Tuesday Treats: Taking the Temp

It’s been longer than I would have liked since the last Tuesday Treat.  I try to do them once a month but sometimes time flies by and I just plain forget.

That’s okay though, because here we are on a Tuesday and I have a treat for you!

It’s almost holiday season which means lots of turkeys and roasts.  One of the most important things about cooking a good turkey is to make sure you don’t overcook said turkey.  The pop-up thermometers are crap.  If you’re turkey comes with one, don’t use it.  Instant read thermometers can be okay, but they let all the heat out of your oven while you’re checking the temperature.

What you really need is one of these guys.


A probe thermometer is one of those devices that I put off buying for years and years and I’m assuming that many home cooks did as well.  In fact, I used one for the first time just a few weeks ago when I was cooking for a wedding and did not want to mess up the main course.  They worked so well and really took the guess work out of my pork shoulders and briskets.

Besides having a timer and monitoring the temperature of your item, it also has a temperature alarm that will go off when you hit your desired temperature.  Also, it has a sturdy steel cable so you can leave the probe in the oven for the entire cooking time.  I think there might be an upper limit of like 450 degrees, but you shouldn’t really be roasting things higher than that anyway.

I’m planning on packing mine with me so I can nail the Thanksgiving bird this year also!

I’m giving away three of these probe thermometers!  All you have to do to be entered to win one is leave a comment and have a shipping address in the U.S.  

Here’s a few of the dishes I’ve cooked over the years where it would’ve been nice to have this bad boy.

Grilled Carnitas – Cooking pork on the grill for 10 hours is pretty straightforward and it’s actually pretty hard to over-cook it.  That said, I wish I wouldn’t had one of these so I didn’t have to keep poking and prodding my pork.

Full Pork RoastCooking a full pork rib roast is not a cheap endeavor.  Make sure you nail it by getting the temperature right!

Sriracha Beer Can Chicken – One of the best ways to grill a whole chicken.  The sriracha is just an extra kick of flavor.  This would take the guess work out of when your chicken is done.

So, leave a comment if you’re interested in a Tuesday Treat!  As always, these are meant to be quick contests so I’ll announce the winners today at 7PM Eastern Time!

Update:  Winners were selected!  Congrats to Jesse, Anna S. and Sarah!

107 comments on “Tuesday Treats: Taking the Temp

  1. My drawer of kitchen junk still closes, which I believe means I need to buy/win more stuff somehow or other! (Did you ever go to the restaurant supply store before you left DC? I finally just went a few weeks ago – super fun!)

  2. I’ve honestly NEVER seen one of those before!?!? How sad is that!! And I’m constantly in the cooking section of ANY store I go to if they have one. I want, I want!! =)

  3. I’ve adapted your fried, hard-shelled taco filling recipe for the slow cooker. I’m making it today. I threw in a bunch of chicken legs and thighs, salsa, dried beans, broth, water, veggies, and spices. I’m gonna let it go all day. The chicken meat just falls off the bones so it’ll be easy to shred. My wife and I could probably kill all of it in a few days, but I want to try to freeze some for one of those mid-week nights where nobody wants to cook anything. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  4. I’d love one of these even though I’m a vegetarian- I can think of so many other uses besides for roasting meat.

  5. Those look really cool! I always guess when my meat is done cooking since I don’t think my thermometer is really accurate…

  6. I never roast a chicken or turkey without mine! I’d love to be able to share one with my sisters or MIL!

  7. I currently have a very cheap probe thermometer and would love a nice one (especially with roasting season coming :)!

  8. Great Tuesday treat, and you are right, that is one of the items we all want but put off getting. By the way, love the new format of our site. Well done!

  9. Every year I’m terrified of making the turkey for Thanksgiving, this would help ease my fears.

  10. I would love one of these! I’ve some how been roped into hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners (still not sure how that happened)

  11. I roasted a whole chicken last weekend and even temped it a couple of times with an instant read, I still managed to overcook it! Dang it, I had company over too…

  12. Drat! I live in Quebec Canada! Well, it appears that great minds think alike Nick! I was just working on a thermometer post as I took a break from writing. This has happened to us in the past. What? Do you have some super psychic powers I need to know about? LOL

  13. I have never seen this type of probe. It would be a life-saver especially during the stress of the holidays. I’d love to have one.

  14. I am always so nervous about the “doneness” of poultry….this would take the guess work out & prevent over cooking!

  15. I need one of these :) we only have the $3 type where you have to hold it and look at the dial. It doesn’t work well. Your gadget looks cool!

  16. This would be perfect when I’m cooking my turkeys, roasts, hams, or chicken. It will take the guesswork out of when it’s done. Great giveaway.

  17. As the resident turkey roaster for our large holiday meals, I can really see how this would be a great insurance policy that would bring an end to “turkey anxiety”. Please throw my name in the hat.

