Heston Blumenthal Precision Meat thermometer
The thermometer consists of a stainless steel probe and the head unit with the On/Off switch and the LCD to display the temperature. The probe is inserted for a just a few seconds to allow it to reach and measure the internal temperature of the meat -- or jam or cake. The probe is 180mm long and has marks etched along its length at 1cm intervals. These enable the user to judge when the probe has been inserted just far enough to reach the centre of the meat. This is important as one is aiming to check the core temperature so as to confirm that the meat has been cooked all the way through.
A protective slide-on cover made of black plastic is provided for the probe. As well as protecting it from damage when not in use it is equally a safety measure to ensure that the user does not “spike” themself. The electronics are housed in the black plastic head unit which is 85mm long. In normal use this is covered with flexible silicone outer cover which, as well as keeping moisture out of the works, also protects it from knocks – especially if it is being used outdoors at the barbecue. This casing enables the thermometer to achieve IPX5 water resistance rating so it is unlikely to suffer from water ingress under normal usage or even when cleaning if it is immersed in the sink. I would not, however, risk putting it through a dishwasher.
The whole unit, by the way, must not be placed in a microwave or a hot oven.
Prior to initial use the silicone cover must be removed, the lid of the battery compartment slid off, the tiny C/F switch set to the required mode, and the two supplied AAA batteries installed. The On/Off button is on the end of the unit and there is a positive feel as it is operated. The actual temperature, within the range 145 to 200deg C (-42 to 392deg F) in 0.1 deg. increments, is shown very clearly on the 17mm high digits on the 39 x 19 mm LCD display.
In use, when the probe has been pushed the required distance into the meat, it only takes a few seconds for the thermometer to respond and the display to show the core temperature. However, on withdrawing the probe it is easy to overlook the fact that it is still hot and, if careless, one could burn oneself.
Although it is very easy to use the instructions that came with the review unit were somewhat sparse. Unfortunately one thing that was lacking is a table indicating the required core temperatures for properly cooked meats. I have been told, however, by Salter that they are aware of the problem with the instructions with the early units and that it has been dealt with for subsequent batches. In the meantime, a useful guide is that for well done or medium cooked beef joint the temperature in the middle should reach 70 or 60 deg. C respectively.
The Heston Blumenthal Precision Indoor/Outdoor Meat Thermometer appears to be of a robust construction with the silicone cover shielding it from both water and knocks. Consequently, with a list price of £24.99 and available on Amazon, it is a useful tool that will be of value to both experience and new cooks. As well as being used in the kitchen it could equally be used on the barbeque to ensure that burgers and chops are properly and safely cooked.
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