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Thermometer Calibration

BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
edited 10:08AM in EggHead Forum
Don't know if I'm treading on travelled ground or not with this one, but here goes: Many have posted about calibrating and re-calibrating of dome thermometer. Easy enough with a pot of boiling water, consistent boiling point etc. Now, what if I'm suspicious that meat thermometer is acting a bit wonky? It only runs from 140-190 F. What standard can I use to calibrate against with a meat thermometer of that range? The problem arises from too many helpful hands in the kitchen. I invite friends and family over for que, and they are so thankful for the feed that they insist on doing dishes, including the 'Do not immerse in water' meat thermometer! They're only 6 or 7 bucks to replace, but is there a way to see if a meat thermometer is off a bit due to contact with moisture, or if it was unaffected?


  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    Get a new one. Then hide it when they want to do the dishes and clean up for you.

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    BBQfan1,[p]JJ has good advice, but to add along with his advice - You might try applying a small bead of clear high temp silicone where the glass and metal meet. Reg silicone would work but high temp would be even better. It may not totally solve the problem but it might slow down your buying new ones as often.[p]I also did that with the old dome thermometers. No need with the new plastic lens ones. [p]Tim
  • BBQfan1,
    Keep a calibrated thermometer stashed away (like you said, they're only $7). WHen you have doubts about the one you're using, allow a pan of boiling water to cool to 190 (using the one you keep stashed away for calibration) stick the one in question in the water with the first one and watch it as it cools to 140 and compare it to the known good thermometer.[p]grant

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Tim M, Well, so far I've heard from two of the sharpest and most knowledgeable minds on this forum, and bottom line, sounds like I'm due for some thermometer shopping:)
    I guess it is the not knowing if the thermometer is actually pooched or not that has me asking the question. Doesn't sound like there is a true 'test' that I can put current thermometer through to determine if it is still reading properly or not; is that correct? After all, unlike the dome thermometer, an error margin of +- 10 degrees can make or break a particular cook, i.e. a med-rare steak! Any brand(s)that you've found work well and won't break the bank? Maybe if I 'invest' in a quality unit, I'll be more apt to take JJ's advise and hide it once it has served its purpose.
    ps--Gettin' a real hankerin' for some Capt. Billy's!!

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    BBQfan1,[p]Capt'n Billy's is looking for you too!!! If you check the Eggfest2001 website ( you will see that Capt'n Billy's is again on the schedual and for $25 a person -- what a deal (as you know). That was a real treat last year! I wish I had taken my camera. I will this year!!! That may be a warning to many of you![p]If you have a good thermometer that you trust, then just slowly bring up the water temp with both in it and compare the one you trust to the other. [p]Tim[p]
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Grant Baxter,[p]Gee, I wish I had read your post before I said the same thing an hour later in my post. [p]Tim
  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Tim M, I got more than my money's worth last year; this sounds like an even better deal! Not sure about Denise's $25 cheeseburger, though.:)
    Thanks for the thermometer tip; no sense being chintsy about an essential piece of equipment, so I'll get another for cross-reference purposes.

  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    <p />BBQfan1,[p]I can recommend the inexpensive Taylor digital thermometer ($10) to use as your cross reference yardstick.[p]Here it is as compared to a relatively pricey lab reference thermocouple in water that is not quite boiling.[p]K~G

  • Tim M,[p]This was the wrong thing to post!<grin> What you should have posted was "Hey, great minds think alike!"<G>[p]grant[p]
  • Tim M,[p]An aside - There were "grins" in the message that I posted to you. They didn't appear in my reply. Any idea why not?[p]grant

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