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Thermometer notes

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Larry Greenly

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Thermometer notes

by Larry Greenly » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:00 am

Last night showed the importance of a cooking thermometer. We were invited to a friend's house, who had cooked a pork loin. He had looked at four different recipes and, lucky for him, he used a thermometer instead of the suggested times otherwise the pork would have been about 30 min. overcooked.

The pork was delish and served with a spicy applesauce with a bit of horseradish in it. Calabacitas was the accompanying dish. And I brought a loaf of my sourdough rustic boule (using my Tennessee starter) that had almost every kind of seed that I owned in it: sesame seeds, fennel seeds, genuine wild rice, indian rice grass, amaranth, etc. It was a hit, also.

But you have to read a thermometer correctly. Years ago, we were invited to a party where the hostess was cooking a prime rib. When it had reached what she thought was the correct internal temperature, she asked my opinion if it was done.

She was using a mercury meat thermometer. The problem was the mercury column had separated into several parts. She was reading the temperature indicated by the lower unbroken column. Unfortunately, there were about a half-inch of mercury segments above--meaning the temperature she was reading was 20-30 degrees lower than what it really was.

Mmm, mmm. Well-done prime rib that tasted like my mother-in-law's roast beef. Ms. Hostess was devastated and everyone was disappointed.
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ChefCarey

Re: Thermometer notes

by ChefCarey » Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:28 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Last night showed the importance of a cooking thermometer. We were invited to a friend's house, who had cooked a pork loin. He had looked at four different recipes and, lucky for him, he used a thermometer instead of the suggested times otherwise the pork would have been about 30 min. overcooked.

The pork was delish and served with a spicy applesauce with a bit of horseradish in it. Calabacitas was the accompanying dish. And I brought a loaf of my sourdough rustic boule (using my Tennessee starter) that had almost every kind of seed that I owned in it: sesame seeds, fennel seeds, genuine wild rice, indian rice grass, amaranth, etc. It was a hit, also.

But you have to read a thermometer correctly. Years ago, we were invited to a party where the hostess was cooking a prime rib. When it had reached what she thought was the correct internal temperature, she asked my opinion if it was done.

She was using a mercury meat thermometer. The problem was the mercury column had separated into several parts. She was reading the temperature indicated by the lower unbroken column. Unfortunately, there were about a half-inch of mercury segments above--meaning the temperature she was reading was 20-30 degrees lower than what it really was.

Mmm, mmm. Well-done prime rib that tasted like my mother-in-law's roast beef. Ms. Hostess was devastated and everyone was disappointed.


I hammer on this in my book. Pay very little attention to the ostensible cooking times.
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Carl K

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Re: Thermometer notes

by Carl K » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:00 pm

ChefCarey wrote:I hammer on this in my book. Pay very little attention to the ostensible cooking times.


A point I learned the first time I tried to do a fancy home cooked meal for a girl i was dating in college. I was doing a fair amount of my own cooking at this point, though mainly things like meatloaf and Hamburger Helper, so when I looked through my mom's cook book and saw how to cook a roast I thought "Hey, this can't be too hard. It's just salt and pepper and bake". As most of you have guessed by now, the result could have been used to resole hiking boots.

Oh, the girl? That was the first, last, and (thank God based on a few things I learned later on) only date we had.

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