How to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer the Right Way [5 steps process]


Most food connoisseurs have begun to consider appliances such as meat thermometer as one of the quintessential kitchen accessories because of the predictability it allows. This brings us down to understand the basic principle and operation of the meat thermometer and the actions it requires for proper functioning. Don't worry about calibrate a meat thermometer. This article will guide you to do that.

Like regular thermometers, a meat thermometer allows you to measure your food's temperature in a matter of seconds, depending upon the type you use. This eliminates the element of surprise as you already know how it is going to taste. 

meat thermometers

Experts believe that the degree of doneness of the food has a much notable impact on the taste of the food than the spices itself. This puts most in a pickle since anticipating how much heat should be given to the meat is not entirely plausible. 

Meat thermometer comes as a revolution to the ways of cooking in this way as it allows you to control the doneness of the food. Since then, different kinds of meat thermometers have come into the scene, the aim of using them varying from type to type. However, the underlying functionality and principle remain the same.

What does it Mean to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer

Have you ever seen a clock slow down and show inaccurate time? What do you do when that happens? When a clock shows inaccurate time, we adjust the dial and get it to function at the proper time. This is what needs to be done with all thermometers too. 

Meat Thermometers can sometimes slow down and can give unreliable readings due to poor calibration or none at all. For proper functioning of thermometers, it is essential to calibrate them on a regular basis to ensure that the readings that are being displayed can be relied upon. The calibration is done with all kinds of thermometers, including a meat thermometer.

what is calibrate meat thermometer means

With meat thermometers, the task of ensuring the temperature is accurate. How can we know that the information rendered by the device is reliable or not? This can be done if the thermometer is regularly calibrated, and all the steps are undertaken that ensure its accuracy. 

As meat thermometers are either analog or digital, the calibration becomes easy, and uniformity prevails. This is unlike clinical thermometers that have unnumbered types, and some cannot be calibrated at all.

How to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer

The process of calibrating your meat thermometer is easy and quick. Before I illustrate the methods of calibrating meat thermometers, it should be noted that if your digital meat thermometer does not possess the reset button, it cannot be calibrated. 

Nevertheless, there are other ways as well to ensure the accuracy of the device without the due process of calibration.

The reset button is the key to calibration, which most digital thermometers possess these days. It is also recommended to read the device's instruction manual meticulously before learning the method of calibration.

Predominantly, there are two methods of calibrating meat thermometers to check accuracy and reliability. The extreme temperatures of melting point and boiling point are used to adjust the thermometer. It is essential to thoroughly fathom the procedure and follow the step accordingly. 

The Ice-Point Method


Step1 - Fill a Container

To calibrate the thermometer via this method, you need to fill a container or a glass with Ice-cold water to the rim.


Step 2 - Dip the Thermometer 

Choose a container with fair depth and immerse the thermometer's probe completely at the center of the container for at least two inches.


Step 3 - Maintain Thermometer Position

While submerging the probe, make sure the thermometer's stem does not touch the bottom or the sides of the container, which may hamper with the final observations.


Step 4 - Stir the Thermometer

Stir the thermometer gently and keep stirring until you notice the indicator being stabilized. The thermometer should be reading 0 degrees Celsius, which is the freezing point.


Step 5 - Rainfall

If the thermometer fails to indicate this temperature, press the reset button without taking the thermometer out of the container and make the due adjustments so that the thermometer indicates 0 degrees Celsius.

The Boiling-Point Method


Step1 - Fill a Container

Take a container with fair depth and boil distilled water. Keep it on the flame while undertaking the ensuing steps. 


Step 2 - Dip the Thermometer 

Immerse the probe of the thermometer in the center of the container in the boiling water.


Step 3 - Stir the Thermometer

Gently stir the thermometer. Ensure that the thermometer's stem does not make contact with the sides or the bottom of the surface; this may contaminate the calibration.


Step 4 - Calibration Success

Keep the probe submerged in the water until the indicator is stabilized. If the thermometer indicates a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, which is the boiling point, then your thermometer has been calibrated.


Step 5 - If Calibration Failed

If the temperature indicated by it is off by that number, press the reset button without taking the thermometer out of the container and make the due adjustment so that the thermometer indicates 100 degrees Celsius. 

If the steps mentioned above are followed meticulously, you will have yourself a perfectly calibrated thermometer that will give you precise and reliable readings in a matter of seconds.

Watch this Video for Better Understanding

Some Calibration Tips

  • In case the reset button, a prerequisite for calibration, is absent from the thermometer, contact its manufacturer or seller to gather information about how the device can be tested for accuracy. There are several ways to do so even without the presence of a reset button, which is common in digital thermometers nowadays.
  • Should you fail to carry out the steps properly, you can also get your thermometer calibrated from an expert at a small fee. Pay attention to each step undertaken by the expert, so the next time you would not need any assistance.


There, you have got yourself a perfectly calibrated meat thermometer. The thermometer needs to calibrated right after the purchase, before its debut, and there on out, calibration on a weekly basis is recommended. If weekly calibration is done without fail, the device will never fail you with false readings. I hope you found this article helpful and you got what you were looking for.

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About the Author


I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.