When you’re barbecuing large joints of meat and birds like chicken and turkey it’s not always easy to decide about when they are cooked well-enough to eat. If you barbecue for too long over-cooking can result in dry and unappetizing meat, but if you don’t cook for long enough there’s always a chance that dangerous bacteria (such as Salmonella and E. coli) which are often present in the raw meat will not have been eliminated by cooking and could cause illness. Cutting and piercing a large piece of meat to check on how well its cooked can be “hit and miss” because using this method it’s not easy to judge when to stop cooking if you want your lamb or beef rare or medium-rare or your duck pink. There’s always a worry that you might not have cooked it long enough to be safe. But there’s a way round these problems – use a barbecue meat thermometer. Meat thermometers have been around since the days of the Victorians, but with reliable modern ovens they aren’t used as much as they used to be.