ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kitchen Thermometers

Updated on May 30, 2018

Every kitchen should have a thermometer for food of some kind. Using a thermometer when cooking is the only sure way to know if an item has been cooked enough and is therefore safe for consumption. Higher temperatures kill bacteria that can exist in certain food items. In a commercial setting any food items that are held on a table such as a buffet line or salad bar, must be constantly monitored for safe holding temperatures on both cooked and chilled items.
Meat items must be cooked to a minimum temperature according to what type of meat it is. Poultry should be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit throughout while port should be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Diseases can be contracted from food items that are spoiled or not cooked enough. Salmonella will produce food poisoning and exists in all poultry products and some vegetables. Triconosis is a parasite that can live in undercooked pork.

Liquid Filled Thermometers

Liquid filled thermometers are glass tubes filled with colored liquid and a gauge for what temperature it is. Putting the thermometer in a liquid will raise the liquid in the thermometer to a certain level corresponding to what temperature the cooking liquid is. These are the oldest types of kitchen thermometers and are still used extensively for candy making. These cannot be inserted in meats for checking temperatures on cooked meat items. The temperature read can take a bit to come up to temp so these are mostly used to put in a liquid reading as you cook. Takes up to two minutes to read temperature.
A specialized candy or deep fry thermometer is able to withstand and read temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bimetallic-Coil Thermometers

These thermometers have a probe that has two types of metal in them that have different rates of expansion. The probe is inserted into the food item and an average temperature is derived from reading the temperature of the two metals. The temperature is taken at the first two inches of the probe from the tip to the dial.
Some of these thermometers can be oven save but check the documentation out first before you leave it in something in the oven. These are the traditional meat thermometers and have a larger dial to read in the oven without taking the food item out. These should never be used on items less than three inches thick.

Instant Read Thermometers

These can be any of the more modern types of thermometers and are designated by the fact that they read out a temperature in approximately 10 seconds. This is an important feature in a commercial setting when you have a certain time to get the food out to the customer once ordered.

Thermistor Style Thermometer

Thermistor style thermometers operate off of a ceramic resistor that is placed in the tip of a probe. These are instant read thermometers and usually have a digital temperature read out in a plastic housing. These are not to be left in the oven but are made to spot check items.

Thermocouple Thermometers

The thermocouple technology was born in the laboratory and is the fastest way to read the temperature of food items. Thermocouple thermometers are made with an interchangeable probe to be able to read internal or surface temperatures. The probe is very thin and can be used to measure temperatures of items thinner than most thermometers. The read out unit is usually a small box with a digital read out. These tend to be expensive as they are mostly made for industrial purposes but consumer models are now starting to appear.

Refrigerator and Oven Thermometers

These types of thermometers are used in either of the designated appliances and are made to be left in those appliances giving the ability to read the temperature at anytime.

Laser Infrared Thermometers

These are used to take the surface temperature of items without having to touch them or insert a probe. The light beam reads the temperature while the unit displays the temperature immediately in a digital read out. These are very expensive but are very handy to check pan temperature for different types of cooking or used to check the calibration of ovens.

Whatever type of kitchen thermometer you get to keep in your kitchen you will find many uses for it in your home. Feel and timing are good ways to test if you are close to being done on an item but the only true test is to take the temperature.

By Bev Sykes from Davis, CA, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bev Sykes from Davis, CA, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • datahound profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA


      Thanks for stopping in. I have a infrared as well. Certainly a luxury it comes in handy when searing or stir frying, etc. I lust for a combination laser and thermocouple probe.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I certainly find a thermometer necessary for cooking meats.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)