Last Updated on 1 year by admin
Several industries and jobs depend on a temperature probe for achieving the best results. A temperature probe is a handy tool for ensuring you are serving perfectly cooked meat in a hotel or restaurant kitchen. A chef might need to check the correct temperature of an item being cooked before proceeding to the next stage. If the probe doesn’t give an accurate reading, the chef may end up with a poorly cooked meal. Hence it is crucial to ensure that the temperature probe is working correctly and is giving an accurate reading.
Usually, the thermometer can be off by a few degrees (or more!). Surprisingly, drift, or thermometers losing accuracy, is so common in industries that most companies recommend calibrating thermometers. The calibration frequency can be yearly, weekly, or even daily with every use. However, a lot depends on the type of thermometers as well. See the many different types at RS Components.
It is prudent to check your thermometers at least a few times a year to make sure they are safe and working correctly. Whenever you get a new one, you should definitely test and calibrate it. Luckily, it’s very easy to check if your thermometer is working correctly or not. All you need is a glass of ice water and three minutes of your time.
The ice water test
To do this test, you should fill a large glass or measuring cup with ice and pour cold water over it. Stir the water well and stick your thermometer into the centre of the glass. Make sure that the tip of the probe is submerged by about two inches. Hold it in that position for about a minute, all the while making sure it stays in the centre, and then check the temperature. The thermometer should read 32°F or 0°C, which is the freezing point of water.
If your thermometer is not working correctly, you must fix it as soon as possible. Depending on the type of thermometer, you can fix it. Some digital thermometers have a reset button that allows you to recalibrate them, and the user manual will tell you exactly how to reset and calibrate them. Manual thermometers, on the other hand, have a calibration dial. You have to turn this dial until the thermometer reads 32°F when inserted into the ice bath.
If you cannot fix the problem yourself, and if the reading is off by more than 2°, you should contact the manufacturer to see if you can send it for a replacement or repair. Or, if you are unable to do that, you can make do with your faulty thermometer by noting how many degrees off it reads and making the adjustment to your reading. You can write it down and tape it to the thermometer so you remember to always add (or subtract, as the case may be) the number of degrees off from the actual reading you get from the thermometer.
However, that is a stop-gap arrangement only and should not be ideally used every time you use your thermometer. It is always safe and easy to use an accurate temperature probe. If the reading is off by even the most minor numbers, it can lead to a disastrous result. So, you should always make sure your temperature probe is working correctly, and if not, recalibrate or replace it at the earliest.