Use the digital thermometer in your kitchen drawer the right way, and no matter how you like your meat, dinner will always be perfectly done.

By Janet Taylor McCracken
March 29, 2017
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chicken and digital thermometer
Escali Gourmet Digital Thermometer, $20, a href=u0022http://www.escali.comu0022escali.com/a
| Credit: Photography by: Getty Images (chicken); Peter Ardito (thermometer)

Where do I stick it?

For burgers, steaks, chops and boneless chicken, slide the thermometer's probe in horizontally through the side at the thickest part. Same for bone-in chicken and pork, beef and lamb roasts. With those, be careful not to hit the bone, and avoid fat (both will throw off the reading). Roasting a whole bird? Go by the temperature of the thighs.

How far in should it go?

Does the probe have a little dimple on its stem? If so, make sure it's inserted beyond that point, because that's where the reading happens. No dimple? No problem! Aim for halfway in for thick cuts of meat; half an inch should do the trick on a thinner cut.

At what temp do I take it off the heat?

130° 
Steak and roast beef (medium-rare)

145° 
Pork chops and roasts

160° 
Ground beef

161° 
Chicken and turkey breasts

165° 
Chicken and turkey thighs and legs

165° 
Ground poultry