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Digital meat thermometer question

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm smoking this weekend and I just checked to see if my thermometer is callibrated right but it's off by 13 degrees in boiling water and in ice water ifs off by 5 degrees. Do I just add 13 degrees to what it reads or what to make sure it's showing the right temp.
post #2 of 13

What thermometer do you have? Barometric pressure and altitude can throw it off too.

post #3 of 13
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I live in South Denver and I have a Maverick BB-22 Professional Programmable Remote Digital Cooking Thermometer
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kboss714 View Post

I live in South Denver and I have a Maverick BB-22 Professional Programmable Remote Digital Cooking Thermometer

check out that calculator. You might be closer than you thought.

post #6 of 13

Just a suggestion,   Don't rely totally on your thermometers Get to know how the meat feels and looks. This takes some time but after a while it is second nature. The only time I use a thermometer to check my briskets and butts is when I am posting a thread. Now in saying that I have been smoking for over 40 years and have done more than I can remember. When I first started out I didn't even have a temp gauge on my smoker. I do now and have several instant reads. I usually check poultry and now that I started curing and making sausage I check the IT temps.  But as to do more and more you will see what I mean

 

Gary

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kboss714 View Post

I'm smoking this weekend and I just checked to see if my thermometer is callibrated right but it's off by 13 degrees in boiling water and in ice water ifs off by 5 degrees. Do I just add 13 degrees to what it reads or what to make sure it's showing the right temp.


What temp. are you getting on your therm?  I plugged in 5,200 ft. in the calculator and got 202*F.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I get 199.7 when I do boiling water
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kboss714 View Post

I get 199.7 when I do boiling water

There you go. That mav is 3 degrees off or so which is normal. If you do the calculator link I provided and punch in your barometric pressure right now and altitude you can get the exact boiling point of water right now.

post #10 of 13

Yep, altitude for boiling water is everything.  My wife makes candy and two degrees makes a big difference.  Here in Wisconsin we're lowland, just over 900 feet above sea level, but water boils here at 210.  She has to adjust by 2 degrees when making candy.  Funny part is meat temp is meat temp, not affected by altitude.  Same with air .......

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by frog1369 View Post

Yep, altitude for boiling water is everything.  My wife makes candy and two degrees makes a big difference.  Here in Wisconsin we're lowland, just over 900 feet above sea level, but water boils here at 210.  She has to adjust by 2 degrees when making candy.  Funny part is meat temp is meat temp, not affected by altitude.  Same with air .......
exactly. Heat or the lack of it is measured by any therm. Its validity and reliability is dependant on the ice water test and the variables we plug into the boiling water equation. We occasionally test our therms to see how reliable they are. If it's off in the high single digits, to me it's no longer a valid tool to measure heat.
Kurt
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gary s View Post
 

Just a suggestion,   Don't rely totally on your thermometers Get to know how the meat feels and looks. This takes some time but after a while it is second nature. The only time I use a thermometer to check my briskets and butts is when I am posting a thread. Now in saying that I have been smoking for over 40 years and have done more than I can remember. When I first started out I didn't even have a temp gauge on my smoker. I do now and have several instant reads. I usually check poultry and now that I started curing and making sausage I check the IT temps.  But as to do more and more you will see what I mean

 

Gary

When you mentioned looking and feeling the meat, I knew you were an old timer as far as smoking and grilling are concerned. I listen to a guy who's been smoking for over 40 years because you guys know what you're talking about. I never developed that talent. Steven Raichlen preaches the touch test as do a few others. By relying on sight and touch I've overcooked a lot of meat (since I tend to be too safe) which is why I rely on therms and probes. 

 

I can eyeball burgers and hot dogs but that's it. For pork ribs I go by time but that also leads to overcooking because I can't stick a probe in the meat. For briskets and the one turkey breast I've smoked (so far) the therm probes enabled me to produce perfection in smoked meat and poultry. Curing and making sausage is on my someday to-do list as is pork butt. I've slow cooked plenty a pork shoulder but haven't smoked any yet.

post #13 of 13

I understand completely. Checking the temp to get it right is the right thing to do. Just saying pay attention to looks and touch and eventually you won't be checking the temp near as much.

Sometimes I forget  that others, especially newbies haven't smoked hundreds of briskets, butts and other stuff.

 

Gary

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