If there is one thing about BBQ’ing, especially when the cooking involves meats, temperature is a key measurement of whether the food is ready or still needs to stay on the grille. Granted, there are other methods of determining cooking status, but internal temperature is probably the most accurate and safe approach to take. It is also the method most professional cooks use in kitchens, as required by both safety rules and practice.
For the backyard BBQ cook, however, reaching proper temperature is a bit more personal, depending how the personal cook likes his steak or chicken. A number of tools exist to figure this heating moment out with specificity, especially when going too long can easily burn the food on a hot grill. These tools include:
• The standard cook thermometer – This little fellow is a very simple tool to use. The cook simply takes the spear end of the tool and sticks it into the meat or food to get the internal temperature. The reading is displayed on the exposed end which has a dial. When the internal temperature rises, the dial display will adjust accordingly.
• The thermometer BBQ fork – BBQ cooks love their tools and a BBQ thermometer fork provides a useful combination of food moving tool as well as a temperature gauge built in. When the fork is impaled into the food, the handle displays a digital reading of the temperature at the end of the fork. However, to make it work right, the user has to keep the fork in the food long enough for the reading to occur.
• Wireless temp gauges – Using the above basic system of the cook thermometer, these tools utilize a wireless receive that tells a cook when the food is reaching the right temperature inside the BBQ. The receiver unit will begin to emit a signal when it receives the appropriate data from the thermometer transponder inside the BBQ. This tool works well when the cook has to entertain others or is inside preparing other foods.
• The basic steak knife and fork – One of the most accurate methods of seeing how a steak or meat is cooking, cutting open the food with a fork and knife provides a cook an accurate visual of whether the food is ready. However, while this approach is used by many cooks, both amateur and professional, it also cuts up the food. So if a pristine steak appearance is desired, it may be better to use a tool above instead.
BBQ cooks should keep in mind, monitoring food for flavor and proper cooking is not just a formula. It’s a skill that develops over time. Eventually, a cook figures out his own style and approach that works best, and that becomes the most entertaining part of BBQ’ing.