Most of the experts at food businesses cook varieties of meat from ham, chicken, turkey, beef, pork and what not. Now, all of these meat types require the various cooking temperature to work with. And, that is where cooking thermometers come to use. Even the ones for medical diagnosis at home need re-calibration regularly.

  1. What do You Mean by Calibrating?

Before we begin this step by step process, it is important to understand what this calibration is after all. Why is it important? Where can we cut some slack to it? Calibration is a process to reset the thermometer so that it gives accurate readings again. For some reasons like below, they start to show wrong readings.

  • Food thermometers can degenerate and get inaccurate with age.
  • They are also affected by extreme temperature changes between food types.
  • They also get bruised by accidental drops and mishandling.
  • This is why they need to be calibrated once in a while.
  1. Various Methods to Re-Calibrate

There are two methods that are widely used to calibrate a thermometer whether food or a home thermometer, the methods remain the same. These are known to us by high school science and can be performed right at home without any special tools.

  • We generally use the freezing point of water as the reset.
  • If you do not have ice cubes, you can always use the boiling point of water.
  • We know they are fixed on the surface of the earth around the sea level altitude.
  • This science helps us do this thing in a minute right at home.
  1. Using Ice Cold Water

So, first, we want to talk about this cool way to calibrate the thermometer. You need to walk to the refrigerator and get some ice cubes in a glass, and your thermometer in your other hand.

  • Let it sit for some time like a minute or two and stir it with a spoon, it starts to become watery.
  • Stir it again and insert your thermometer into it, take care not to touch the sides or bottom.
  • Just did it in the ice water.
  • The temperature should read 32°F or 0°C.
  • If there is any difference, read it and offset your thermometer appropriately.
  1. Using Boiling Water

This is simply because you may not have a refrigerator at home but surely can manage a Tumblr and Gas. Anything to boil water in is sufficient. Try using drinking water and not tap water which can be hard.

  • Once the water begins to boil, insert your thermometer.
  • Be careful not to touch the bottom or sides of the container.
  • Read the temperature on it and it should read 212°F or 100°C.
  • If there is any difference, record it and reset it. Or remember to offset it when taking your readings.
  1. If Your Thermometer Can’t be Recalibrated

Well, if for some reason you see a discrepancy with the readings that you are taking each time. If they are different or for some reason the thermometer is still not working, try the following.

  • Maybe your battery has run out, so replace it.
  • It is an analog one and does not come with a reset switch, use a marker to mark the new offset.
  • It is giving wrong readings all the time, and then buy a new one.


  • The analog thermometers cannot be reset by a simple switch, so you some black tape and mark the new reading as the zero reading.
  • With the difference in pressure and altitude, the boiling point might change; use a chart depending on your geographical location.