How Does a Digital Meat Thermometer Work?

Meat such as pork, chicken, lamb, etc. needs to be cooked properly. This means that the internal temperature of the meat must be high enough to kill pathogens present in it. Undercooked meat leads to food poisoning and a host of serious illnesses. Thus, it is necessary to check whether the cooked meat has the correct internal temperature or not. This is where meat thermometer comes into play. Meat thermometers can measure temperatures ranging between 140 degrees F and 200 degrees F. Apart from mercury based and dial meat thermometers; digital meat thermometers are also available in the market. Here we are going to discuss digital meat thermometers.

Mode of working of a digital meat thermometer

It is a simple concept of Physics that the flow of electric current in metal is inversely proportional to its temperature. This means that resistance offered by a metal to electrical current increases when it heats up. This phenomenon is used by digital meat thermometers to measure the temperature of the meat.

Digital meat thermometer has a metal probe. This probe needs to be inserted into the meat. The thermometer acts by sending a small electric current through the metal probe. The resistance offered by the metal probe to the current is measured by the thermometer. The magnitude of resistance is converted into temperature reading by the microchip present inside the thermometer.

The conductivity of the metal with changes in temperature vary. Platinum responds swiftly to temperature changes and is a more reliable metal. This is the reason why digital meat thermometers made of platinum probe give fast and accurate temperature readings. Copper and nickel are also used to make probes of digital meat thermometers.

Types of digital meat thermometers

An instant-read digital meat thermometer is not designed to remain attached to the meat during cooking and needs to be used at the end of the cooking process to check the temperature of the meat.

Leave-in digital meat thermometer has a probe which remains fixed in the meat and a base unit with a digital screen which displays the temperature. The base unit can either be connected with the probe through a cord or it can be a wireless unit. This type of digital thermometer enables you to monitor the temperature of the meat while it is cooking.

Smart features in a digital meat thermometer

  • High-quality digital meat thermometers have the following smart features.
  • Preset temperature feature allows you to set a particular temperature till which you want to cook the meat.
  • Alarm or alert tone to indicate that the meat has reached the preset temperature.
  • Auto shut off automatically switches off the thermometer when not in use.
  • Temperature hold keeps the temperature reading displayed for 5 minutes or more.

Advantages of digital meat thermometers

Digital meat thermometers have certain benefits over traditional meat thermometers. They have been listed here.

Digital meat thermometers are highly accurate. The display screen gives an exact temperature reading. This is at variance from traditional meat thermometers having dials which are not highly accurate and difficult to read.

Digital meat thermometers give readings faster as compared to conventional meat thermometers.

Digital meat thermometers have a host of extra features which are absent in conventional meat thermometers.