You take a steak’s tem­per­a­ture. Try do­ing it for your banana bread, too

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - BON­NIE S. BEN­WICK

Did you know you can use a meat ther­mome­ter to check the done­ness of other foods, too?

I’ve seen chefs do this with breads and cus­tards, so I sup­pose you might say it’s an­other rea­son I’m happy to watch them in their el­e­ment.

Think of the baked goods you’re al­ways hes­i­tant to pull out of the oven — browned, with dense in­te­ri­ors. Or a per­fectly in­tact piece of fish you just hate to flake into with a fork. A straight-from-the-freezer casse­role whose core is in­scrutable. When you’re not sat­is­fied with a recipe’s de­scrip­tion of “un­til just set.”

We’ve col­lected a few tem­per­a­tures be­yond the easy-to-find meat/ poul­try ones. Tem­per­a­tures should be taken at the cen­tre, with­out touch­ing any bone or heated sur­face:

Fish and seafood

Salmon, hal­ibut, cod, tilapia, red snap­per: 130 to 135 F (stuffed, 165) Tuna: 125 F (ahi tuna, 115 to 120) Shrimp, scal­lops: 120 F Lob­ster: 145 F

Baked goods

Quick breads such as banana

bread, corn bread, cof­fee cake: 200 F

Cakes and cup­cakes: 205 to 210 F (devil’s food and red vel­vet, 205) Molten choco­late cakes: 160 F Breads and rolls: a min­i­mum of 190 F; 205 to 210 for some sour­dough or sturdy va­ri­eties Bread pud­ding: 160 F Sweet potato, pump­kin, fruit pies: 175 F


Sauces: 160 F (hol­landaise, 145 to 150)

Quiches: 165 to 185 F (de­pend­ing on fill­ing add-ins)

Cus­tards: 175 to 180 F


Baked pota­toes: 210 to 212 F (boiled, 200) Casseroles, left­overs: 165 to 175 F Ground meats (meat loaf ): 160 F


Tem­per­a­tures should be taken at the cen­tre, with­out touch­ing any bone or heated sur­face.

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