Test The Accuracy Of Your Kitchen Thermometer With Water

Test The Accuracy Of Your Kitchen Thermometer With Water

Your kitchen thermometer isn’t much good to you if it doesn’t accurately show the temperature. But when was the last time you checked its accuracy?

Food52 shows us two simple ways to see if your thermometer is telling you the truth. You probably guessed it, but the tests are to insert the thermometer in a pot of boiling water (a slotted spoon is an ingenious tool for holding it in the pot without scalding your hand) and/or test in an ice bath.

The thermometer should register within two degrees of 100C for the boiling water, or 0C for the ice bath.

Food52 recommends you do this when you get a brand new thermometer and every six months or so. If it’s off, you might be able to recalibrate your thermometer or at least adjust your cooking for the difference in temperature.

How to Check the Accuracy of Your Kitchen Thermometer [Food52]


  • Not strictly true. It would only be close to 100% accurate doing it in ISA conditions (i.e atmospheric pressure of 1013.2 hPa, ambient temperature 15˚C) but even then it’s assuming pure water not the liquid we have come to know as water which contains any number of chemicals.

    For instance assuming an ISA day where the water boils at 100˚C at sea level that same water taken to an altitude of 5,000ft (1.5km) would have a boiling point of 95˚. Take a day where the ambient air temp is hight and the pressure is below 1013hPa at sea level and this difference at 5000ft could mean the thermometer reading as low as 90˚.

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