Thermometers are a necessity in any commercial kitchen. A myriad of things can go wrong without a thermometer. The only thing worse than not having a thermometer is having one that is not calibrated correctly. Thermometers lose their accuracy over time and use. Even if your thermometer is only a few degrees off, then you’re running the risk of health problems, over cooked food, and overall calamity in a commercial kitchen; all this can be easily avoided by simply recalibrating your thermometer.
There are a couple of ways to check and see if your thermometer needs to be calibrated. The freezing point method is considered the best way to test this. To check it using this method, fill an insulated glass with crushed ice and add a little water. Let the thermometer sit for five minutes and then insert the most sensitive part of the thermometer into the cup. Make sure the thermometer is in the middle of the glass and at least one inch from the sides, bottom, and top of the glass. Hold the thermometer there for 30 seconds or if it’s a digital thermometer wait to hear a beep. Your thermometer should be reading 32ºF after thirty seconds. If this isn’t the case, then you need to recalibrate your thermometer.
The other way to check the calibration of your thermometer is the boiling point test. You start by boiling six inches of water. Once the water has reached a boil, stick the sensor part of the thermometer into the middle of the water, taking care to keep it at least two inches from the sides, top, and bottom. After 30 seconds, the thermometer should read 212ºF. If this isn’t the case, then your thermometer needs to be recalibrated.
Dial thermometers, like the Taylor Precision 6081J5 , have a tiny screw or nut that adjusts the dial to the correct temperature. To calibrate this type of thermometer, turn the adjuster until the dial reads the correct temperature according to the method you’re using to calibrate.
Digital thermometers, like the Taylor Precision 9848FDA , have a reset button. Push that button when you’re at either of the aforementioned temperature points and your thermometer is ready to go.
It’s best to plan a regular schedule in your commercial kitchen in order to ensure the calibration is done correctly. Also, you need to keep in mind that the boiling point temperatures change by elevation. We have a great selection of digital and dial thermometers from Taylor Precision and CDN/ Component Design Northwest here at J.E.S. Restaurant Equipment.
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