Three brightly colored MK4’s will arrive tomorrow. Seems like it’s a popular model for cars—Toyota and Volkswagon Jetta—and for the game Mortal Kombat, but these MK4’s are digital kitchen thermometers with a probe that swings out. Think Swiss army knife, but bigger. Chefs and cooks and food writers, and others in the culinary business, prefer to judge food’s doneness not by the clock but by its internal temperature.
So I contacted ThermoWorks, a company that makes the Cadillac of kitchen thermometers. I explained our Syrian refugee supper club project and the subsequent catering that Rokan and Rokhash will be certified to do. Carston Shields, in customer care, emailed back.
“Thank you very much for reaching out and inviting ThermoWorks to participate in this great cause. We would be happy to donate 2 Thermapen Mk4s. Please reply confirming the preferred colors, as well as the shipping address.” Wow! The kindness of strangers runs deep.
“Red and yellow, and thank you for your generosity!” This thermometer takes an instant-read in about three seconds. Other “instant-read” ones take 20-30 seconds. It’s like comparing an aged Spanish Manchego to Kraft singles. The MK4 is quick, it is accurate, it has a backlight, fits in your pocket, and it’s waterproof. Which is why I added a third one, blue, to the order, for the deep discount Shields offered.
Will it change Rokan and Rokhash’s life. Probably not. Getting out of Syria took care of that. But since their future here is grounded in cooking, good equipment is key.
These colors—red, yellow, and blue—serve a greater purpose. Red is for raw meat; yellow is for poultry; blue for seafood. WHAT??? Says who?
There is a color-coding system certified by the National Science Foundation that cuts down cross-contamination in the kitchen. As well, there are cutting mats that are color-coded so that raw poultry (yellow mat) for a chicken Caesar salad isn’t cut on the same mat as the leaves of Romaine. That one’s green, for vegetables and fruits. Our angel Laura Horn ordered a couple of cutting boards with the different colored mats tucked inside.
While their cooking might add a fine spin on traditional Syrian food (more on that in another blog), we’re starting to build an impressively commercial line of tools, the ones that’ve entered the American mainstream.