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Using a thermometer is the only way to ensure that your meats and poultry are cooked to their proper temperature; color is no longer a safe indicator of doneness. Also be certain to follow the cooking instructions on the label, for correct cooking temperature.

There are two types of thermometers commonly used in meat and poultry cookery:

  • Ovenproof meat thermometer: Can be left in during cooking.
  • Instant-read thermometer: Registers the internal temperature in 10 to 15 seconds. Use after meat has cooked; it is not heat proof so it cannot be left in during cooking.
Instant-read thermometers are available in two styles: dial-type and digital. The heat sensor in the dial-face instant-read thermometer is located about 1-1/2 inches up the stem from the tip. An indentation in the stem usually marks the spot. The heat sensor in the digital instant-read thermometer is located right at the tip.

Do not allow thermometer to touch bone, fat pockets, grill or pan.

Test your thermometer occasionally for accuracy. Place thermometer in a cup of crushed ice and water; it should register close to 32°F. Or, hold it in a small pan of boiling water; it should register 212°F at sea level.


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