Different Ways to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer by Type

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Last updatedLast updated: September 11, 2021
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It is good practice to recalibrate – or reset – your meat thermometer Trusted Source The National Bureau of Standards’ was established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1901. The
f Bureau’s overall goal is to strengthen and advance the nation’s science and technology and facilitate their effective application for public benefit.
www.govinfo.gov
every now and then. This will prevent inaccurate temperature readings. This is a great action to take so you can avoid having undercooked food.

The proper calibration can help you stay away from food and cooking safety issues. Keeping your meat thermometer in top shape can contribute to many benefits in your life. It can even help you get a Department of Health earning score if it is used in a restaurant environment or grill house.

In this article, we’ll tell you just how to calibrate a meat thermometer and also how to test its accuracy.

How to test your thermometer accuracy?

Testing the accuracy of your thermometer is very simple and straightforward. In a four-step procedure, we’ll tell you how to check the accuracy of a thermometer using what is called the zero point.

  • Step 1: Make ice with distilled or demineralized water (tap water contains elements that distort the analysis)
  • Step 2: Put the ice cubes in a container
  • Step 3: Let it melt partially
  • Step 4: Take the temperature of the water. If the thermometer is accurate, the temperature of the melting ice should be ± 0.5 ° C or 32 ° F.

Different ways to calibrate your meat thermometer

There are two methods for calibrating meat thermometers. These include the ice water method and the boiling point method.

How to calibrate a meat thermometer in ice water

Different Ways to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer by Type

This calibration method consists of immersing the stem of the thermometer in ice water. To use this method, follow the procedure below:

  • Step 1: Fill a large container with crushed ice.
  • Step 2: Add clean cold water from the tap until it covers the ice and shake the mixture well.
  • Step 3: Dip the stem of the thermometer into the mixture to a minimum depth of 2 inches (5.1 cm).
  • Step 4: Do not let the stem or probe touch the sides or bottom of the container.
  • Step 5: Wait at least 30 seconds before calibrating. It can be placed through the pocket pouch or protective sleeve and plunged into icy water, holding the sleeve horizontally.
  • Step 6: Without removing the dipstick from the ice, set the thermometer with the calibration tool in the case to 0ºC (32ºF).
  • Step 7: Afterwards, let the thermometer measure the room temperature.

How to calibrate a meat thermometer with boiling water

This calibration method consists of immersing the stem of the thermometer in boiling water. Continue reading to find out!

  • Step 1: For this method, heat clean tap water in a container until it reaches the boiling point.
  • Step 2: Immerse the stem to a minimum depth of 2 inches (5 cm) and wait at least 30 seconds. It can be placed through the protective sleeve and into the boiling water, holding the sleeve horizontally.
  • Step 3: Without removing the stem from the container, hold the calibration nut with the hex wrench and turn it until it reads 212ºF (100ºC).
  • Step 4: For maximum precision, distilled water and a pressure of 1 atmosphere (29.92 inches, equivalent to 760 mm of mercury) should be used.

Calibrating a meat thermometer by type

You have to keep in mind that there are two types of thermometers in general. These are the analog or dial and the digital thermometer.

How to calibrate a dial meat thermometer

Here, we will try to calibrate a meat thermometer using the cold water method.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Fill a cup with crushed ice.
  • Step 2: Place the thermometer in the cup. Leave it for two minutes.
  • Step 3: For the most accurate reading, use tweezers or another tool to hold the thermometer. Using your hands or allowing the thermometer to rest on the side of the cup can make the reading less accurate.
  • Step 4: Check the temperature. If it doesn’t read 32 degrees Fahrenheit, use the slide on the thermometer’s bottom face to adjust the temperature to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to calibrate a digital meat thermometer

Different Ways to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer by Type

For the digital thermometer, we’ll use the boiling water method.

  • Step 1: Bring a deep pot of water to a boiling point.
  • Step 2: Remove the thermometer from its sleeve. Slide the thermometer rod through the metal loop at the top of the liner clip. This will protect your hand from boiling water while you test and recalibrate your thermometer.
  • Step 3: Insert the rod thermometer into boiling water while holding the other end of the sheath. Keep the thermometer upright. The thermometer should register at 212 degrees Fahrenheit – the boiling point of water at sea level. (The boiling point decreases by about one degree for every 500 feet of elevation, so adjust by result).
  • Step 4: You can easily recalibrate the thermometer if you get an inaccurate reading while it is still in the water. Some digital models have a reset button that needs to be pushed to recalibrate the setting. Others now require the on/off button for a few seconds to activate recalibration mode.

An example of this type is the ThermoPro TP20 Digital Food Meat Thermometer. This meat thermometer comes with a dual probe and is ideal for use in a smoker, grill, or BBQ.

Alternatively, the Weber 7204 iGrill 3 Grill Thermometer is also a great electronic model that is easy to recalibrate. You only need to connect it to an app on your smartphone for temperature reading and calibration.

Final thoughts

Several conditions can cause a meat thermometer to read the wrong temperature, including simply hitting the thermometer. To ensure accuracy, you will need to calibrate your thermometer at least once a day, when using it after it has been stored for a few days.

We’ve shown you how to calibrate a meat thermometer and we hope you can practice this on your own. Remember to always recalibrate your instant-read thermometer if it has been dropped or is experiencing extreme temperatures. If you are using an instant-read digital thermometer, change the batteries regularly.

References

1.
The National Bureau of Standards’ was established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1901. The
f Bureau’s overall goal is to strengthen and advance the nation’s science and technology and facilitate their effective application for public benefit.
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