I mentioned in one of my recent posts about the cob oven that an infrared thermometer would be very helpful in learning how to bake reliably in it.
Yesterday I found one. I was in Kelowna getting Erin to a rehearsal with her accompanist there in preparation for a recital at the Anglican catherdral there in a couple of weeks. On the way home I stopped at an auto parts and surplus store to pick up AV cables for my mom’s new TV, and darned if I didn’t stumble on this little gizmo.
Okay, I didn’t stumble. I spent 25 minutes scouring the store for it, and finding all sorts of other nifty things in the process. But the fact remains that I walked out of the store with this awesome thermometer. It has a nice range: 0 to 500 ºC, so plenty high enough to read the oven at its peak heat.
Friday was baking day, so I haven’t had the chance to use it on the oven yet. But it’s come in handy, and been great fun, in many other ways. Kids comparing their hand and face temperatures. Judging the temperature of the tepid bath I ran to soothe Fiona’s itchy rash last night. Observing the electric kettle nearing the boil. Judging when the boiled water has cooled sufficiently for white tea brewing. Comparing the insulating capacity of two different brands of stainless steel go-mugs. Calibrating the outdoor thermometer (yes, it’s accurate!). Seeing how hot the top of the wood stove gets (217ºC or 422ºF in the photo). It’ll be great for instant accurate mess-free measurements of the liquids in my bread recipes before adding yeast, or the milk mixture when making yoghurt. And for measuring the temperature of pans and cooktop surfaces.
And of course the laser is great for tormenting the cat with. That’s just a bonus.
Once I have a pH meter and a digital kitchen scale my life will be complete.