If you are professional in baking, you should be aware of the importance of the accurate oven temperature. Baking is all about temperature regulation. Accuracy and exactness are basic for each recipe. Therefore, a good oven thermometer is necessary for baking. If you are not even good in baking and facing cooking challenges such as disappointment by your oven even after standardization of recipes, poorly prepared meals even after investing in a quality oven. So, keep in mind it’s not that your cooking method is not good but instead your oven thermometer.
Oven-inbuilt-thermometer for a reading is not always reliable, that’s why a standalone-oven-thermometer is best and assisting instrument for baking.
This article will help you to buy a good oven thermometer. For choosing a good oven thermometer, one should be equipped with knowledge such as: accuracy, readability, temperatures-units-range-limits, price, attachment, and display, quality, material, waterproofness and HACCP reference etc.
Moreover, this article will also tell you about oven thermometer usage advantages, its maintenance, and cleansing method.
Ovens are good for baking, but with problems. The preceding statements means that ovens heat is different from each other. Not all oven inbuilt thermometer gives accurate readings. If there are three ovens and all are set at 350 degree, all will go to heat to different temperature. To solve this problem, one should buy a good oven thermometer that provides an accurate temperature during baking. An alone oven thermometer helps to keep accurately track of cooking temperature.
Standalone oven thermometers are used by professionals, and their experience with these devices provide satisfaction. An oven thermometer is one of the must have requirements for kitchen.
1.2 IMPROVEMENT OF ACCURACY
After placing oven thermometer correctly in the oven, you require to adjust your temperature via using dial. Before closing the door of oven, make sure that it is heating by checking the indicator. During the baking process, that the door of oven is remain closed until reaching preset temperature. When the heat reaches preset temperatures, beeping sound of oven thermometer is started. Put on the oven light, but don’t open the door for five minutes as mostly oven thermometers show lower temperature than presetting one.
All standalone oven thermometers are not good in readability. Professionals suggest the larger size oven thermometer. In readability of oven thermometer, its face’s size and digits’ size should be take into account. Both are needed to be visible through oven window, even if it’s darkened. You shouldn’t need to open your oven to read the thermometer. Larger numbers of digits do not require you to open the window of oven for reading, it will be easily read without opening the oven window and loosing heats.
Dial oven thermometer with clear and white background is more helpful in readings. One should think of the kinds of foods like to cook, when taking into account temperature ratings. For too much baking, one should choose an oven thermometer that rises to 600°F. Some thermometers provide markings every 10 degrees. While this may be helpful, they can make the dial harder to read.
1.4.1 TEMPERATURE UNITS
Oven thermometers are design in Fahrenheit or Celsius. People are usually confused regarding temperature units of oven thermometer. If the person is comfortable with conversions in his recipes, then choosing either temperature units’ oven thermometer does not matter. But if you are not good with conversion of units, then there are modals that include both Fahrenheit and Celsius units.
1.4.2 TEMPERATURE RANGE
For traditional use, oven thermometer between range of 50°F and 500°F will be best. But for baking pizza or other high heat food, one should choose a model that rises to 600°F.
1.4.3 TEMPERATURE LIMITS
There is not same temperature for various kind of foods preparation. Distinctive foods are cook at separate temperatures. For best cooking, choose to buy an oven thermometer which can endure cooking temperatures higher than the recommended heat. Benefit of this will be to make capable oven thermometer to bear cooking heat without cracking.
Oven thermometer is not only about temperature or readability, its attachment also matters. Mostly, oven thermometers are with hooks on it in order to hang it on oven racks. There is other type of oven thermometer that stands on their own. This one is with base for placement it on the oven shelf. Market of oven thermometer also designs some models with both of hooks and base. The best way of its placement is in the center of same shelf or rocks where the food prepares on.
A benefit of its positioning at the center, lessens chances of cold air entry, can affect readings, via oven door. Its attachment also depends on the size of oven window. If the window of oven is large, oven thermometer should be positioned on one end of a rack, but concerning small size window, it should be hanged in the between for seeing it clearly.
Regarding display of oven thermometer, two types are following:
1.6.1 DIAL DISPLAY
Oven thermometer with dial display looks like a clock face. This one thermometer has an internal mechanical system that broaden and shrinks depends on the temperature. Dials move either up or down based on the temperature. Display with dial system have red hand that increases with temperature. Most of the people choose dial display due to its easiness of readability and also this type of oven thermometers is less expensive. This is more suggestable because of the readability effortlessness. Dial oven thermometer with clear and white background is more helpful in readings. It will help in reading without opening oven door and releasing heat.
