When I think of 4th of July celebrations, I’m immediately brought back to summer BBQs or family camping trips and the smell of marinated, seasoned meat cooking on a grill. Ahhhh, yes… Nothing really beats that smoky, charred flavor that comes from those extra high cooking temperatures.
While a thick hamburger or savory chicken thigh is great when it’s cooked to perfection on the grill, I actually tend to pick through for the most overcooked pieces of meat. Thermometers aren’t always used at by those cooking at outdoor gatherings and food borne illnesses from under-cooked meats are a real thing. Needless to say, I am NOT up for the pain and discomfort that comes from food poisoning. While there are plenty of tricks and hacks online that are meant to help you know if you’ve cooked something to a safe cooking temperature (like pressing the meat with your finger or cutting it open enough to see the color inside), the only way you can be sure that you’ve done it is with a thermometer! I have a few favorite fast-read thermometers from Amazon, but before that… Let me share this handy dandy chart:
If you’re trying to avoid getting the risk of food-borne illness, it’s really important to know that different meats having different cooking temperatures. Keep this bookmarked for your weekend grilling adventures!
Now… those thermometers:
Kizen Digital Meat Themometers – $15.99 on Amazon
I LOVE this thermometer. It reads pretty quickly, has a light up display, and the magnets on the back make it easy to stick on the fridge for easy access whenever I’m cooking. While it does say “waterproof,” I’d still avoiding submerging it under water. My Kizen thermometer recently got a bit of water inside and the display went wonky. Nonetheless, it’s still a good buy!
ThermoPro Digital Instant Read Thermometer – $14.99 on Amazon
I’ve also used this one in the past. It’s a no-frills, small, slim, and easy to use thermometer. There aren’t as many buttons on this one, but it still serves its purpose — producing temperature readouts within 3-5 seconds!
ThermoPop – $35.00 on ThermoPro
These are a bit on the pricier end and they’re not on Amazon, but these thermometers are so cute! I have yet to buy myself one, but I’ve seen them around and I love that it comes in so many different colors. Features include: readouts within 3-4 seconds, splash proof, and a large rotating display with backlight.
When you get your thermometer, here are some additional tips for using it:
- Temp the thickest part of the meat and push the thermometer into the middle – you’re looking for the part of the meat that would take the longest to cook.
- Make sure you’re not hitting a bone! The bone would produce an inaccurate reading.
- Give your thermometer enough time to read — at least five seconds (a little bit of patience, please).
If you’re planning to grill this weekend, try to pick up a thermometer if you can! Not only are they great for making sure you’re cooking UP to a safe temperature, but they can keep you from OVERCOOKING too! Now, go enjoy your weekend! Happy 4th of July!