Calibrating A Kitchen Thermometer

LeGourmetTV's picture

Jan. 10, 2018

Were ready for al the comments about needing three temperature calibration points to accurately test and calibrate a digital thermometer
The reality is that most home cooks dont have the equipment or means to accurately create the other two test temperatures, but a properly made ice bath is something that can be created and accurately reproduced in the home or restaurant kitchen, without specialised testing equipment.
An ice bath can be the most important test temperature because the most common error produced by electronic temp sensors is a shift in value seen during an ice bath test. If you calibrate your digital thermometer in an ice bath at home, and the thermometer continues to read successfully in an ice bath in subsequent tests, then you can rest assured that it most likely reads accurately at other temperatures within its range.
Steps to create an ice bath:
An Ice bath is NOT just a glass of ice water. You need an adequate ice to water ratio.
Its true that atmospheric pressure will change the ice point, but most of us live at pressures where this effect is negligible.
1) Crush the ice - smaller chunks are definitely better, ice chips are best.
2) Fill your cup or jug with the crushed ice.
3) Pour in cold water - just enough to cover the ice, but not enough that the ice starts to float.
4) Stir the ice and water to get an even temperature.
5) set the temp probe into the middle of the ice bath and move the probe around before taking a reading.
Tips:
- Any water below the ice will not be the right temp, so it is super important that the ice not be floating above the bottom of the container.
- Keep the probe / sensor in the middle of the ice bath.
- Stir the probe to make an accurate reading.
- Move quickly.
- Buy an accurate quality thermometer