Observing general kitchen tools hygiene can save your family from several ailments. One of the tools that we will talk about in this guide is a meat thermometer. This is a necessary gadget for testing when your meat is ready for serving.
A smart meat thermometer begins its work the moment you place your steak on the grill or oven. The tool can be a leave-in or the instant type, but the thing is, you will be checking the status of your meat from time to time. That means your hands and tool hygiene comes upfront.
Using a dirty thermometer facilitates the spread of meat-borne diseases like typhoid and brucellosis. Logically, the unwritten kitchen rules demand that you clean your tool after a meat-grilling experience, sanitize, and store it for the next season.
But when is the right time to clean up your tool? How do you go about effectively cleaning a meat thermometer? Should you dip it in hot water to rip off the fat on the probe? Can you wash it in water? Is this kitchen gadget dishwasher safe?
Our guide brings together several meat thermometers categories with their right cleaning processes. We also have the perfect answers to some of the crucial questions regarding cleaning this kitchen tool.
Before we get into the nitty-gritties of cleaning a meat thermometer, we need to know why and when to clean this essential kitchen tool.
Read more: Best Dishwasher Safe Meat Thermometer
Why Is It Necessary For You To Clean Your Meat Thermometer?
Any time you want to test your meat for doneness or readiness, you have to poke the little device into the core. In the process, your meat thermometer comes out with fat, and, sometimes, harmful microorganisms stick on the device if the meat is not well cooked.
As we said earlier, it is easy to transfer these organisms onto your countertops or other utensils. Remember that ingesting the germ knowingly or unknowingly causes severe illnesses.
The list of meat-borne diseases is long; some are common, whereas others are rare. As we mentioned earlier, your family’s health comes at the forefront. You don’t want to have a great thanksgiving BBQ experience but end up in the hospital.
Poorly handled meat is dangerous to your body. Safeguard yourself and your family from germs by observing maximum hygiene, which includes cleaning your meat probe.
When Is The Right Time To Clean Your Meat Thermometer?
It doesn’t matter how many times you clean up your meat thermometer. Do it if you have to! Hygiene experts advise that you clean up and sanitize your meat thermometer before and after use.
That does not limit you from washing your device. Consider cleaning up your device and anything that comes into contact with it, including your hands and countertop with soap and warm water.
While cooking, you keep on checking your meat’s internal temperatures. If you are using an instant meat probe, you will keep pricking the steak and removing it from the meat. In the process, your gadget becomes greasy, sticky, and contaminated (if the core of your steak is not yet cooked.
Besides the contamination and stickiness, it is not easy to handle the thermometer and read the calibrations. You have to wipe or clean the tool to prepare for the next check until your meat is fully cooked.
Cleaning the tool often during the cooking session is a recommended hygiene procedure that ensures that the thermometer does not transfer germs into your food or other utensils.
If yours is a leave-in meat thermometer, that’s not a bother. You have to wait until the end of the cooking session to clean and sanitize your tool, ready for storage.
So, Can You Put A Meat Thermometer In The Dishwasher?
You can put a meat thermometer in a dishwasher, depending on the brand. BUT you have to establish the safety of these tools in a dishwasher. The users’ manual will indicate that or otherwise. When shopping for the gadget, be prudent to inquire such questions with customer support if the guidelines are not clear.
Before you clean your meat thermometer or any other tool, you need to establish the material formation. Some thermometers consist of glass, while others are purely metallic. Some have got LED displays whose care instructions require that they do not come into contact with water.
Once you know your thermometer’s physical details, you will find it easy to do the cleaning exercise. One of the questions you may have is whether you can put your tool in the dishwasher alongside other utensils.
It would be pretty unfair for us to tell you not to throw your meat thermometer in a dishwasher without discussing the various types of meat thermometers and their cleaning procedures.
Note that cleaning a meat thermometer is not complicated. Next, in this guide, we will show you how to clean meat probes with warm soapy water, a clean sponge, food-grade sanitizer, and a paper or soft cloth towel.
Now that we have the requirements let’s delve into these essential kitchen tools and their cleaning processes.
Glass thermometers are fragile. Instead of a probe, they come with a narrow glass tube that you insert into the steak.
You will also notice that when you test smoked meat with a glass thermometer, the smoke stains the stem, making it difficult to take the accurate reading. That gives an extra responsibility of cleaning the device often to get accurate results.
- The first focus when cleaning a glass thermometer is the insert.
- Using hot water and a grease-stripping liquid soap, clean the stem.
- If there are tough stains, you can consider spraying the stem with food-grade silicone to loosen the particles.
- Once the stem is clean, rinse and wipe dry.
- Wipe your thermometer with a food-grade sanitizer to kill germs.
Instant Read Thermometers With Stainless Probes
Instant read thermometers also include fork probe meat thermometers. The gadgets read meat temperatures faster and more accurately than other categories. Most of them are Digital, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to cleaning.
