My new Polder instant-read thermometer

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My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby Jenise » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:59 pm

So last week I bought a new thermometer, my last no-name cheapie having broken recently. And I bought a Polder--these people are experts in things temperature, and maybe if I had bought a Polder ten years ago I wouldn't have gone through three thermometers in ten years.

Went my thinking. And maybe in ten years it will still be working like a champ. But this one isn't just a thermometer (which I didn't even realize when I bought it, I was in a big hurry the day I selected it and my thinking was simply "instant read-Polder-15 bucks=okay"), it has a special feature. And that special feature is a second button called 'MEAT' that when you press it, causes the various meat types to scroll through the digital screen. Once you select, say, beef, you can select your preferred doneness, and it then tells you what the target temperature is for that doneness and sets a little alarm. The idea is that when you test the meat after some cooking, if the target doneness has been reached you get an audible beeping. That would be super helpful to someone who doesn't have all that stuff in their head (which I do).

The only problem is: it is programmed to believe that rare beef is 140 F. There is no lower setting, and you cannot re-program it.

What in the H-word are they thinking? Even someone who prefers their meat cremated wouldn't find 140 rare, especially since carry-over cooking assures that the actual doneness when sliced and served will be another stage beyond that.

I should return it. I probably won't because it should reliably do what I bought it for and returning is a lot of trouble, but how stupid of them.
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Re: My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:58 pm

Jenise wrote:So last week I bought a new thermometer, my last no-name cheapie having broken recently. And I bought a Polder--these people are experts in things temperature, and maybe if I had bought a Polder ten years ago I wouldn't have gone through three thermometers in ten years.

Went my thinking. And maybe in ten years it will still be working like a champ. But this one isn't just a thermometer (which I didn't even realize when I bought it, I was in a big hurry the day I selected it and my thinking was simply "instant read-Polder-15 bucks=okay"), it has a special feature. And that special feature is a second button called 'MEAT' that when you press it, causes the various meat types to scroll through the digital screen. Once you select, say, beef, you can select your preferred doneness, and it then tells you what the target temperature is for that doneness and sets a little alarm. The idea is that when you test the meat after some cooking, if the target doneness has been reached you get an audible beeping. That would be super helpful to someone who doesn't have all that stuff in their head (which I do).

The only problem is: it is programmed to believe that rare beef is 140 F. There is no lower setting, and you cannot re-program it.

What in the H-word are they thinking? Even someone who prefers their meat cremated wouldn't find 140 rare, especially since carry-over cooking assures that the actual doneness when sliced and served will be another stage beyond that.

I should return it. I probably won't because it should reliably do what I bought it for and returning is a lot of trouble, but how stupid of them.


Not stupid...they are thinking "safety" They believe that meat should be cooked to a certain temp. I have used Polder for years, and we have learned to take the reading and reduce it by 10 degrees. Also, they are not allowing for the meat to rest, where the cooking continues.
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Re: My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:08 pm

I bought a Polder a few years back and the darn thing broke relatively early in its life. Since then, we've picked up a Thermapen. Not nearly as nifty as the Polder offerings and quite pricey, but instant and accurate.

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Re: My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby Jon Peterson » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:27 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Jenise wrote:The only problem is: it is programmed to believe that rare beef is 140 F.


Not stupid...they are thinking "safety"


I would guess that the minimum temp was recommended by the manufacturers attorneys.
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Re: My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby wnissen » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:29 pm

Jon Peterson wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:
Jenise wrote:The only problem is: it is programmed to believe that rare beef is 140 F.


Not stupid...they are thinking "safety"


I would guess that the minimum temp was recommended by the manufacturers attorneys.

Actually, it's the USDA. I recently brought a probe that listed both the USDA fantasy temperatures as well as the temperatures used by "professional" kitchens. The latter were actually accurate.
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Re: My new Polder instant-read thermometer

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:03 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:Not stupid...they are thinking "safety" They believe that meat should be cooked to a certain temp. I have used Polder for years, and we have learned to take the reading and reduce it by 10 degrees. Also, they are not allowing for the meat to rest, where the cooking continues.


If they were using the USDA reccomendations, I would agree with you (and Jon). But they're not. Where professional kitchens recognize and agree that 115-130 is the range for rare (cool rare at one end and warm rare at the other), the USDA recommendation for beef starts at 145 for medium and goes up from there. They don't reccomend rare at all. It strikes me as ludicrous for Polder to in effect make up their own scale and call 140 "rare". Even if it's "safe", it's still medium.
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