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Remote thermometers


IrishCream
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I am feeling very frustrated. I managed to destroy my first remote one...not sure how (think it touched the broiler). My second one does not seem to tell an accurate tempurature. Luckily, I have an instinct about when big pieces of meat are done. Last night, cooking a beef strip loin roast, the thermometer said it was 97 degrees when I was sure it was done. I followed my instincts, and took it out, and the roast was cooked medium (on the rare side). But not as rare as I would have had it. The wierd thing was that at the end I stabbed the roast in several places and the temp varied from 140 to 115. I love the idea of these thermometers but do they work? Please share experiences.....

Lobster.

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Curious that you are getting different results when you stabbed it about, although straight out of the oven there will be some temperature gradient, 97 degrees is a little low for a piece of beef loin that is cooked. Sounds like you've got a faulty model. Mine seems to be reasonably accurate and is best for the smaller joints which always seem to cook quicker than you think, and is at its most useful for pork, which years of conditioning have led me to overcook and now I'm actually beginning to get it right.

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I bought the model sold by Williams Sonoma, and so far it seems to work pretty well. Turkey and roasts have been cooked as indicated by the digital readout. They make me nervous, but so far innoccent until proven otherwise. They are convenient.

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Most of these thermometers aren't intended for use at temps above 400º.

You are kidding! If that is true, no wonder the first one "broke" in the broiler. And last night I started the roast at 450. Oh my....but what good is a thermometer if it doesn't work when the oven temp is over 400 degrees?

Lobster.

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It's not the exterior electronic component or the probe itself that can't seem to go above a certain heat. I'm pretty sure it's the flexible wire between the probe and the plug that can't be exposed to excessive heat. I learned this the hard way when using it in conjunction with my grill, which gets much hotter than a home oven.

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You're right, Rachel. Some people claim wrapping the cable in aluminum foil will protect it.

I use the remote probe primarily for low-temp cooking on the smoker. For oven/grill temps above 400º I use an instant-read thermometer.

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You're right, Rachel. Some people claim wrapping the cable in aluminum foil will protect it.

Yup! That's exactly what I had to do with mine, but not because of heat. Somehow mine didn't like how it rested at the 90 degree angle between the oven and the door when the door closed. My reading went off the scale the second time I used it. It turns out the cable got frayed a little. I now wrap some foil around the cable where it meets the door.

Otherwise, I've had no problems.

I like to use it for either slow cooking items, like briskets and chicken, in the smoker, or very fast cooking in my pizza oven. Chicken is done in about 25 minutes in that thing.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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The new Polder dual-sensor model, recognizable by the metallic cylinder atop its probe, is good to 572° F. It's about $25 at Zabar's and Amazon, though not always in stock.

B00006NWAD.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg

Compared to an instant-read previously calibrated in boiling water, the meat sensor is about 6° high; similarly, compared to a standard oven thermometer, the oven sensor is about 10° high. Polder has yet to respond to a week-old email inquiry as to whether these errors are within tolerance, and whether the unit is adjustable (ha!).

The other annoying thing is that temperature setting is monotonic; to reset, for example, the meat alarm from 125° to 120° requires cycling all the way up past 572° and then around to 125°. Even if there's no room for a 0-9 keyboard (I have a prized count up/down kitchen timer with such a keyboard), at least there should be a Down button as well as an Up.

Otherwise, the Polder seems to work well enough; in fact, its design is quite clever.

"To Serve Man"

-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook

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Compared to an instant-read previously calibrated in boiling water, the meat sensor is about 6° high; similarly, compared to a standard oven thermometer, the oven sensor is about 10° high.

What's your elevation?

What how far off was the instant-read thermometer before you calibrated it?

Was it also off the same 6 degrees?

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Sea level. The instant-read was accurate, as was a similar, also mechanical, back-up unit. Interestingly, a newer digital instant-read was a degree or so off (though I now forget in which direction).

Wouldn't I have to be 3250 feet underground for the calibration to be off 6° F in that direction?

