Your kitchen may have all the latest and greatest kit (think chef’s knife, set of saucepans and a high-tech food processor) but there’s one crucial accessory you’re likely to have missed off your list: a digital thermometer.
There’s no graver mistake than relying on your cook’s instinct for the perfect leg of lamb. A thermometer is the only way to ensure you get the cooking time spot on.
“The one thing that will ruin an expensive cut of meat is overcooking it,” says James Rix, chef and owner of the Fox and Hounds in Hertfordshire. “A decent thermometer is essential for barbecuing, slow cooking beef brisket or roasting a beef wellington, as you can’t see inside to check the meat is cooked.”
But a digital thermometer is not just for Sunday roasts and barbecues. Whether you’re making jam, confectionery or baking, a thermometer will not only help you achieve the best results, but ensure your food is thoroughly cooked too (the cardinal rule of food safety).
There are three key types of digital cooking thermometer:
- A temperature probe, which provides an instant temperature reading when inserted into meat, fish or poultry
- An in-oven thermometer, which allows you to take a temperature reading from outside the oven during cooking
- A high-tech wireless thermometer, controlled via Bluetooth or an app
Here are the best meat thermometers to buy now, starting with our favourite…