Product: Meat Thermometer Review by Jan Braai
OXO Meat Thermometer Review by Jan Braai
Braaing times are relative so buy a meat thermometer.
In many of the recipes in my books I suggest braaing times for certain cuts of meat. These are all guidelines and are supposed to give you a general feel for when to check whether the meat is ready. Braaing times can and will fluctuate.
Factors that may influence braaing times include:
- meat thickness and size
- amount of meat on the grid
- size of the fire
- type of wood used, length of time you waited to start braaing after the fire burnt out
- wind speed and direction, air temperature
- height of the grid, material your braai place is made of (a brick fireplace will retain more heat from the fire than a thin layer of steel, for instance) Assuming you usually braai at your own home and under the same conditions, I believe that by timing your braais and adjusting the braai time for changing circumstances like the ones mentioned above, in time you can develop a feel for, and make a fairly good estimate of, when meat will be ready by looking at the time; this is especially true for meats like steak, lamb chops and boerewors.
Poking meat with your finger and comparing its resilience or hardness to one of your body parts in order to judge whether it is done is silly.
Factors that may influence the resilience of a person’s body parts include whether you are:
- fit or unfit
- fat or thin
- young or old.
Factors that may influence the resilience of a piece of meat on the braai include:
- the cut of meat (e.g. fillet vs rump)
- the age of animal when slaughtered (e.g. lamb vs mutton)
- the size of the meat (big pieces can be softer), how long the meat was aged (aged is softer than fresh).
Professional chefs poke hundreds of steaks per day and all those steaks come from the same supplier and were aged in the same way so they should know what the steaks they cook in their restaurant feel like when they are ready.
I, on the other hand, struggle. It should be evident that I feel pretty strongly about this thermometer topic by virtue of the fact that an entire page is dedicated to the subject.
The thermometer that you want is called a ‘digital instant read thermometer’ and the one I use is from Banks Kitchen from OXO.
To braai a whole chicken, butterflied leg of lamb or any other thick piece of meat without one and risk serving it raw or overcooked and dry simply does not make sense.
Simplify your life and get one, and whenever you are unsure about whether the meat is ready, as happens so often with difficult meats like pork and chicken or any thick piece of meat, simply stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and check whether it’s done.
Recommended internal temperature for meat types:
Degrees Celsius (°C) in thickest part
- Doneness Beef 55–57 medium rare
- Lamb 60–63 medium rare
- Pork 70 medium
- Chicken 77 done
Product Review by Jan Braai