Tip of the Day
Give Your Food Thermometer a Check Up
Your food thermometer might be the most used kitchen tool this time of year when everyone has their grills fired up, making it the perfect time to check the accuracy of it.
There are two easy methods to check the accuracy of a food thermometer.
- Ice Water Method: fill a large glass with finely crushed ice, pour clean tap water on top of the ice and stir well. Dip the food thermometer stem two inches into the glass of ice water without touching the bottom or the sides of the glass. Wait 30 seconds to see if the thermometer reads 32° F.
- Boiling Water Method: in a deep pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Dip the thermometer stem two inches into the boiling water without touching the bottom. Wait for 30 seconds and the thermometer should read 212° F.
If the temperature does not read 32° F using the ice water method and 212 °F for the boiling water method, adjust the temperature by turning the calibration nut just under the head of the thermometer until the pointer reads the correct temperature or follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you own a digital thermometer, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some thermometers cannot be calibrated – check the manufacturer's instructions.
Visit HomeFoodSafety.org for more information on the importance of using a food thermometer to ensure the doneness of foods, instructions on properly using a food thermometer and a list of safe internal temperatures.
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Reviewed May 2013