The usual hard knocks of kitchen work can make an inaccurate analogical instant reading thermometer over time. Make sure your trusted thermometer is showing the right temperature.
How to calibrate a meat thermometer
- Bring a small pot of water to boil.
- Fill a short glass with water and plenty of ice.
- Remove the thermometer from its plastic protector and place it in the boiling water.
- If not read at 212 ° F (100 ° C), turn the nut behind the face with fine-nosed pliers. Only small adjustments are required; check again, as necessary.
- Place the thermometer in the ice water.
- If 32 ° F (0 ° C) is not read, tighten the nut. Once it has been calibrated correctly, the thermometer will display the correct temperature for both boiling and ice water.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid dropping or hitting your thermometer against a hard surface
How to recalibrate a meat thermometer
Precise meat temperature is important for everyone whether professional or amateur cooking at home to avoid overcooking or diseases caused by poorly cooked food. To ensure that each piece of meat is cooked at the right temperature, the chefs can use a meat thermometer. Meat thermometers should be calibrated periodically – up to date if used to a large extent – to ensure that they are recording the correct temperature, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. There are two methods to calibrate meat thermometers: the ice value method and the boiling point method. Both methods are easy to perform with precision.
Ice temperature method
- Fill the glass with crushed ice and water.
- Immerse the meat thermometer in the ice water.
- Check that the thermometer shows 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If the temperature needs to be adjusted, “tighten the nut on the back of the thermometer” with needle-nose pliers.
- Measure the temperature again after making adjustments to make sure it reads 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boiling point method
- Put the water to boil in the pot.
- Immerse the thermometer in the boiling water.
- Check that the temperature reads 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If the thermometer needs to be adjusted, turn the nut on the back of the thermometer with needle-nose pliers.
- Measure the temperature again after making adjustments to make sure it reads 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips and warnings
- Do not let the thermometer touch the sides of the cup or container. This can affect the reading of the temperature.
- Measure the water temperature, while the thermometer is still in the water to get a more accurate reading.
- Thermometers should be calibrated when purchased first to ensure they are read correctly.
- Be sure to submerge most of the thermometer in the water to get an accurate reading.
- “The boiling point of the water decreases as the altitude increases,” according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Straighthealth.com has a graph that represents boiling temperatures at different elevations. This is a reference tool and easy to read for chefs living in extreme altitudes.