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A variety of thermometers are available for use in the kitchen.


  • Oven thermometer: dial that can be placed inside an oven to gauge its temperature; usually analog
  • Fridge/freezer thermometer: similar to oven thermometer; can be placed inside a fridge or freezer; often analog
  • Instant-read probe: digital thermometer with a probe stem; quickly registers temperature; multipurpose but not designed to be left in the food
  • Oven-safe probe: usually analog dial; probe stem; meant to be left in food while cooking
  • Candy/oil thermometer: usually analog and made of glass; intended for a wide range of temperatures; often used for candy and deep-frying
  • Infrared: digital thermometer that uses infrared to detect the surface temperature of a food


In general, with the exception of infrared thermometers, the temperature sensor of the thermometer must be fully submerged/inserted into the food. Oven and fridge thermometers should not be placed too close to the door, where temperatures can easily fluctuate. Probe-style thermometers should be inserted at least two inches into the food, or to the level you wish to test. For candy/oil thermometers, make sure the bulb at the bottom is fully submerged but not too close to the source of heat.


Thermometers are sensitive sensors, and they should be treated with care. Avoid tossing or dropping them. Thoroughly clean any part of the thermometer that comes into contact with food. Every so often, test the thermometer's accuracy by taking the temperature of a pot of boiling water and a glass of ice water for 30 seconds—at sea level the boiling water should be 100˚C (212˚F) and the ice water should be 0˚C (32˚F).


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