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Some Tips for Choosing Best Thermometer

August 06, 1987

Better Homes and Gardens

When it's hot, it's hot--or maybe it's not hot enough.

To check food temperatures when cooking and baking, use a specially designed thermometer. There are about as many varieties of thermometers as there are foods.

A thermometer can be tested for accuracy by submerging its tip in boiling water. It should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If it reads 210 degrees, cook to a temperature two degrees lower than the recipe requires. If it reads 214 degrees, cook to two degrees higher.

Some handy thermometers and usage tips are listed here:

--A candy thermometer has the temperature and the degrees of candy doneness (hard crack and so forth) marked on the thermometer. Some candy thermometers also include markings for deep frying.

--A meat thermometer indicates the temperature for different meats and their levels of doneness. Some thermometers remain in the meat during roasting; others plug into the meat for just a moment for an instant reading.

--When cakes burn, it could be a signal that an oven's temperature is higher than the setting indicates. Use an oven thermometer to verify.

--Keep an eye on the refrigerator and freezer temperature with a thermometer. Refrigerators should be set at about 40 degrees and freezers should be below zero.

--Besides the temperature probe that's standard equipment on many microwave ovens, choose from different microwave-safe thermometers. Some can be used interchangeably in a conventional oven.

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