How to Use a Meat Thermometer

Learn the basics of this handy gadget with our easy-to-follow tips.

Meat Thermometer Basics

Using a meat thermometer

  • Whether you use an oven-safe model (these are inserted into the meat before cooking and stay there during cooking) or an instant-read model (these are used to test meats out of the oven), getting a correct reading is crucial to safe eating.
  • As a general rule, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (don't touch the bone) and always cook to the temperature the recipe specifies.
  • For a whole bird, insert the thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle -- and, of course, don't let it touch the bone.