How to Calibrate a Digital Food Thermometer: Easy Methods

Digital food thermometers have ways of calibrating temperature to change the incorrect values. The digital food thermometer type depends on the temperature of the type of food being measured. Calibrating the thermometer needs to be simple for easy understanding and faster. Its function is to ensure that food is being cooked at the best temperature to avoid food poisoning.

Moreover, after food has been cooked, it is used to read the food temperature, ensuring the temperature does not drop, making food any longer safe for consumption. The thermometer may start giving incorrect temperature values; hence, it is essential to calibrate your digital food thermometer regularly.

How to tell if your digital food thermometer requires calibration

How to tell if your digital food thermometer requires calibration

Symptoms that your digital food thermometer needs to be calibrated include; the temperature dropping and if the thermometer keeps changing temperature values from freezing temperatures to boiling temperatures. Regular calibrations ensure appropriate temperature recordings for food being cooked. Therefore, we need to use a digital food thermometer to regulate cooking temperature for food, especially meat and poultry.

You should pick the best thermometer that meets your specifications and easy to calibrate. There are different calibrating digital food thermometer methods, which includes; using ice water and boiling water. It is advised that once you buy a new digital food thermometer, you should calibrate it to ensure its accuracy. In addition to that, sanitizing the thermometer is also important. It is done using 70 % of alcohol.

Guide on how to calibrate the digital food thermometer

Before calibrating the digital food thermometer, first, you have to check the manufacturer instructions and understand the exact information for calibrating your thermometer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Secondly, you pick the method of your choice for calibrating your temperature.

Method 1: Using ice water

how to calibrate a digital food thermometer

Step 1: Battery changing

Before proceeding to the ice water and boiling water method, first change the temperature batteries. Low batteries can interfere with the temperature reading. Here, you will have to buy new batteries, open the digital food thermometer, remove the old batteries and replace them with new batteries. Finally, close the thermometer and try if it is working correctly and if not, proceed to the methods to calibrate it.

Step 2: Use  ice cubes to fill the glass

To fill the glass, you need ice cubes and cold water. Place the ice cubes in the glass until it is complete. Add cold water on top.

Step 3: Stir the topped cold water.

It is advisable to stir the water you placed on top of the ice cubes. Ensure that the ice cubes and cold water are stirred appropriately and mixed well. After stirring, leave it to settle for around 3 minutes. Don’t leave it for much time because the ice will start melting.

Step 4: Inserting thermometer into the glass

Before inserting the thermometer into the glass, stir again properly. After stirring, place the thermometer slowly into the glass and ensure that the thermometer is in the middle of the glass and does not touch the glass sides. Wait for around thirty minutes for the digital food thermometer to read the temperature.

Step 5: Read the temperature and record it.

Remove the digital food thermometer from the glass. Read the temperature, and it should read 32 Fahrenheit, which is (0 degrees Celsius). If it does not read the temperature, try adjusting the thermometer nut until the needle reads the temperature, or you can use the reset button according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Compare the differences of the temperatures and finally offset your digital food thermometer in an inappropriate manner. If the temperature is still not recorded, then the temperature is not working and needs replacement.

Step 5: Repeat the process and then test the temperature of the cooking food.

It is essential to repeat the process for accurate results, ensuring that the thermometer works perfectly.

Method 2: Using boiling water

Method 2 Using boiling water

Step 1: Place water on a pot.

Fill your pot with distilled water. Place the pot on heat.

Step 2: Boil the water until it reaches the boiling point

Switch on the heat to boil the distilled water. After switching on, boil water until thoroughly its boiling point is reached. It would be best if you were careful and cautious when boiling water.

Step 3: Insert the thermometer into the glass

Place the thermometer slowly into the pot containing boiling water. Ensure that the digital food thermometer does not touch the sides and the bottom of the pot.  Wait for around thirty minutes for the thermometer to do readings.

If the thermometer does not make any recordings, make some adjustments using the thermometer knob still following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 4: Read the digital food thermometer and record the temperature.

After inserting the digital food thermometer in the pot, read the temperature and record it. The temperature should read 212 Fahrenheit, which is 100 degrees Celsius. Compare the temperature differences and set your thermometer to its appropriate temperature.

The boiling water varies from one altitude; hence you should consider finding the correct boiling point temperature. If the thermometer does not record any temperatures, then the thermometer is inaccurate beyond any calibration. Being a digital food thermometer, it won’t be easy to make any adjustment, and therefore replacement will be necessary.

Step 5: Repeating the process

Repeat the process to ensure the accuracy of the digital food thermometer. The calibration process will help you maintain the thermometer’s accuracy avoiding impossible adjustments since the digital food thermometers have a minimum wrench.

Step 6: Test the food temperature.

After carrying out the calibration process, you can test the food’s temperature by using the calibrated digital food temperature, and the results should be accurate.


From the above discussion, you can notice that digital food temperatures must be calibrated regularly to obtain the desired result required when cooking foods. Calibrating your thermometer will give you confidence in your cooking results since the thermometer regulates temperature when cooking.

You need to understand which method you will use to calibrate your thermometer. In most cases, the ice method is the most appropriate because the ice temperature is constant, unlike boiling water which depends on different altitudes. This article will help you understand how to calibrate your digital food thermometer using the different discussed methods, which are simple for everyone to apply.

Using a thermometer for food safety is a must. Here’s step by step instructions on how to calibrate a Digital Food Thermometer.

Leave a Comment