I recently purchased a digital meat thermometer. I believe it to be accurate as I have performed several tests with it to check accuracy such as putting it in an ice bath and checking it against another thermometer. It seems to be accurate throughout the range it measures.
But I am confused as to how to use it properly.
I have now tried it on several dishes including meats and poultry. Each time I use it the temperatures it reads seems much higher then I expect.
Today I made a meatloaf. I cooked it the amount of time specified in the recipe. I took it out of the oven and within about a minute inserted the thermometer into the center of the loaf taking care not to let the probe touch anything but the meat. My understanding is that ground beef should be at least 160 degrees when measured this way to ensure it is safe. So I wanted to check where it was.
But the temperature read something like 220 degrees. I didn't expect it to be that high. The meatloaf tasted fine, cooked nicely to I would say a "medium."
I understand that 160 is a minimum, but should it be that much higher?
I had similar experiences with steaks, chicken, turkey and turkey burgers. They all read temperatures much higher then I expected.
Whenever I see them do this on a television cooking show they seem to always show a temp just at the minimum allowed.
Am I doing something wrong or are such high temperatures normal and acceptable?
Using the meatloaf as an example:
Just for the record it was 2 one pound meatloafs and I cooked them at the same time in the same oven at 375 degrees for one hour.
Could I have cooked it a much shorter time and still have it be safe albeit rarer?