At Last: A Terrific Affordable Thermometer
May 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose
When it comes to baking, the three most critical factors to ensure the best results are the quality of the ingredients, the quantity of the ingredient (I prefer weight to volume) and the temperature. For the latter, it’s often useful to have a thermometer but if it’s not an accurate one it’s better to use none at all. You can get away without one for most baking but when it comes to sugar syrups it is almost essential. And it’s reassuring when baking bread to know for sure when it’s reached the proper internal temperature. For roasting or grilling I can’t begin to imagine doing without a thermometer.
Since mercury thermometers for use in the kitchen were banned by the FDA I’ve been searching for a viable replacement that would be both accurate and affordable. I love infra-red for surface temperature such as the inside of the oven, the freezer or frig, but have not found the ones that also include probes adequately reliable for internal temperatures. For these uses I can now recommend the CDN Pro Accurate™ Quick Tip™ Digital Cooking Thermometer on a Rope Model Q2-450 that I’ve been testing since the Chicago Housewares Show a few months ago. I’m pleased to report that tested against my old reliable mercury thermometer it is as accurate and possibly even faster. This is now the one that I pull out with the most regularity, probably because it’s so handy in design and so extraordinarily easy to use. Since I’m not working with large volumes, I especially appreciate the “quick tip” feature--the sensor is in the tip of the probe so it doesn’t require the usual deep immersion to get an accurate reading (No more tilting of the pot!). There are so many useful features I’ll list them here:
Temperature Range: -40 to 450˚F, -40 to 230˚C ±1/2 ˚
One button operation (easy to turn on and off but auto turn-off after 10 minutes)
Big digit readout
Data hold (locks reading on display for use in low light conditions)
Hangs on a rope
Suggested retail price under $20
The company also offers a 23-page booklet on “temperature and thermometer tips” at www.cdnw.com or by mail if you send a stamped self-addressed envelope to:
CDN Customer Service
PO Box 10947
Portland, OR 97296
Check out their site for other useful thermometers such as one specific to grilling. I haven’t tried it out yet but the outdoor grilling season is just beginning so stay tuned!