Yesterday I tried my first-ever pork tenderloin. Read directions is what my mother always taught me. This is a tale of how I ignored that sound advice and almost ruined a great dinner.
Plastic meat thermometer after misadventure
After buying a lovely piece of meat and researching various cooking methods and marinades, I settled on my cooking “plan of action.” Being an experienced cook, I felt comfortable merging two recipes; I used the marinade from one recipe and a cooking method from another. Comfortable perhaps, but in retrospect a more accurate description might be a tad overconfident.
I even figured out that pork must be cooked to a safe “internal” temperature. I took out a meat thermometer, stuck it into the tenderloin at just the right spot and put the meat into the oven. My mom had given me an old fashioned meat thermometer, but I couldn’t find that one. Instead, I used the new, fancy one I bought last year for Thanksgiving but never used.
Being naturally impatient, I looked into the oven a few minutes later. Lo and behold, the plastic thermometer was melting! Springing into emergency mode, I pulled the pan out of the oven, retrieved the melting object and began a tirade worthy of a sailor. My ever-calm better half, pulled the thermometer directions and started reading them to me with just a hint of a smile.
Duh! Right on the case of thermometer.
Luckily, I had another thermometer, and the first one hadn’t melted onto the meat. We went on to have a lovely dinner – so lovely that I forgot to take a picture. But I haven’t forgotten the lesson – at least not yet. Next time I take out a new gadget, I’ll read the directions.