Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thermometers. Keep them Calibrated!

What is Calibrating a Thermometer? Pretty much you are testing the thermometer to make sure it is reading the right temperatures, and then setting it to the right one. A couple things to keep in mind; boiling point of water is 212* Fahrenheit or 100* Celsius, and the freezing point of water is 32* Fahrenheit or 0* Celsius. Once you have these very important numbers in your head you are ready to check any thermometer to make sure they are on temp!

I prefer to use a thermometer that has the numbers listed on top and turns. The nice thing about these thermometers are they are easy to clean and easy to calibrate. Anytime you drop your thermometer it needs to be re calibrated. I suggest just checking the temp to ice water or boiling water before you use it. Some people get very worried about their internal temperature of meat, and from personal experience always checking poultry temps is a good habit to get into.

To calibrate a thermometer first you are going to want to boil water or prepare a cup of ice and add cold water to it. Then you are going to stick the thermometer into whichever method of water being sure not to touch the end of the thermometer to the pan or cup. If you do touch the tip to the bottom of the pan or cup you will get a wrong reading. The bottom of the cup or pan are always going to be hotter or colder than the boiling or freezing temp. Once the dial on the thermometer stops moving you want to turn the top to match the right temperature up with the dial. (232* or 32*)

Any time you drop your thermometer, have it in a cool or hot place for an extended amount of time, or if anything "out of the ordinary" you need to calibrate it. Having the temperature off could mean a dose of food poisoning for friends and family. Keep it smart and healthy by always having a thermometer handy for pork and chicken. (Pink pork is okay though many people think and say otherwise) A properly calibrated thermometer is a tool that every person cooking should have!

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