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Salter/Blumenthal versatile kitchen thermometer 

Nobody wants their Sunday joint burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. The Heston Blumenthal 5-in-1 digital thermometer from Salter is a useful tool in preventing that and similar problems in the kitchen. But that is not all it can do…

Heston Blumenthal Digital 5 in 1 Thermometer
click image to enlarge

As well as for roasting it can also be used for checking the temperature in a deep fat fryer, act as a jam thermometer etc. or, when in the manual mode, provide an audible alert when a predetermined temperature has been reached.

Normal oven thermometers measure either the temperature in the oven or that within the item being cooked -- but not both. On the other hand, using the intelligent roasting facility when roasting, this dual sensor electronic thermometer actively monitors the internal meat temperature at the same time as measuring the oven temperature and so provides a countdown to the time when the joint being roasted will have reached the desired core temperature.

The body of this electronic thermometer is black in colour with red styling strips down each side. It is 22 x 15 x 3.5 cm in size overall and the 7 x 5 cm LCD display has a stainless steel surround.  When not in use there is stowage at the rear of the instrument for its 14.5cm probe together with its 1 metre long metallic-braided connecting cable. The stand folds flat so that, overall, the unit packs away very tidily when not in use.

The probe incorporates two sensors: one at its tip and the other near its cable connection. For roasting, the probe should be carefully inserted so that its tip reaches the centre of the item being cooked while the other end of the probe should be kept well clear of the oven walls or heating element. Hence, both the temperature of the oven and that at the centre of the food item are measured. The cable is then fed out of the oven and plugged into the instrument which can be stood on the adjacent worktop. A pan clip is provided to hold the probe in place when, for example, baking cakes or other items or being used in a deep fat fryer.

The display shows the oven and probe temperatures and the time that the item is due to have finished cooking in accordance with the pre-set settings.

Here the on/off press switch together with the up/down and OK buttons enable one to select roasting, confection frying, beef, fish, lamb, mince beef, mince meat, pork/ham, poultry or veal. The temperature chart in the instruction booklet provides guidance and shows both the recommendation of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and Heston Blumenthal.

I found that, with the exception of “confection” I could understand the recommendations and had no difficulty in setting up the thermometer although care must be taken to ensure that the probe is located right at the centre of the item being cooked to ensure accurate results. As I’m not into confectionery I did not understand soft ball/firm ball/hard ball etc. details in the table. However, I expect that someone into cake baking would be able to make sense of it all.

When used properly, I found that the Intelligent Roasting Feature was particularly useful and more convenient than, for example, the traditional 25 minutes per pound plus 25 minutes at 180 degrees C  for a medium beef roast. However, one needs to ensure that the probe was at the centre of the joint. Although it took a little while to get used to I found that, overall, it is a very useful cooking thermometer. At £49.99, but available on Amazon for £45 it could make life that bit easier for the busy cook. 

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OverallSalter/Blumenthal versatile kitchen thermometer rated 80 out of 100

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