"To Serve Man"

-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook

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I have the Williams -Sonoma model and had the same problem suing it on the grill. It is the metal sheilded cable and it will not stand the heat. Wrapping it in foil as suggested has solved the problem but I think they should tell you that in the literature. As to reliability I have found it to be accurate. I have used it to make candy (caramel) as well as roasting meat and poultry

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  • 4 months later...
The new Polder dual-sensor model, recognizable by the metallic cylinder atop its probe, is good to 572° F.  It's about $25 at Zabar's and Amazon, though not always in stock.

B00006NWAD.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg

Compared to an instant-read previously calibrated in boiling water, the meat sensor is about 6° high; similarly, compared to a standard oven thermometer, the oven sensor is about 10° high.  Polder has yet to respond to a week-old email inquiry as to whether these errors are within tolerance, and whether the unit is adjustable (ha!).

The other annoying thing is that temperature setting is monotonic; to reset, for example, the meat alarm from 125° to 120° requires cycling all the way up past 572° and then around to 125°.  Even if there's no room for a 0-9 keyboard (I have a prized count up/down kitchen timer with such a keyboard), at least there should be a Down button as well as an Up.

Otherwise, the Polder seems to work well enough; in fact, its design is quite clever.

Has anyone bought one of these? I'm in the market for something like this. My kitchen Aid ovens do have temperature probes, but the problem is, the temperature doesn't show on the oven display until it hits 130. If I'm taking beef out of the oven at 135 for example, that gives me about 10 minutes to get everything else together. And it doesn't beep when it gets to 130 either so all of a sudden, the meat hits 135, the oven shuts off and now I'm really scrambling! :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Luckily, I have an instinct about when big pieces of meat are done. 

It's not luck it's experience. Stick with it. Also, as you experienced, meats will continue to rise in temperature by a significant amount after you take them out of the oven, so you should factor that into your calculation. I only use thermometers for slow cooking on a barbecue (where I can't be sure of the temperature I am cooking at) and even then only for stuff you wouldn't want to eat underdone (chicken, turkey). Other than that timecharts and experience with the time / temperature works for me. Becoming overly dependent on thermometers prevents you from developing this experience.

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It is a great tool when you are doing 5 different things at one time and also entertaining.

I set the alarm at 10 - 15 degrees below my target temp to catch my attention.

I also fried my first one. So now when I cook at high heat 500 degrees I do not insert the probe. Then after the sear time when I lower the oven temp, I use the probe.

Thanks all for the other tips.

Viejo

The Best Kind of Wine is That Which is Most Pleasant to Him Who Drinks It. ---- Pliney The Elder

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,

Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --- Homer

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Maverick probes are worth checking out.

I have the ET-7 (dual wireless probes).

As usual, these are not available in Canada. Any ideas where to get this in New York?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I just picked up one for of all places Radio Shack. This wireless unit has a 100’ range and seems to be fairly accurate. Under $40.00 and designed used on a grill works well in oven and broiler if the wire is kept from any hot surface.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I just picked up one for of all places Radio Shack. This wireless unit has a 100’ range and seems to be fairly accurate. Under $40.00 and designed used on a grill works well in oven and broiler if the wire is kept from any hot surface.

Radio Shack?! Who'd of thunk? Is it their own brand?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I have had the original Polder probe for a few years now without real problems. However, when temperature is of the essence I never rely on a single thermometer and always do a double check with my super reliable Thermapen instant read. The new Polder does sound interesting as it reads the oven temperature as well as that of the food, but pretty useless if 400°F is the maximum it can take. Has anyone else tried it?

Ruth Friedman

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I just picked up one for of all places Radio Shack. This wireless unit has a 100’ range and seems to be fairly accurate. Under $40.00 and designed used on a grill works well in oven and broiler if the wire is kept from any hot surface.

Radio Shack?! Who'd of thunk? Is it their own brand?

Yes it is. I was in the other week looking for some connectors and cables to finish a job and sitting on the new item wall with other “gift for dads’.” Ideas. It reads from 0 to 400 F.

Living hard will take its toll...
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What makes me nervous about the Radio Shack Remote Wireless BBQ Thermometer is that it seems to have a similar probe on a wire like the unit I ruined last year. Only the alarm part is wireless. If the grill gets too hot while the lid is closed that wire is going to get fried. Be careful with it.

Alas, I am limited to using it in the Kitchen. One of the down sides of apartment living and not being in a building with a porch or other ledge. Great advice though.

Living hard will take its toll...
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