1.6.2 BULB DISPLAY
On the other hand, there is oven thermometer with display, which resembles a traditional medical thermometer. In this type of thermometer tinted alcohol is used for providing temperature readings. The liquid inside the bulb display thermometer increases with the heat. In readability they are less popular among the consumer, while its accuracy is more proper than the dial display oven thermometer. Some researchers argue that alcohol can bog down and provide inaccurate readings.
The range of oven thermometer prices lies between $3 and $15. Oven thermometer that cost less than $5 are with small faces, and can make a person in trouble about reading. An oven thermometer with price above $11 are easily read, and indeed more accurate.
2. ADVANTAGES OF USING OVEN THERMOMETER
2.1 PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY
Standalone oven thermometers help to tell accurately about baking temperature. A good oven thermometer measures heat without errors. A thermometer with a feature of energy efficiency is a bonus. Apart from accuracy, standalone oven thermometer bears high baking temperature while keeping track of cooking heat inside the oven.
2.2 FOOD SAFETY
Using oven thermometer is not only beneficial for baking correctly, but it has also health advantage. The food, which is not fully cooked, may shelter bacteria and other invisible germs that can cause food poisoning. There is food such as meat, fish or chicken needs proper cooking in order to remove any chance of harboring bacteria or other germs. Oven thermometer with reference tables are more efficient to be bought. This type of thermometer shows correct temperature for safely cooking of certain foods. In this regard, oven thermometer with HACCP guide is recommended (see HACCP section).
3. CONSIDERABLE THINGS FOR BUYING OVEN THERMOMETER
Followings are the things that should be took into account while buying oven thermometer:
Mostly, temperature of oven rises highly, which can crack oven thermometer if it is not good. Before buying oven thermometer, one should consider its quality and temperature ranges (see temperature range section). Using of an oven thermometer should be avoided for baking of food that requires high temperature and exceed ranges of thermometer
There is some suggestion regarding the material used in the designing of oven thermometer. In this regard, material recommendation is stainless steel 304 grade. These are safe materials. The person should also choose oven thermometer approved by NSF. NSF is National Sanitation Foundation that ensures food industry standards have been met. An NSF ensures that company has obeyed standards of industry concerning material, design, performance, and construction and that product is safe for public use.
3.3 WATER PROOF
Oven thermometer requires consumer to clean it regularly for ensuring best performance. Cooking can discolor thermometer glass that will be an obstacle in readability. People usually clean things with water, so one should buy a thermometer which is water proof.
3.4 HACCP REFERENCE
The person who has no experience regarding oven thermometer using before, he should buy the device accompany HACCP reference dial. It will help new consumer to arrange easily recommended cooking temperature. HACCP is guide that provide help and decrease any chances of getting foodborne disease. HACCP reference ensures a healthy and optimal cooking experience. HACCP reference helps in setting of temperature for various cooking methods.
Oven thermometer also require cleaning and calibration for improvement of performance. But good oven thermometer gives best performance without regular maintenance.
Oven thermometer get dirty by cooking fat, baking powder, and other recipes. Its glass may discolor which reduces its readability performance. That’s why oven thermometer need regular cleaning.
Relating cleaning, one should leave it to cool down after usage. After cooling, warm water with mild detergent is required for its cleaning, but keep in mind that your oven thermometer is waterproof (see waterproof section). Soft towel should be used to clean it. Be careful, that abrasive detergent and scrubber should be avoided for cleansing oven thermometer as it may leave marks on the glass. The next after scrubbing with soft towel is rinsing it and drying it completely.
It may be hard to remove some of the spots with detergent and water. Or in case the thermometer is not water-proof, you need to make paste of water and baking powder. This paste should be applied on the glass of thermometer and left for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove it with soft cloth. This is a quick and best method for hard spots.
Poor result can discourage your cooking passion. Oven thermometers are a great choice for taking the guesswork out of cooking and have confidence when preparing your food. Because of its efficiency and performance, oven thermometers are must have kitchen tools for professionals and for home user. If you want to do optimal cooking, then your requirement is a good oven thermometer. The best oven thermometer you select by the end of the day should track your cooking temperatures accurately, easy to use and maintain, and above all a quality food grade material.