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Checking your thermometers!

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by Sowsage, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Sowsage

    Sowsage Meat Mopper

    So tonight i had a few thermometers i wanted to check because they have been around for a while and i do use them time to time for a quick check of things. But what i found was crazy! They were way off. More than i would have expected for sure. I had poached some brats to prep for the grill and i though to myself ....".man there is a little fat hanging out in my poaching water". I was using a thermometer that has a clip to hold on the side of the pot . Thats when it dawned on me that maybe i should check its accuracy. I placed two thermometers in the pot and also the digital one i use most of the time. They all read different. I braught the pot to boiling and inserted all three again. Only the digital one was close. The others read way lower. 20191009_203846.jpg

    So its not a great pic but you can see one is at about 169 another at 172ish and the digital one is the closest at 210. So for any newbies out there this is really important. If i was using these my food would have been extremely over cooked! But the reason i posted this in the food safety section is because a thermometer can be off one direction but also the other direction. Just imagine....you have a few guests over and throw a few chickin breasts on the grill. You check the temp and you think your good to go and serve it up. Your guests are cuting little pieces off for there little ones and they are gobbling it up. And all this time you have no idea that you were 15° below a safe temp. Maybe nobody gets sick but maybe they do. Just a litle something to think about.
  2. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Very true... for this reason that's why I express that people by a quality thermometer.. not the cheap box store ones... and ALWAYS calibrate them in boiling water AND in ice water (crushed ice with just enough water to float the ice) ...
    Sowsage and pc farmer like this.
  3. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've seen that at room temperature. Three digital thermometers next to each other, giving three different readings.

    Recently my main thermometer failed, so I got the spare out of the basement where it's always 73 degrees. I brought it upstairs where it was also 73 degrees. I heated a mug of water and that was 73 degrees. I put the probe in the freezer and it was 73 degrees. Then I put it in the trash - and it was 73 degrees in there, too.
  4. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's funny.
  5. Sowsage

    Sowsage Meat Mopper

    Yes good point! Ice water and boiling water! I cant get over how far off some thermometers are right out of the box.
  6. eddiememphis

    eddiememphis Fire Starter

    In the restaurant business, a good manager will have his cooks calibrate their thermometers every shift. Glass full of ice, top it off with cold water and stir until the temperature settles. Should read 32°. We didn't use boiling water since at altitude, it boils cooler, 203° to 208°, depending on where you are. The ice water method is easier.