  18. Nick, You must have been reading my mind (okay, not mine, but my husband-to-be’s mind anyhow) with the turkey-temperature-taking-talk! He was just doing some research about how best to prepare a delicious bird for our Thanksgiving dinner. The cooking will actually be done on the Big Green Egg smoker/cooker, if you’re familiar with this Komodo style outdoor oven? Excellent timing with the topic, as often happens when we’re talking food over here.

  19. I have been looking at these for awhile but never knew anyone who used one. Glad to have the info and will be trying that chicken recipe ASAP.

  20. How fantastic! I’m imagining all the great uses already and hoping my good luck doesn’t run out… :-)

  21. Sooo much nicer than poking a thermometer into the bird (or whatever) and struggling to read it. BTW, the site looks great!

  22. I am roasting a PRICEY leg of lamb for my annual holiday dinner this year so a probe thermometer would be soooo helpful. If I don’t win it I’ll probably buy one anyway!

  23. I’ve got my golden turkey ordered from my favorite farmer and since I’m a vegetarian, and it will only be my second roast turkey, I need all the help I can get this Thanksgiving so that I nail it. This thermometer would help! Plus, I’m taking your good advice and brining the bird this year.

    1. Just to clarify… you can leave the probe in the oven (in the thing being cooked). You can’t leave the plastic part in the oven. Not sure why you would want to, but there were some reviews on Amazon of people who were apparently confused about that…

  24. Hi!
    I have often considered getting one of these, but never really got around to it. I have, I guess, an instant read one. I’m not sure if I can leave it in the oven though…

  25. I’ve been working so hard to create delicious, balanced vegetarian meals that I’ve nearly forgotten how to cook meat (even though I’m an omnivore). Maybe I should start investing in some meat-specific tools rather than just stocking up on veggie peelers…

  26. Ooo – love a good give-away! That thermometer looks great. And your new, clean website design looks good too. Thanks for all your good food stuff!

  27. Love probe thermometers…we seem to be quite hard on them, though…someone always drops and breaks it.

  28. I am notorious for overcooking meat. I am sure my husband would LOVE for me to win this. I may just be putting this beauty on my Christmas list this year!!

  29. This looks like a great tool instead of burning your hand on the door of the oven using an instant read. I’m not sure what the holiday’s would be like without blistered hands and forearms.

  30. I have always wanted one of these! But for some reason I also put it off. I have the instant read one, but it always takes too long and I feel like I don’t trust it…Love your recipes and I am definitely going to have to try that Sriracha chicken!

  31. Have been wanting one of these for brewing beer. The normal style of instant read thermometer gave us so much more confidence when cooking meat..I agree with you, this item would ROCK for thanksgiving turkey

  32. Really enjoy your website — have never seen a thermometer like that but would really like to have one.

  33. I love the probes. My last one bit the dust. I was grilling, set the probe, put the lid back on and resumed watching a baseball game. When I finally checked, I found the probe extremely well done. I need a new probe.

  34. Awesome tool. I’ve wanted one but can’t justify it in the budget as I typically cook vegetarian.

  35. Awesome timing, right before Thanksgiving! We’ve definitely overcooked a turkey before because we didn’t have an accurate temp reading, and had to rely on timing alone… this is a great giveaway!

  36. This would be an awesome tool to have, especially for those more expensive dishes! Thanks for the chance! :)

  37. Im in too…I was just looking at getting something like this lol. Great new layout for the blog btw..love it!

  38. This is a great giveaway – especially for the person (me) who is scared to cook meat with the fear of not cooking it right. This would help remedy that issue!

  39. Mine just died, so this is quite timely of you. They really are super handy. The alarm especially. Thanks for a shot at the title.

  40. Thanks for the treat! I would love to have one of these for our grill. We love to grill out and it’s kinda hard to get it right sometimes. I love your blog!

  41. hooray for pork, and hooray for replacing the instant read thermometer that i accidentally left in the oven!

  42. Sweet! Being a student and moving from apartment to apartment it would be great to have a thermometer that could give me an idea what temperature the oven actually is…and it would certainly help with my upcoming Turkey feast!

  43. I would love, love, love one of these. DH is always complaining because I cut open the meat to make sure it’s done!

  44. I got a cheap thermometer from Walmart, and I loved it for the entire 3 uses I got out of it. No more guessing when the meat is ready! :)

    I’ve been looking into buying a better replacement, but I’m on a college budget. Christmas is coming…


  45. Ok, so I keep throwing out my meat thermometers and buying new ones because they never seem to work. If this one works for you, I am so getting it – either by giveaway or that trusty amazon link you included :) Thanks!

  46. That’s cool that you can leave it in the oven so you don’t have to let all the heat out to check the temp. I usually cut meat open to see if it is ready, this is much more practical!

  47. I just got an instant read thermometer and I don’t like it D:
    It’s no better than the other thermometer I had other than it cost more. But I obviously need one of these since it’s my first time cooking Thanksgiving (and a turkey!) for my family.

    *crosses my fingers*

    Good luck everyone!!!

  48. Would love to win one! Probably using a thermometer is a little safer than guessing. Thanks for the giveaway!

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