How To Use Dickson Products To Cook Like A Pro This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and Temperature Monitoring

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and you've got some extra data loggers, chart recorders, or temperature indicators lying around your workspace. The sun has begun to set, you lazily swivel around in your chair to the sounds of coworkers saying “Bye,” Happy Thanksgiving,” and “Seeya Monday.” Your mind starts to drift to the savory smell of homemade gravy, the sweet and tangy taste of squash and apples, and of course your family’s secret pumpkin pie recipe. Even as I type this out, I’m getting really hungry, and it’s still two days away from Thanksgiving.

Before you let your mind drift too far, and actually start make-believe mouthing food into your mouth, remember, “data loggers, chart recorders, or temperature indicators lying around your workspace.” Reconcile the food you are daydreaming about with some of Dickson’s products! Show off tomorrow in front of your family with accurate temperature readings of all your food.

Below we've outlined how you can use Dickson products in each course of your feast.

Before that however, we want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Turkey Day, and long weekend.

Course #1: Appetizers

The key to appetizers is timely preparation. They need to be done before the main dish, with enough time left for cooking adjustments, quick dishwashing, and putting the food safely back in the refrigerator.

The first two Dickson can’t pretend to help you with. They come down to how distracted your cook gets gabbing about football or the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The third however, we can help with. You need an Infrared Thermometer.

Dickson had it’s first annual Thanksgiving-Potluck-Friday extravaganza this Wednesday, and one of our team members, Matt, brought in a tasty dish often served as an appetizer at his family's Thanksgiving. It was a salami bake, made with brown sugar and barbecue sauce. The dish is served warm, which means that over time as it sat out (and we all descended on it, making mini Ritz cracker sandwiches and getting sticky fingers) it lost heat, and descended into the Bacteria Danger Zone. (For the frequent readers of this blog, I promise it’s the last time I reference that undeniably great movie scene.)

Us being knowledgeable food temperature experts, we put it back in the fridge after only a short time. How long can food be kept out in ambient temperature? The USDA says 2 hours, max.

How can you tell if your food’s temperature is fading back into the Bacteria Danger Zone, even after everyone hasn't had enough?

By using an Infrared Monitor from Dickson. It may seem strange, but we promise that it will be worth your trouble. If you got one of these lying around your office, take it home, and shoot it at your foot lying out every once in a while. Once that food starts to creep towards ambient room temperature, or you notice it’s been out for a while, stick it back in the refrigerator or freezer.

Course #2: Turkey

Thanks Uncle Phil, and onto the main meal! I hope you had a little willpower and didn't eat too many appetizers (we've all been there).

There are about a bazillion things you can do with Dickson products for cooking all the greatest Thanksgiving dishes. From mapping your refrigerator to testing how much heat an oven loses when the door is left open to long (we will be testing this in the upcoming weeks, we've all already placed our bets on how much the temperature decreases).

But we wanted to keep it strictly about the turkey. Specifically, keeping that bird cold, and thawing it out properly.

For keeping it cold, we suggest using a simple Dickson data logger with an alarm in your freezer or fridge. Sticking a 20lb piece of poultry in your freezer or fridge will force the temperature to vary for at least a short amount of time due to a new amount of thermal mass (unless of course the turkey was at the same exact temperature as your freezer or refrigerator). So, be sure to adjust accordingly. Furthermore, if your refrigerator becomes overstocked, putting a cold 20 pound hunk of poultry in it could limit the airflow, and thus the refrigerator/freezer won’t be as cold as you would like. Set your data logger alarms to around 40 degrees, ensuring the safety of your turkey and other food.

Now what about thawing the turkey? DicksonOne! With a K-thermocouple Piercing Probe and our undeniably great wireless monitoring devices, you can be alerted to exactly the time that your turkey becomes uniformly thawed (instead of just looking and guessing at a chart). Whether you are thawing in cold water or in the refrigerator, DicksonOne and the DicksonOne Mobile App for iPhone (see below) will allow you to stop worrying about thawing times and get you working on creating other delicious dishes.

Course #3: Desert

What is the perfect temperature for coffee, bread pudding, or pecan pie? What about pumpkin pie? It’s time to find out. While it may already be too late to figure this stuff out, you can prepare for next years feast. Use a Dickson Touchscreen Handheld Indicator, or a Data logger with a display and a probe, and test to see what temperatures you prefer. From then on, you will know the perfect warmth with which to drink your after dinner coffee, and how cold your pumpkin pie slice should be served at.

Have other out-of-the-box uses for Dickson Products. We'd love to hear them! Comment, ask questions, share your own opinions in the comment box below.