How To Calibrate A Meat Thermometer? Digital & Analog

Outdoor cooking, especially cooking meat for a gathering in your backyard, requires a trustworthy thermometer to achieve better results in the end. But how will you know if the reading your meat thermometer is exhibiting is accurate or not? The answer is by calibrating the thermometer. 

Do you know how to calibrate a meat thermometer? If not, then nothing to worry about, as it is complex as it sounds. With a little bit of practice will be able to master this art. This post will help you calibrate your food thermometer with any mess, so stay with us.


Types Of Meat Thermometers

Meat thermometers are used to determine the internal temperature of the meat. Knowing how to use a meat thermometer is crucial since it can make or break your cooking experience. A meat thermometer can be either analog or digital. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand their differences before purchasing one.

Analog Meat Thermometer

An analog meat thermometer is a simple device that you can use to determine the temperature of an item of meat. It has a bulbous end inserted into the meat and an indicator dial on the side to indicate the proper internal temperature. These devices are easily available in most local stores and come with instructions that will help you use them properly.

Digital Meat Thermometers

Digital Meat Thermometer is more precise than their analog counterparts as they have an internal sensor for measuring the temperature inside the meat. It helps you avoid overcooking or undercooking your food, ensuring it reaches its optimal serving temperature at all times. Aside from this, it has a display screen where you can see the current temperature reading and also view it over time.

How To Calibrate A Meat Thermometer With Ice?

To calibrate the meat thermometer, you will need ice, a water bath, and a spoon.

  • Pour 2 inches of water into a large bowl or measuring cup.
  • Add 1 inch of ice cubes to the water. If using ice cubes, stir them in until they are fully melted. If using frozen cubes, add them directly to the water.
  • Place the meat thermometer in the bottom of your bowl or measuring cup and submerge it entirely in the water for 10 seconds (make sure it does not touch the sides of your bowl).
  • Remove the meat thermometer and allow it to sit on its own for 10 minutes before checking again.

How To Calibrate The Meat Thermometer Without Ice?

The following steps will help you calibrate the meat thermometer with the boiled water method:

  • Place the kettle on your stovetop and fill it with water.
  • Turn the meat thermometer’s temperature dial to its highest setting, which is 200°F (93°C).
  • Boil the water for at least 10 minutes until it reaches a rolling boil.
  • Remove the kettle from the stovetop and immediately submerge the meat thermometer into the boiling water for 30 seconds (if necessary, you can do this in two batches).
  • Remove your meat thermometer from the boiling water and wait 5 minutes before using it again to ensure its temperature has stabilized.

What To Do If The Meat Thermometer Is Calibrated Wrong?

If your meat thermometer is calibrating false, it indicates that the temperature on display should be more accurate. It can happen because of several reasons. Some of these include:

  • The probe is dirty or contaminated with bacteria or other substances, affecting the thermometer’s accuracy. Cleaning the probe, using a new one, and rechecking will ensure you get an accurate reading from your thermometer.
  • The thermometer may have been dropped or mishandled in some way. You may have tried to hold onto your meat thermometer when cooking and dropped it, causing it to become damaged or broken. Check for signs of damage immediately after dropping the thermometer and replace it if needed.

You are using a cheap thermometer that has been made cheaply so it cannot read accurately at all times. These types of thermometers only sometimes give you accurate readings. Moreover, they can sometimes be off by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit or more, causing you to overcook certain foods further than necessary.

Final Words 

To get the best thing possible, you need to calibrate your thermometer with a wet-bulb thermometer. Using the thermometer once will help you determine if it is accurate or not, and you will be able to correct it using a wet-bulb thermometer. The above is the easy steps for meat thermometer calibration.

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