Both digital and analog thermometers will do the job depending on the dish you are preparing in your wok. No matter what type of dish you are cooking with your wok, from Asian inspired dishes to home-made Thai food, there is a thermometer that will keep you safe.
We need to specify what cooking method you are using to determine the thermometer you should use. These thermometers are listed below. Later, I’ll dive into why I recommend these solutions:
- Dishes that employ large cuts of meat, along with boiling, steaming, open lid stewing, and deep-frying methods, should be measured with long probe thermometers to prevent burning yourself. Analog or digital types are available. I like digital thermometers because they record the temperature faster.
Analog Temperature Thermometers
- Here is a very nice analog thermometer offered by Amazon.
- The sloped dial design provides a bigger printing area for easy-to-read numbers.
- Precision calibration to ensure doneness temperatures are tracked for consistent results.
- Safety glass lens and food-grade stainless steel are durable and strong
- Temperature Range: 120°F to 200°F.
- Cleaning: Wash this temperature gauge by hand only. Do not immerse in water or put in the dishwasher. For best results, wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
If you use this analog temperature gauge in a wok make sure the gauge does not tip over and fall into any liquid you may have in your pan.
This temperature gauge is perfect if you have larger pieces of meat, fowl, or fish cooking in your wok or in your stove.
This thermometer only has a temperature range of 120°F to 200°F so be careful where you use it. I would not use it inside of your oven that could get from 450-500 degrees F.
Digital Temperature Thermometers
- Some analog thermometers without a probe will measure the temperature inside of your oven but they will not measure the temperature of your meat. Therefore I recommend a digital thermometer with a long probe and cable shown below.
You can actually leave this probe and cable inside of your wok lid or inside your oven and get very accurate measurements. Check this thermometer’s reviews at Amazon.
- ThermoPro cooking thermometer is ideal for meat, oven, smoker, or stove-top. Programmable alert with preset temperatures for specific foods recommended by USDA. All of the preset temps can be reset to your desired tastes.
- This digital kitchen timer features count down and count up ability, up to 99 hours, 59 minutes.
- This meat probe and wire can withstand up to 716°F, you can cook with a wide temperature range from 32°F to 572°F (0°C to 300°C) with high accuracy of 1° resolution, 1. 8°F/1°C
- Accurate grill meat thermometer with 6. 5″ food grade STEP-DOWN tip design stainless steel probe to get temperature precisely and quickly. 40″ stainless steel mesh cable connects the thermometer to the base, outside of the oven or wok.
- This thermometer has a magnetic back and allows you to easily attach it to the refrigerator or any metal surface. There is also a hole in the end of the handle which allows you to hang in your kitchen
- Dishes that use braising, searing, smoking, and stir-frying methods are checked with short or long probe thermometers. Analog or digital thermometers are available with long probes if you want to use your wok for the cooking methods listed above.
Foldable Digital Portable Thermometers
- Instant Reading Thermometer with backlight features 3.9″ food grade stainless steel probe gets temp readout within 3-5 seconds with high precision sensor
- Cooking Thermometer with a temp range of -58 F- 572 F degrees, accurate to 0.9 degrees F. This is perfect for indoor-outdoor cooking, grilling, BBQ, and more.
- Kitchen Thermometer with a foldable probe design folds away easily and locks into a base for portability; Magnetic back and hook allows for convenient storage
- Digital Meat Thermometer will auto-shutoff if readout stays on for 10 minutes; Powered by AAA battery (included); Celsius/Fahrenheit switchable
- Grilling thermometer features backlight LCD display to let you see clearly while cooking in the evening, indoors or outdoors ________________________________________________________________________
Oven Safe Thermometers
- Roasting and closed lid stewing will need an oven-safe thermometer, which sits inside a closed wok. Typically these are analog. Digital varieties are available at higher prices.
Are Meat Thermometers Even Useful For Wok Cooking?
There are many ways to cook with woks. This 2,000-year-old appliance can cook with all methods, aside from modern cooking techniques like sous vide. (Ha!)
The truth is that woks are best for stir-frying and cooking soups. These dishes typically have small bite-sized pieces of meat. Thus using a meat thermometer reliably is difficult when cooking with woks.
The readings will be inaccurate most of the time because of the meat’s size and the heat from the bottom of the pan. However, there are some tricks you can employ to ensure your dish is safe to eat:
- One hundred sixty-five degrees (165 F) Fahrenheit is the magic number for cooking meat with woks. –Especially with chicken. Most bacteria are destroyed at 160 degrees. So, watch your thermometer for this slightly higher number. Beef and pork are safe to eat when cooked at 145 degrees. However, use a reasonable amount of caution.
- Measure twice, then eat. It would be best if you made sure that the whole dish is at an even temperature throughout the wok. While one piece of chicken reads 165 degrees, another part may have a lower temp.
- Look at the meat while using your thermometer when the cuts are small. For example, safe to eat chicken looks opaque and can be easily penetrated with a fork. Cooked fish is opaque and flaky. Beef looks brown, and pork looks whitish-gray throughout.
You don’t need to check the meat’s pieces in the dish for cooking soups in a wok. Use a long probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of the soap in the dish. If it’s at 165 degrees, it’s safe to eat.
When Roasting and Stewing Meats with a Lidded Wok
Roasting and stewing with a wok is not used often in-home cooking, but it can still be done right. Using oven-safe cooking thermometers is best for reliably checking the doneness of your meats when using these methods.
Using a short or long probe thermometer that isn’t oven-safe interrupts the cooking process entirely. You have to open the lid and release the heat held inside the wok, which will prolong the cooking time.
Do not put a non-oven-safe thermometer in with the food. The good news is that oven-safe thermometers are cheap. The chances are that you already have an oven thermometer you could use.
In Conclusion, Long Probe Thermometers Will The Job
Now that we know that woks are used for various cooking methods, you should use two thermometers for wok cooking:
- A long probe digital thermometer.
- An analog and oven safe dial thermometer for roasting. (Digital if you prefer.)
The long probe thermometer is reliably used for checking individual pieces of meat, such as stir-fries, and long enough to accurately read the internal temperatures of soups.
Every other cooking method listed above can utilize long probe thermometers reliably when you follow the instructions above. Well, except for roasting and closed lid cooking methods. –That’s where the oven dial thermometer comes in. You could use short probe meat thermometers, but I do not recommend them. Woks are kept at hot temperatures. Oil and heat will burn you as you check the dish with a short probe. Not fun.
Now you can enjoy cooking meat-based dishes safely in your wok without a second thought. So, why wait? Get cooking?