You’ve probably seen infrared thermometers before, but you might not know how they work or how useful they can be in commercial kitchens. To get the science out of the way first, infrared thermometers don’t actually measure temperature – instead, they measure the energy emitted by an object and use that measure to provide an accurate temperature reading. Temperature is actually measured by a piece of equipment called a thermocouple. More on how these work and when these are used can be seen on various websites, one of which being Temp-Pro – their website goes into detail about thermocouples. Meanwhile, infrared thermometers are used to measure energy simply by pointing them at the object in question and then pressing down a trigger.
Infrared thermometers have been used for decades in the construction and manufacturing industries, and they’re now becoming an increasingly common sight in commercial kitchens.
Here are just three reasons why.
- Quick and Convenient
Firstly, infrared thermometers are very convenient to use. With most food thermometers, you need to go through the annoyance of handling the food to stick in the measuring prong. You’ll then need to clean after every measure. With an infrared thermometer, you simply point at the food you need to measure and then press a button – the internal temperature will be shown on a digital display.
- No Cross Contamination
Probably the most important reason to use an infrared thermometer in the kitchen is to avoid any potential for cross contamination. If you need to measure the temperature of two different foods in close succession, you run the risk of cross contamination when using a regular thermometer. This could impact the flavour or even potentially cause your customers to become ill. An infrared thermometer involves no physical contact, so this danger is avoided.
- No Physical Damage
Sometimes measuring food using a regular thermometer produces some kind of damage. For example, you will need to push the measuring prong into a piece of steak to take a temperature reading, and that will leave a hole. It isn’t a big deal in terms of taste, but food looks a lot better when it is presented without any signs of being handled, and that appearance is easy to achieve when you use an infrared thermometer.