When I did a cookery course at the Betty’s Cookery School, the staff were obsessed with oven temperatures. They emphasised how important it was to check oven temperatures so much that they were constantly doing the rounds and turning our ovens up or down.
I’ve been happy to follow their advice ever since, and regularly use an oven and a digital meat thermometer. Flimsy things that they are, I’m now on my second set. Then the other day a company with the snappy name of Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI) sent me a ‘Superfast Thermapen’ food thermometer and asked me to test it.
Being a bit nerdy about meat and oven temperatures from my Betty’s days, I was happy to give it a go. They’re nicely designed, solid, sturdy and show the temperature in an instant, unlike the flimsy ones in my kitchen drawer.
Thermapens are used in commercial kitchens but not much in domestic ones. I’m not surprised; they’re £48 which is a lot to spend on a thermometer you might not use every day. But now I have one, I use it a lot, for milk, jam, yoghurt, fudge as well as meat. Not every day but when you need a thermometer, you need one.
You have to smile though. The marketing people had told me they were having difficulty breaking into the domestic market. Imagine my surprise then when I received a rose covered email on Valentines Day with a special offer of an ETI Thermapen telling me ‘… if your Valentine loves to cook, why not get them a present they will use over and over again’.
Please. Who writes this guff? The ETI Thermapen is good but no amount of marketing hype can persuade me it makes a suitable Valentine present.