This $6 Tool Will Make You a Better Cook

Michael says this is one thing you should never do while cooking.

July 17, 2020

Host Michael Symon, as seen on Symon's Dinners: Cooking Out, Season 1.

Photo by: Simple Alien, Simple Alien, Simple Alien

Simple Alien, Simple Alien, Simple Alien

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What’s the most important tool you have in the kitchen? Sure the stove is important, your air fryer is a miracle worker and that 6-speed blender with a motor powerful enough to power a jet is key, but Chef Michael Symon has another that he holds in high regard. He swears by the power of an instant-read thermometer. “The best thing you can ever do as a cook: Get a thermometer,” says Symon. “The most important advice you can have as a cook at home: Never cook to a time. “

All ovens are different, says Michael, and unless you get yours calibrated once a week, like they do in professional kitchens, those oven times are not always accurate. Case in point, when Michael was baking the wings for his recent class on Crispy Baked Chicken Wings, he noticed his home oven was taking longer than expected to crisp up the wings. “I’m guessing this is closer to 400 than 500,” he said. “Get a thermometer,” he said, “When it hits 160 (for chicken) it’s done.”

Cooking thermometers come in all price ranges, from a $6 simple model to $70 infrared instant point-and-read style. There’s a thermometer for every budget. What are you waiting for? Check the Food Network Kitchen schedule for more live classes from Michael’s home and tune in to Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out Sundays at 12:30|11:30c.

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