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The BlueSmoke Gazette, Issue #017 -- July 22,, 2007
July 22, 2007

The Heat is On...

For the best results when smoking and grilling, a good quality cooking thermometer is a required piece of equipment. Meats that are under cooked have the potential of causing illness. And when the temperature begins creeping over the ideal done temperature, the meat is on its way to becoming tough and dry.

I have several different types of thermometers that I use around the kitchen and when grilling and smoking.

I keep one refrigerator/freezer thermometer in the refrigerator and another in the freezer. Those give me peace of mind that my stored food is always at the proper temperature, and that my icebox is working the way it should.

The small pocket size dial thermometer I use is great for taking a quick reading of the internal temperature of different parts of a large brisket, or for testing the thigh and breast of a beer can chicken.

I use a remote thermometer to keep constant track of the internal temp of foods as they are cooking. The nice thing about this one is that I don't have to open up my smoker, losing precious heat, to check the meat temperature. This one is also great in the kitchen. I've made some awesome prime rib roasts using this thermometer.

And I just purchased one of those new fangled infra-red thermometers. This one reads the surface temperature of objects, so it can't be used effectively for meats, but it is great for checking the temperature of your grill and smoke chamber. The one I have also has a probe for checking internal temperatures, which is a nice feature.

Thermometers For Grilling and Smoking


A good cooking thermometer is a friend indeed, and won't let you down when you're doin' your outdoor (or indoor) cooking.

Infrared Kitchen Thermometers
Aim the laser at the spot you want to know the temperature of. Great for checking the surface temperatures of just about anything. Some can read up to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit...that'll cook some steaks!

Remote Meat Thermometers
A probe is connected by a wire to the display unit that sits outside your smoker or grill. Some of these include a wireless pager that you can take inside, monitoring the brisket temperature as you're preparing the side dishes.

Analog Dial Thermometers
Typically, these are the least expensive of the cooking thermometers. The small pocket size models can be had for just a few bucks. If you're on a tight budget, this is the way to go.

Grill Thermometers
To make sure that your grill and your smoker is running at the correct temperature, a simple temperature indicator or a thermometer is usually mounted on the unit by the manufacturer. If not, it's an easy job to mount one yourself.

Refrigerator-Freezer Thermometers
Not exactly cooking thermometers, but still a very important tool in the serious cooks' arsenal. With these you will prevent foods from spoiling, and you'll know that your frozen foods are as cold as they should be for maximum storage life.

Recipe Ideas

Memphis Style Rib Rub

Smoked Bourbon Spareribs

Apple Smoked Pork Loin

Other Topics

Food Safety Tips For Outdoor Cooking

Types of Woods Suitable for Smoking

Keep a Recipe Log For Perfect Results

Pellet Grills and Smokers

All About Salt

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