How to Cook Meat to Perfect Doneness Using the Yummly Smart Thermometer

How to Cook Meat to Perfect Doneness Using the Yummly Smart Thermometer

Put your oven (and thermometer!) to work with our mini guide and easy recipes for ribeye steak, chicken dinner, and salmon

Healthier, better-tasting meals are easier than you think with help from Yummly! Try it free now.

Photo by Brittany Conerly

Have you ever watched a cooking video where the chef tells you to touch a steak to figure out if it's done on the inside? You know, where you somehow compare the feel of the sizzling hot steak and the feel of the flesh under your thumb when you touch together the tips of your thumb and middle finger. Or wait, thumb and index finger? Fourth finger? That’s never worked for me — and I’m a professional food writer and recipe developer. At times I've resorted to the gouging method: Take a stab with a knife. That doesn't do much for the appearance of the steak. With wisdom I've realized I need a digital readout to know if that meat’s cooked on the inside. Specifically, I need a trusty meat thermometer. 

You too?

If you spend time on Yummly, you know we’re more than a little excited about our new Yummly® Smart Thermometer. The wireless meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of roasting, pan-searing, and grilling meat, poultry, and fish to give you perfect results every time. And just in time for cozy fall cooking, we have three original recipes to try it with.

Jump ahead to:

How the Yummly Smart Thermometer works >>

Where to put the meat thermometer in food >>

Try it! Recipes for ribeye, roast chicken dinner, and salmon >>

How the Yummly Smart Thermometer works

There are several features of the wireless Smart Thermometer that all work together. You can see the thermometer and charging dock in the photo at the top of this post.

Bluetooth-enabled cooking. The stainless steel thermometer probe goes into your food while it cooks. The dual temperature sensors then communicate with the charging dock, which in turn connects to the free Yummly® app on your mobile device. When you’re not using the thermometer, you’ll store it in the dock for recharging.

App-based cooking assistance. Using the Yummly app on your device — available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets — simply tap to select what you're cooking (meat, fish, or poultry) and choose your preferred doneness. Pre-set programs on the app guide the way from there. Prefer to do it yourself? Manual mode is also available to put you in full control.

Cooking prompts and alerts. As you cook, alerts and timers notify you if there's something you need to do, so you can go ahead and multitask confidently. The app will give you food temperature readings, tell you if the cooking temperature is too hot or too cold, and alert you when it's time to remove the food from the heat to rest — so you avoid overcooking.

Where to put the meat thermometer in food

A picture of a raw ribeye steak with the Yummly Smart Thermometer probe inserted to the black cap so no metal on the probe is showing
Photo by Brittany Conerly

“Tap and go” describes nearly everything you need to know about inserting the thermometer in the right place in your food. That’s because the Yummly app guides you for each kind of protein. You’ll tap on “steak,” for example, and see just where to put the thermometer for best results.

Confession: Despite this, I missed one important point the first time I used the thermometer.

For the thermometer to read correctly, it turns out you need to insert it all the way to the black ceramic base, so the stainless steel probe is entirely covered. In the photo of the raw ribeye steak above, the thermometer is perfectly positioned this way in the largest muscle. (Also notice how the thermometer doesn’t hit any bone or pockets of fat.) I messed up on insertion my first time with the thermometer. The app told me what to do...I just missed the details in my eagerness to get cooking!

A picture of a whole raw chicken with a chili-citrus rub and the Yummly Smart Thermometer inserted into the breast
Photo by Brittany Conerly

The perfect spot in a whole chicken? You want to insert the probe at an angle in the thickest part of the breast not touching bone. See more on that below.

One final point: As much as I love my Yummly thermometer, it’s not meant for everything. Tiny meatballs, skinny smash burgers, chicken scallopini? Nope. Remember, the stainless steel probe needs to be completely covered for the thermometer to read accurately. From a practical standpoint, this means the food you’re using it with needs to be at least ¾ inch thick and 3 inches long.

Try it! Recipes for ribeye, roast chicken dinner, and salmon

Now that you’ve got the basics down for how to use the Smart Thermometer, I can’t wait to tell you about our new fall oven recipes for a juicy steak, perfect chicken dinner, and luscious salmon fillet. They were all created by Laura Goble, a talented recipe developer. No smart thermometer? Well sure, I guess you can use an instant-read.

Seared Ribeye Steak with Garlic Herb Pan Sauce

Yummly Original
Photo by Brittany Conerly

A fancy steak, perfectly cooked, doesn’t need much to put it over the top. With this recipe, you’ve got the doneness down. You’ll sear the meat on the stovetop, then pop it in the oven to cook until the Yummly app tells you you’ve reached the perfect medium-rare (or whatever doneness you choose). Set off the juiciness of the meat with a piquant pan sauce flavored with roasted garlic and two kinds of peppercorns: black and pink. To make the sauce, while the steak rests, deglaze the pan with wine and Dijon mustard, and then whisk in butter and plenty of fresh herbs. 

Chili and Citrus Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Yummly Original
Photo by Brittany Conerly

Come autumn, when cool weather hits, there might be no better weekend meal than a roasted chicken dinner. What’s special about this one: rainbow carrots make it especially beautiful, and an easy, gently spicy Aleppo pepper, citrus, garlic rub adds loads of flavor interest. As for checking for the perfect doneness, I’ll confess I’ve never been able to suss out exactly where the thickest part of the thigh is on a chicken or turkey, as some recipes direct. Good thing the Smart Thermometer tells you to insert the probe in the breast! 

Fun fact: During development of the thermometer, the Yummly staff tested and retested the best places to check the temp in a bunch of different meats and fish. For whole chicken and turkey, the breast won over the thigh for ease and accuracy.

Roasted Salmon with Salsa Verde 

Yummly Original
Photo by Yummly

We’re big fans of salmon in my house. Those heart-healthy Omega-3s. That luscious texture! I always want to keep things pretty simple in terms of prep so the fish really shines. This recipe manages to be doable enough for a weeknight but fancy enough for a special occasion. The secret (once you’ve nailed the cooking time and temp, that is, using your trusty thermometer), is the brightly flavored fresh Italian herb sauce called salsa verde. Good thing it makes enough not only for the salmon but for a side of steamed broccolini or for dunking crusty bread.

Grilling with your new thermometer

Learn what else your Smart Thermometer can do for you in these articles about cooking on the grill.

Introducing the Yummly Smart Thermometer!

Cooking meat just got easier and more delicious with Yummly's new connected thermometer. We've included a host of brand-new thermometer-friendly recipes perfect for summer grilling.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grill

Here's how a Smart Thermometer helped me beef up my cooking and overcome my fear of grilling

The Secret to Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts

Read our must-know tips for grilling chicken breasts to perfection and then check out the Yummly original recipe for Perfect No-Fail Grilled Chicken Breasts and four more all-star recipes