How to use an oven probe thermometer

Written by lisa parris
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The oven probe thermometer is a well-thought-out kitchen gadget, elegantly designed to make cooking less work and improve your odds of success. Using the probe, you can keep track of the internal temperature of the food while keeping the oven door closed. The probe is attached to a digital thermometer by a thin wire, linking the food information to an easy to read external display. No more trying to guess when the chicken is done or worrying about serving undercooked pork chops. It can even be used to monitor the oil when deep fat frying. To operate your oven probe thermometer, follow the directions below.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Oven probe thermometer
  • Uncooked meat
  • Roasting pan

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  1. 1

    Turn the unit on. This is generally done by pushing the button marked "Power," but there may be variations between models and brands. If the probe does not come on, replace the batteries and try again.

  2. 2

    Press the "Thermometer/Timer" button and ensure your probe is set to "Thermometer" and set the temperature to read in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

  3. 3

    Insert the probe firmly into the thickest part of the meat or into the centre if the food being probed is uniform in size. Keep the probe embedded in the carcase and well away from gristle and bones. Do not allow the probe to pass all the way through the food and protrude from the other side, as this will give an inaccurate reading. The goal is to monitor the temperature of the food, not the oven.

  4. 4

    Attach the probe to the thermometer, if necessary. Again this varies with model and brand, as some are permanently attached by wires.

  5. 5

    Place the pan, with the food containing the probe, into the oven. Close the oven door directly over the connecting wire. Set the thermometer display screen on the counter nearby.

  6. 6

    Read the temperature of the food as it cooks on the screen.

  7. 7

    Remove food once the desired internal temperature has been reached. For well done beef, veal, pork or lamb the temperature needs to be 76.7 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Celsius. For medium, cook food to 73.9 degrees Celsius or 74 degrees Celsius. For medium rare, cook to 145 or 63 and for rare beef or for pre-cooked ham, heat to 60 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Celsius.

Tips and warnings

  • Many oven probe models can be pre-set to sound an alarm when the food reaches the target temperature and is ready to be removed from the oven.
  • Oven probes can also be used as candy thermometers and kitchen timers.
  • Poultry and pork should never be served rare.
  • Probes are not intended for use in microwave ovens.
  • Always use a protective oven mitt to remove the hot probe or wire.
  • Do not expose the probe to direct flames or use it to determine the temperature of an open grill.

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