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Thermometer calibration

edited 2:56AM in EggHead Forum
The Egg manual and some forum messages suggest calibrating the thermometer by inserting it in boiling water and checking that it's at 212. Suppose you're at a high altitude (I'm at 7000') or you want to know if the device is accurate at 500 deg. What do you do? Fear not, Egger, there is a better way...[p]Put an accurate oven thermometer on the grill and heat the Egg to close to the maximum temperature of the oven thermometer. Close the top and bottom vents, and check that the Egg thermometer and the oven thermometer read the same at several different temperatures as it cools. I have found that my thermometer is most accurate at 350 deg., but varies as much as 20 deg. from the oven thermometer at other temperatures. As an example, at 250 deg, my Egg thermometer displays 240.[p]Jim


  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Jim Benenson,
    I'm down the river from you, and just at about 5,280ft. I think that no matter where you are "at altitude", there has got to be some formula for allowing in the incremental differences above sea level. One of more tech-proficient Cooks will be sure to have the magic for those of us in the Mountain West!! Big Murth

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Jim Benenson,[p]Yours would read 209 or thereabouts rather than 212 --- BUT you can't adjust it that close anyway so aim for 210 and you are close enough.[p]Tim
  • Big Murth,[p]I'm actually away from the river -- in the southeast part of SF. We live on an arroyo that almost overflowed its banks when the big rains came a few weeks ago. Since our yard faces west, I can watch the sunsets when I'm grilling, as well as the scrub jays and canyon towhees that come to our feeders. [p]I'm not concerned about exact temperature since charcoal cooking is a dynamic process, but I posted the information as a better way to check the Egg thermometer throughout its entire range instead of just at the boiling point. (Who cooks at 212 deg anyway? I don't.) [p]Personally, I "connect" to the fire and what I'm cooking, i.e., I become a part of the process so I have a feeling for what temperature is right for the food I'm cooking and when the cooking process has finished. It's more fun that way, more artful, more Zen.[p]Jim

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Jim Benenson,[p]Whew, never really thought of cooking as being that much of a "soulful" exercise as you describe it but it kind of hit a thread with me.[p]I use the thermometer on the dome to guage the approximate temperature and once the desired temp is reached, its really just a dial to me to let me know if the temp is rising, falling, or steady. Don't get me wrong, I do like it to be close and I do calibrate it once in awhile, but I'm not retentative about it.[p]I own a meat thermometer as well but if you ask me I'd having a hard time putting my hands on it right now (and thats not because I'm typing this at work either). I just dont use the things.[p]I know what you mean about getting into the "process" of the cook, I enjoy that also. Look and feel and smell mean a LOT more to me during a cook than does the temperature of what I'm cooking. Been doing it that way for years and no problems yet.[p]Have a great one.[p]Troy - aka "Zen Cooker" #2
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    sprinter,[p]retentative?[p]a few extra letters in that one, sorry about the extrea AT[p]Troy
  • ZipZip Posts: 372
    Jim Benenson,[p]see the link below.

    [ul][li]Click Here![/ul]
  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    Zip,[p]Which way did they go - who was that masked man, etc.[p]Jethro
  • sprinter,[p]I've been trying to think of a "handle" for this forum, so I guess I'll be Zen Cooker #1 from now on. It sounds vague and mysterious, no?[p]Jim

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Jim Benenson,
    you want to make sure you dont let it touch the sides or the bottom of the pan when you`re checking it..keep it in the center or as close as possible...the others have posted on how to compensate for altitude...[p]Wess

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Zen Cooker #1,[p]Pretty awesome moniker, glad to be able to help with the inspiration.[p]Troy
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Jim Benenson, your on target for the more experienced cook. Thermometers are needed to find the cooking zones and once one becomes adept at it, one can leave the thermometers in the closet. But that is not for everyone, and thermometer safety in food preparations is foremost. I enjoyed your approach.
    Cheers for the sunsets..

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