Are you supposed to put a meat thermometer in the oven?

I am learning how to make pork chops, which, on the net, are said to be best brined overnight and then pulled out of the 400°F oven at the moment the insides hit 135°F.
Fine.
But how do you figure out when the insides hit 135°F? My meat thermometer is a $15 yellow plastic digital one with a stainless steel 5 inch probe from Bed Bath & Beyond. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/100084-taylor-waterproof-digital-food-thermometer.html
Am I supposed to leave it in the oven? Or poke the meat while it's in the oven? Or pull the meat out to poke on the countertop?
If I leave it in the oven, won't the plastic melt? If I poke the meat while in the oven, I burn myself (because it's too LONG!). If I pull the meat out, it works, but it wastes heat & effort.
There doesn't seem to be a good solution. So, that's why I ask you what you recommend if I stick with this stupid thermometer.
If I buy a NEW thermometer, what do you recommend? (But I'd rather not have two tools that do the exact same thing!)
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I just pan fry them to get a nice Mallard layer on the outside. That is key.

No. The ones you leave in are all mechanical and have a glass dial cover. Or they have a probe on a wire that leads outside the oven to to a unit. Like this one:
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/polder-reg-deluxe-preset-oven-thermometer-with-ultra-probe/1043251315
Yours is an instant read. You take the meat out and test it. This works much better with a large hunk of meat that cooks for a long time.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Mon, 11 Jan 2016 18:59:29 -0000 (UTC), "E. Robinson"

They do make remote probe digitals that will go in the oven or you can use the old style glass and metal one but if it has plastic on it, you probably can't use it in the oven. That includes virtually all of the instant reading sticks.
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On 1/11/2016 11:59 AM, E. Robinson wrote:

Your phrasing suggests a misconception about how things cook. There is no (single) "moment" when the insides hit 135F.
Define "insides". Over here, next to the bone? Or here, in the tenderloin? Exactly halfway through the flesh? etc. Were the chops previously frozen? etc.

No.

It is usually easiest to just slide the pan out and jab it with the thermometer. You'll get a "stable" reading pretty quickly (seconds?). You can then poke another 'chop. Or, poke the same chop in a slightly different place (e.g., the bone biases the temperature in its proximity).

Get a non-contact thermometer? Get a *probe* that can be left in the meat?
Or, just do it the way everyone else does: slide the pan out (there's a reason the oven racks can SLIDE!), jab it a few times, make an educated guess and continue or abort.
Over time, you learn how *your* oven cooks various things. E.g., instead of "bake for 8-10 minutes" as an Rx might indicate, I *know* that this oven will take exactly 8.5 minutes to bake these cookies to a particular "done-ness" -- if the cookies are formed a particular size, baked on a rack in a particular location in the oven, etc. If I want "more done", I increase the bake time; "less done" (more chewy), decrease the bake time.
Hint: make notes on your Rx's each time you prepare something so you know how you should adjust your process NEXT time based on your observations of how things turned out *this* time!

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Don Y wrote:

Interesting conversation ! I pulled the bread out about an hour ago - 25 min at 375? , rotate pans at the halfway mark* - and the cinnamon rolls are rising right next to me . They get 25 min at 350? , with a shallow tray underneath to help diffuse the heat . Again , rotate 180? at the halfway point .
* I'm using a very small camper oven , since we don't have the kitchen built yet . It doesn't heat very evenly at best , and rotating the pans helps cook evenly , as does the tray under larger pans . I've learned this by observing ... and when we get a "real" oven , I expect I'll have to adjust again . I don't do cookies , my wife likes to do the sweets except for cinnamon rolls , as they're a "raised bread" .
--
Snag



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On Monday, January 11, 2016 at 1:59:35 PM UTC-5, E. Robinson wrote:

You have to guess a little bit, based on experience (which I realize you don't have. But you'll get some every time you cook.)

-thermometer.html
I have one just like it.

G!).

Once you get good at this, you won't have to pull the meat out very many times.

hermometer.
When you think the pork might be nearing 135 F, remove the pan from the oven, lift up the pork chop with a pair of tongs or something, and stick the thermometer in it. Try to make the tip of the thermometer hit the center (up, down, left, and right) of the pork chop. I'd go through one of the short sides toward the center. It will take a few seconds before the reading stabilizes.
I'll admit, it takes some experience to know when the pork might be near the right temperature. Does your recipe give any hints as to how long they think it'll take? At 400 F, I'd guess 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chop, and whether your instructions said to brown the chop before putting it in the oven. I usually brown pork chops in an ovenproof frying pan and then put the frying pan in a 350 F oven for about 20 minutes. These are boneless and cut about 1 inch thick, so your situation might be a bit different.

The one you have is fine, you just need to learn how to use it, like any other tool.
Cindy Hamilton
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On 1/11/2016 1:59 PM, E. Robinson wrote:

Do you have tongs? You should. Grab the pork chop with the tongs using one hand, stick the probe in the edge with the other hand. Either stop or continue depending on temperature. IMO, 130 to 135 is ideal for pork chops. They should have been seasoned first, of course.
You can also get a thermometer with a cable and probe. You can stick it int he meat and start cooking and watch the readout without opening the oven. Very handy for a roast either in the oven or on the grill. Both types have a place in the kitchen.
Be sure to let the chops rest for 5 to 10 minutes too. Helps to keep the juices in the meat.
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