We could all do with a food thermometer, especially when we’re running that all-important barbecue. Ensuring food is cooked properly prevents giving your guests a nasty surprise once they get home and is particularly important when it comes to meat.

While you might think you are a budding Jamie Oliver, it’s important to note that professional chefs generally have a food thermometer in the kitchen. If you do a lot of cooking and like to invite guests around to eat, whether indoors or outside with a barbecue, this is one piece of kit you should want to invest in.

Why Temperature is Important

Of course, a badly cooked piece of meat can turn people off. It can also make them ill, especially with cuts like chicken, turkey and pork. Bacteria that were okay at room temperature may well start to multiply once they get to a slightly higher one. We can’t see inside the meat to make sure it is cooked so a food thermometer is the best solution.

Amir Food Thermometer, Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer with Probe
Price: £7.99
You save: £3.00 (27%) (27 %)
4.3 out of 5 stars
  • INSTANT READING: Instant reading meat thermometer with 4-7 seconds digital readout. With a clear LCD display, giving you accurate temperature results in seconds.
  • AUTO ON/OFF: Internal collapsible tapered probe with auto on and off; Perfect for meat, liquid, candy tempering in kitchen and outdoor cooking.
  • HIGH ACCURACY: The high precision temperature sensor, accurate to ±1℉ (between -4℉ to 392℉), ensures food won't be under cooked or burnt.
  • C°/F° SWITCH & TEMP LOCK: With C°/F° switch function, meeting your different need. Pressing HOLD button to hold the reading, which can protect your hands from heat and make readings more accurate.
  • EASY TO USE & STORE : With foldaway probe, the food thermometer will auto on/off when fold in/out the thermometer and it will be more easy for storage.
Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer
Price: £22.99
4.8 out of 5 stars
  • High Accuracy : Combined with temperature sensor technology, the instrument can read high-precision values​of up to ±2%/±2°C in less than 500ms; The fixed emissivity is 0.95, which can more accurately measure the surface temperature of different objects; The wavelength is 630-670 nm and the Distance-Spot Ratio is 12:1, which means that compared with most other infrared thermometers, the laser handle 1080 can accurately measure longer-distance targets
  • Multiple Function : The measured surface temperature range is -58°F to 1022°F/ -50°C to 550°C, you can choose the unit from Fahrenheit and Celsius; The LCD screen has a backlight, an automatic shutdown function to extend battery life, and a low battery indicator (one 9-volt battery included)
  • Comfortable Design : Infrared technology enables laser infrared thermometers to safely measure the surface temperature of non-biological objects above the boiling point and below the freezing point; The measuring range is -50°C~550°C (-58°F~1022°F), no contact, read data immediately; comfortable to grip, wear-resistant, not easy to damage
  • User Friendly : The infrared thermometer can be used for cooking, barbecue, car repair, home maintenance and repair, or other household tasks; For high temperature, toxic or difficult to reach objects, to use of this product can be safely measured. Used in conjunction with a meat thermometer, it is the best culinary aid for cooks and gourmets, providing better assisted living for everyday life
  • Note : Thermometers can't measure the body temperature, nor can they measure the internal temperature of objects; The temperature readings of this device are inanimate objects, so the temperature measured for humans or animals will be incorrect; Meet the requirements of FDA, FCC and CE; Class 2 laser, optical power is 0.5-0.9 MW; for best accuracy, the distance between the thermometer and the measurement object should be approximately 14.17 inches (36 cm).

What are Food Thermometers

There are several types on the market which allow you to either fit in the oven and monitor the temperature or can be stuck in the food afterwards and register how hot the insides are. For most cooks, especially when carrying out a barbecue, you’ll want a food thermometer that you can stick into the meat a bit like a skewer. There are two things that you need to consider here:

• The quality of the thermometer you are choosing. It needs to be calibrated properly and give a true reflection of the temperature. For that reason, it’s better to invest in a quality thermometer rather than a cheap one.
• The other thing you need to think about is where you stick the point of the thermometer. This is highly important because putting it in the wrong place can give a false reading. In most cases, you need to insert into the thickest part of the food, about midway.

Types of Food Thermometer

There are plenty of choices out there for use in the kitchen, including digital varieties, most of which are portable and easy to use.
• Oven Ready Thermometers: These can be stuck into your joint or roast and put in the oven and will monitor the temperature for you.
• Stem Thermometers: These normally have a spike attached to them and need to be stuck into the food when you get it out of the oven. You then wait about 10 seconds before you get a reliable reading.
• Thermometer Forks: These are quite good for events like barbecues and again give a reading after 10-20 seconds.
• Temperature Sensitive: These are disposable products that change colour once your food reaches the right temperature. They are not totally accurate and just give an indication that your food is cooked.

It’s always a clever idea to invest in a quality food thermometer, even if you fancy yourself as an experienced cook. For large joints of meat, barbecues or that Christmas turkey, they are invaluable and will make sure that you don’t give your guests a nasty surprise later in the day.