Exploding Meat Thermometers

We heard it at the same time, a high-pitched ‘PING’ of breaking glass. “What?” uttered Wilson as I lunged for the oven. My roasting chicken! My week of dinner, sandwiches, chicken soup were suddenly and irrevocably canceled by the sound of the meat thermometer exploding in the oven; a simple, trusted apparatus suddenly taking out a week’s worth of dishes.

The indignity is not so much the wasted culinary effort and expense, but the roasted hen smelled dazzlingly wonderful. Wilson convinced me he could assure and guarantee that no shard of glass would enter my body if he carefully carved off the skin and sectioned the breast away from the danger zone. I turned away in frustration only to look back and see him hacking at the bird with a cheese knife employed ten minutes earlier on a disappointing small-farm gorgonzola. Why do I listen to someone like this? He wears me down folks, eventually the non-sense almost makes sense in a round-about way.

In this particular case, however, risk weighed heavy. I counted the large shards I estimated were missing from the device’s ruined face. But who knows how many razor-sharp, minuscule shreds lurked in the flesh of that gorgeous roast bird. I gave myself a little self-help talk and remembered the performers in Indonesia I had witnessed eating several lightbulbs… Certainly my body could absorb broken meat thermometer glass dust, right?

As Wilson hacked at the bird with the cheese knife proclaiming with absolute certainly that every thing would be fine, I propped open the oven door to let it cool. Inside I counted the three large slivers I most feared, lying in the bottom of the oven.

We ate gingerly, carving tiny bites and chewing slowly. Wilson protesting with each bite there was no “need for fear, slicing angle, removal of the protective crispy skin (Is there any part of the bird so tasty as the crispy skin??) and such, no potential for ANY, I said any glass.”

Obviously I survived, but the question remains. “IF you can’t trust a meat thermometer not to blow up in the oven, what can you trust??”

8 thoughts on “Exploding Meat Thermometers

  1. Oh no! I’ve never heard of that happening. I’m with you, the best part of any roasted bird is the skin. I would have been more worried about the mercury (do they even have that in thermometers anymore?) Never a dull moment around you!

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  2. Just googled “exploding meat thermometers” and you topped the list. Same thing happened to me Saturday night. Heard a big POW! but not the sound of shattering glass (although it did shatter). Thermometer continued to function normally and looked pretty much the same without its glass; we did not notice the missing crystal or figure out what had happened until after we finished dinner. Fortunately, the thermometer was hanging over the front edge of a baking dish barely large enough for a boneless chicken breast, and the adjacent brussell sprouts were similarly protected. Baked potatoes were on each side of those two dishes and also escaped unharmed. I did experience one bite of chicken that seemed a bit incomprehensibly gritty, but it might have been coincidence. If it was glass, it was ground so fine it caused no harm.

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    • Hi Wayne. How funny that my post came up on top of the list!! I’m so glad you came through unscathed and I wonder how often this happens? Thanks for commenting. Here’s to cooking without meat thermometers!!

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