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Core temperature: what is it?

The core temperature is a measure for determining the degree of cooking or for determining whether the cooling of a food is completed. The temperature is measured in the middle of the food.

Why measure the core temperature?

Whether the food is cooked or needs a few minutes of heat is a question that can be easily answer by measuring the core temperature. The most important aid is a penetration thermometer. Depending on the cooking method, meat thermometers, roasting thermometers, barbeque thermometers or even digital thermometers with cable sensors will indicate the temperature in the middle of the food.

Before we get to enjoy the cooking stage of any meal, the food has to travel a long way.
The cold chain must be respected, especially during the transport and storage of meat and fish. Therefore, the core temperature is measured and documented to comply with food safety regulations.

What can a probe thermometer be used for? TFA Dostmann shows in a picture collage for which foodstuffs the core temperature can be checked with a probe thermometer.

Which cooking method do I need to check the core temperature for?

It depends on the recipe and the ingredients used, as food is cooked in different ways. From stewing to brasing, time and temperature are the most important things to be observed, if we want to cook to perfection.

For the preparation of meats, we tend to choose to roast, barbecue, cook or stew. If you want to use methods from Michelin star restaurants, cook meat at low temperatures or sous-vide.

What is low temperature cooking?

Typical meat dishes for cooking at low temperatures are the Christmas Goose and other braising dishes, also known as pot roasts. Most recipes recommend an oven temperature of 80°C and depending on the type of meat, the core temperature should be between 55 and 70°C. So you get a tender piece of roast that has kept the juiciness inside. To allow the meat to develop roasting aromas, it must be seared before low-temperature cooking.

What is sous-vide cooking?

In addition to preparing food in the oven at low temperatures, you can also opt for sous-vide cooking. The food is vacuum-packed in a plastic bag and placed in water bath with a constant temperature to obtain the desired core temperature.

What is pot roasting?

Cook meat in a closed pot or roasting pan in the oven or on the hob. This is also called braising.

Rare – medium – well done – on this overview you can see the right core temperature for your favorite cooking level, as recommended by the German barbecue expert Frank Huhnke:

How do I measure the core temperature?

To get the core temperature in a food, use a penetrating thermometer. Different versions allow a wide variety of uses.

Core temperatur under control with the BBQ and roasting thermometer

BBQ and roasting thermometers have the advantage that they remain in the meat all the time during preparation, so nothing can go wrong. Simply place the rump joint on the grid and set at 56 ° C for medium. When the core temperature is reached and the meat inside is soft pink, an alarm tone sounds. With analogue models you have to check the temperature yourself, but they are cheaper and do not need a battery.

Wireless meat thermometers

In some BBQ and roast thermometers, the ideal core temperatures for different types of meat and cooking levels are already pre-programmed. In addition, you can also set the individual temperature preset of your favourite recipe.

Measuring the core temperature by probe thermometers with wireless transmissions are particularly practical: With the wireless receiver, you remain mobile and can entertain your your guests while the roasting is under way in the oven or the meat is grilling on the barbecue. If you want to prepare two pieces of meat at the same time, you will love the “KITCHEN CHEF TWIN”!

Wireless BBQ Meat/Oven Thermometer KÜCHEN-CHEF TWIN

Equipped with two probes, you can keep an eye on both core temperatures or monitor the oven temperature.

  • With twin probe for oven and core temperature
  • Also for checking two pieces of meat
  • For oven and barbecue, with wireless transmission (100 m)

Two in one with oven thermometer

Some dishes and cooking methods requires you to check the temperature in the cooking chamber in addition to the core temperature if you want to succeed. For example, for Pulled Pork – which for many is the supreme discipline of the BBQ – the temperature in the smoker must remain constant at 100-110°C for many hours.

Homemade pulled pork burger with coleslaw and bbq sauce.

The low temperature cooking method requires a constant oven temperature of 80 degrees. This is how aromas and juice are preserved.
There are combined thermometers with an additional sensor for the cooking chamber. An alarm sounds when the temperature is outside the set bandwidth. Usually, the temperature is measure with an analogue oven thermometer made of heat-resistant metal.

The universal talent among the penetration thermometers

The penetration thermometer is the all-rounder in the kitchen and also suitable for selective measurement of the core temperature. Simply plunge the sensor probe into the food and read it.

Anwendung Thermo Jack Pro Anwendung Thermo Jack Pro Einstichthermometer

Food of any kind can be measured quickly, accurately and easily with this handy thermometer. Is the beer cold enough to toast? This is also quickly detected with a penetration thermometer.

Digital Probe Thermometer THERMO JACK PRO

  • Simple temperature measurement with penetration probe
  • Washable, in practical pocket size
  • Extremely fast, highly accurate, measuring range up to 350°C

Core temperature: The perfect steak

Masterfully barbecuing or roasting is a matter of core temperature. Not only professional chefs know that the right core temperature determines whether your beef fillet is a tasty experience.
The most important tool to achieve the ideal time to serve is a meat thermometer, BBQ thermometer, roasting thermometer or a penetration thermometer.


Core temperature: in short

You will certainly enjoy monitoring the core temperature if you want to successfully prepare meat, fish or other foods. As an ideal kitchen appliance, we recommend the sous-vide stick SOUSMATIC in addition to penetration thermometers, roast thermometers, meat thermometers, BBQ thermometers or combined devices. With the sous-vide cooking method, you can get the core temperature without burning or overcooking and can also prepare delicious side dishes.

Here you will find more products for sous-vide cooking, measuring the core temperature and many more interesting equipment for the kitchen and household: Kitchen & Houshold

Frank Huhnke: Grillschule
Wikipedia: Sous-vide