I recently bought a meat thermometer so that I could measure my chicken. This is the one I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IHHLB3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've tried using it multiple times but whenever I insert the tip of the probe into the chicken the thermometer just continuously increases in temperature. It doesn't stop. I tried inserting more of the probe into the chicken to see if that makes a difference, but the only difference is that the temperature climb is slower.

How far in should I stick the probe and is it normal for the thermometer to continuously climb in temp? When should I pull it out

  • 3
    What happens if you put it in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes? Does it stop rising at about 100C or equivalent?
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:35
  • 2
    Even the 'instant read' ones aren't instant. You need to give them time for the temperature probe to reach thermal equilibrium with the meat. (usually 10-30 seconds)
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:50
  • Just saw this other post as well which is helpful: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7040/… Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


To answer the "how far" part of the question: you want the tip of the probe dead center, where the meat is thickest, that's where it'll take the longest to heat up.

Otherwise, as the comments mentionned, heat transfer from the meat to the probe is not immediate. Give it a good 20/30 seconds.

  • how far in do I push the probe? just the tip or the whole thing? Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:01
  • 2
    The tip needs to be a the coldest place, typically the center.
    – Jeffrey
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:22
  • @JeremyFisher : and if you're checking something with a bone, you need to make sure that you're not up against the bone. Also, to hit the center of a thin cut of meat, as it's more difficult to estimate if you're gone in the correct depth, you might want to enter from the side rather than the top.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 15:25

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