You have to clean the sensitive sensor on the stainless steel probe’s tip before, during, and after the cooking process. Cleaning the sensitive part requires special care when cleaning so as not to interfere with the sensor.
Never put this tool in a dishwasher unless the manufacturer’s instructions state that it is a waterproof thermometer.
- Firstly, note that submerging a fork thermometer in water during cleaning destroys the tool.
- Clean the tines with soapy water and use the sponge to remove grease and food particles.
- Rinse the tines and dry them with a paper towel or soft cloth towel.
- Sanitize the tool and proceed to use or store it.
Digital Fold And Digital Wireless Probe Thermometers
These two categories of thermometers use an electronic probe for precision during your meat-cooking process. You will also find instant digital thermometers in this category.
All of them come with an electronic part which is easily damaged by water. Again, unless the manufacturer calls it a waterproof digital meat probe, you have to be extra careful when cleaning the gadget.
If you destroy the electronic parts, you have a useless device in your kitchen.
- Wash the probe with warm soapy water while removing the grease and food particles with the sponge. Be careful with the electronic components as they are sensitive to moisture.
- Gently rinse, dry, and also sanitize the device. You can also sanitize the head with a cotton ball soaked in a food-grade sanitizer.
- Take care not to expose your thermometer’s display to moisture.
For the Digital Wireless Meat Thermometers, their probes have a sensitive part that accumulates carbon and grease. These two interfere with the reading sensor and give you false readings. To get accurate readings for your stakes doneness or readiness, you must keep off grease and carbon from your thermometer’s probe.
- Firstly, you have to concentrate on ripping off the carbon and grease on the tip.
- Use a sponge to clean the first 1″ tip of the digital probe. That will reap off the carbon build-up.
- Rinse the stem and pat dry.
- Use the sanitizer to sterilize the entire device, making sure not to wet the display part.
Why Can’t You Put A Meat Thermometer In Water?
As we have noted above, meat thermometers are a variety. We have digital and analog types. The digital devices come with a sensitive electronic display that gets damaged by moisture.
When cleaning such a thermometer, you have to be extra careful not to submerge the tool in water. Your device’s digital display will die off. If you notice that the display is soiled, you can wipe it with a clean semi-dry cloth. This part also requires sanitizing to kill pathogens.
A ball of cotton semi-soaked in an alcohol-based sanitizer can do wonders. Do not overdo the sanitizing part, as too much moisture can damage your meat thermometer beyond repair.
What Thermometer Can Be Placed In A Dishwasher?
Most thermometers are not dishwasher safe, but we have those that you can place in the appliance for cleaning. Before we tell you which type, you have to check the user instruction manual for your thermometer to determine whether it is dishwasher safe.
Having a brand known as Taylors 9877FDA Digital Probe Thermometer, you have a dishwasher-safe tool. The tool is available for inspecting temperatures for any cooking task ahead of you.
This digital probe thermometer is waterproof and does not get damaged by a dishwasher safe. Its digital screen is also hardy and waterproof. The stem is stainless steel, and unlike glass in most thermometers, it will not shutter in a dishwasher cycle.
The other type of thermometer that you can place in a dishwasher is the KM14 dishwasher thermometer. The sole purpose of this gadget is to check a dishwasher’s cycle temperatures.
KM14 consists of a handy stainless steel penetration probe that stays inside the dishwasher quickly reads the internal temperature. These temperatures alert you when they are perfect for sterilizing your utensils.
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Can You Put A Thermometer In Water?
You cannot dip an entire thermometer in water unless it is waterproof. If it isn’t waterproof, the only part you can put in water is the stem or the probe. The digital part remains sensitive to moisture and can get damaged if you leave it in water.
Before determining whether your thermometer is safe for submerging in water, you must read the users’ manual keenly and internalize the instructions.
If you are not sure, we recommend that you check with your supplier or the manufacture. This simple action will save you from damaging your pricey and precious tool.
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Caring for your meat thermometer ensures that your gadget lasts long beyond the warranty. One of the ways is cleaning processes. You have to keep the tool clean during and after your grilling, BBQ, and oven meat cooking processes.
This guarantees top hygiene that safeguards your loved ones from contracting meat-borne diseases.
Cleaning a meat thermometer is easy, but you have to follow the laid down procedures in the user’s manual. Sometimes, reading the users’ manual is not an enjoyable experience. The prints are too small and illegible.
Luckily, our guide covers some major questions concerns with the cleaning of meat thermometers.
We have tackled whether it is safe to put your gadget in a dishwasher. You have also detailed the types of meat thermometers and their washing processes. The question of whether you can keep your thermometer in water is now below the bridge.
If you want a waterproof meat thermometer, we have also recommended a brand that you can easily find around.
With our guide, you can now rip off carbon and grease build-up from your meat thermometer stem. You can also sanitize and know what types of thermometers are waterproof.
Please read our other guide to learn more about meat thermometers, types, how to use them, and their care procedures.