of various foods. Fork-type thermometers are ideal for grilling or roasting. You can place the fork inside a steak or pork rib and get the interior temperature of the meat immediately. 

6. Disposable Thermometers: Disposable thermometers are single-use food thermometers used by the restaurant or foodservice industry. These thermometers are designed to provide accurate temperature readings in 5 to 10 seconds. Disposable thermometers are perfect for cooking liquids like milk, syrups, and broths. These thermometers are designed to measure certain temperatures, and they change colors when the temperature is attained. 

7. Pop-up Timer Thermometers: These are similar to disposable thermometers. You can use these pop-up timer thermometers only once—they pop up when the food reaches a specific desired temperature. You can use a pop-up timer thermometer for cooking turkey or chicken. Ideally, you can combine a pop-up timer with other standard thermometers to get perfect results.

Timer Thermometers

8. Instant Read Dial Thermometers: You can opt for various types of instant read dial thermometers for your foodservice establishment or restaurant. These are perfect thermometers to measure water temperature. They come equipped with bimetal probes. The temperature dial shows the instant temperature reading of liquids, meat, and baked food items. 

9. Oven Thermometers: Dial thermometers are designed for various applications. These are designed for handling hot, ambient temperatures. Oven thermometers are designed for multiple types of ovens. With these appliances, you can measure the exact temperature inside an oven and not have to rely on the oven temperature dial or display for the perfect temperature. Oven thermometers are heat resistant and can handle high-temperature ranges. These are ideal for cooking, grilling, baking, or roasting food items. 

Oven Thermometers

10. Frothing Thermometers: You can get the ideal temperature reading for hot milk and other beverages with frothing thermometers. These frothing thermometer units feature a clip that can be fastened to a frothing pitcher. Most cafes and baristas prefer frothing thermometers to ensure that the milk makes hot cappuccinos. 

Frothing Thermometer

A Comparative Analysis of Different Types of Thermometers

There are some key differences between various thermometers. Here we list and compare some essential food thermometers for your convenience:

Baking Thermometer vs. Meat Thermometer

Baking thermometers are ideally used to check the internal temperature of a baking oven. It is used to measure the temperature during the baking process. The oven temperatures can be monitored with baking thermometers to ensure that they remain constant or consistent while baking. 

You can place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. The temperature at the surface will always be hotter than the center of the meat. You must measure the internal temperature of the meat to determine how well the meat has been cooked. Also, make sure that the meat thermometer is inside the flesh of the meat instead of the bone. 

Never use a meat thermometer as a baking thermometer, as baking thermometers have a higher temperature threshold. The internal temperature of a cake or baked item is mostly higher than meat. 

Meat Thermometer

Deep-fry Thermometer vs. Meat Thermometer

Deep-fry thermometers are ideal for measuring oil temperature during the cooking process. You need to set the oil temperature perfectly for fries, nuggets, meatballs, and cheese balls. With deep-fry thermometers, you can set the temperature accurately for consistent results; you can opt for CDN deep-fry thermometers that are ideal for most deep-frying needs. 

Meat thermometers mostly have a temperature range between 140 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Most meat thermometers are ideal for measuring the temperature of cooked steak or pork ribs. You can’t interchange meat thermometers with deep-fry thermometers because of their distinct temperature range and threshold. 

Deep-fry Thermometer

Candy Thermometer vs. Meat Thermometer

Candy-making is a tedious process where you need to constantly monitor the temperature to create the perfect toffee or chocolate. You need to ensure that the ingredients are not overcooked or over a certain temperature. Candy Thermometers are ideal for measuring temperatures while preparing chocolate fudge, toffee, or caramel. 

Meat thermometers are designed to check the temperature of the meat. You can measure the larger cuts of meat as well as the thinner cuts of meat. Meat thermometers are ideal for preparing pieces of meat for burgers, steaks, and pork chops. You can use CDN meat thermometers that are perfect for cooking steak accurately and consistently. 

Meat thermometers have a lower temperature threshold than candy thermometers. Most meat thermometers can go up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, candy thermometers can measure temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Candy Thermometer

Which Thermometers Can Stay in Food While Cooking

There are various commercial food thermometers or restaurant thermometers that can be used while cooking. Here are some unique culinary thermometers that stay inside the food while cooking:

Dial-oven Thermometers: You can use dial-oven thermometers that can be placed inside the oven while the food is being cooked. Ideally, these dial oven-safe thermometers should be inserted two to three inches inside the food to get perfect temperature readings. 

Floating Thermometers: You can use floating-type thermometers placed on a stockpot directly. Floating thermometers are designed to float above the surface of the food being cooked. You can use floating thermometers to get accurate temperatures of milk, liquid chocolate, soups, and stocks. 

Choosing the ideal food thermometer for your restaurant or food-service establishment depends upon various factors. If you want to cook steak all day, you will need to use high-quality oven thermometers. For cafes or coffee shops,  you will need to purchase a frothing thermometer. Opt for the perfect thermometer after proper consideration of your cooking needs. 


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