Heston Blumenthal oven thermometer
Constructed with a stainless steel body and a clear glass lens it has a mounting arrangement that enables it to be hung from an oven shelf or, alternatively, to be stood on a shelf or floor of the oven in such a position that that it can be viewed through the oven door’s glass window.
Overall the body is 62mm in diameter with its window being 48mm. The temperature range covered is 50 to 300degrees with graduations every 5 degrees and numerical values being shown every 20 degrees so that it is quite easy to interpolate the temperature reading as well as setting the oven temperature just where you want it. The pointer is red and all annotations are in either red or silver against a black background.
The upper end of the range is higher than one would expect to use in cooking. However, as a precaution, in the instructions it states that, at temperatures in excess of 230 degrees the dial printing may start to discolour and that the thermometer must not be left in the oven at temperatures above 280 degrees. It also states that it should always be removed from the oven prior to running a self-cleaning cycle.
In practice I found that it was easy to use the thermometer and, depending on what was being cooked in the oven and the available space, one could hang it or stand it in a suitable position. In the two modes the vertical height is 85 or 75mm respectively. The design of the unit is such that thermometer head can be rotated so that it was the right way up.
In practice, I preferred hanging it from one of the shelves because, when on its stand, it was all too easy to knock it over when moving dishes around within the oven. This would mean having to reposition it while taking care not to burn oneself on hot surfaces.
Even though there is a light in the oven, where the door is of smoked glass, I did not find it easy to read the dial through the window. Consequently, as it would be foolish to open the oven unnecessarily, especially when baking cakes, the simple solution was just to shine a torch through the window onto the thermometer.
A dodge I soon learned was to rotate the thermometer head until the desired temperature was right at the top. Then, when checking the temperature, it was not necessary to actually read the temperature on the dial, but just a matter of watching for the thermometer pointer to reach top dead centre and then adjust the oven controls to get it to remain there.
Priced at £14.99 from www.uk.salterhousewares.com it is almost an impulse purchase but, once bought, will probably be put to use every time there is a Sunday joint to roast or a cake to bake.
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