Naturally steaks will be thinner than 4 inches like thermometer needle, at least the one I have. So it will absorb less heat in total, and maybe show lesser values than what is actually inside the meat.

Problem two, meat is less cooked in the middle so how is that adjusted with thermometers? Will it still accurately show that it is medium rare for example?

  • Just to be clear, what are you referring to when you say 'meat thermometer'? Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:10
  • 4
    This answer cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7040/… shows how to insert thermometer in thin cuts of meat. Most thermometers don't need to be inserted the full length.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:11
  • 1
    You can check how the thermometer reacts to its probe being in something thin by inserting it into a thin layer of boiling water. Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:32
  • 1
    Boiling water and ice water are the two gages you should use to see how accurate your thermometer is. Ice water will be 32-35 degrees F or 0 C and at sea level a rolling boiling water will be be between 210 and 212 F or 100 C. The thermometer should be accurate to both. If it's not, then your actual display temps will be off. Being accurate on one temp is not enough, it needs to be accurate on two temps to be accurate across its measuring range.
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 18:07
  • The proposed duplicate (also linked to by Debbie M.) happens to have an answer which answers this question, but I don't think they're really the same question.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


When taking the temperature of a thinner steak, I pick the steak up with a set of tongs and insert the thermometer into its side. Aim to position the tip of the probe in the coolest part of the steak - probably the center and away from the bone, if it has one.

Your goal is to find the coolest temperature inside the steak.

  • Ah, nice technique, got it. Hope it works, will see soon :)
    – Ska
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:15

The easiest answer, honestly, is to get a thermometer that doesn't have to be fully inserted. Some do require that, but many only need the very tip in, so you don't have to worry about anything besides making sure that the tip is in the center of the meat.

If that's not an option, though, Matt's answer is the best you can do.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.