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Testing The Reliability Of Remote Cooking Thermometers

This is about cooking thermometers, the type in which you leave the probe in the meat while it's in the oven and have a control unit outside of the oven preset to beep at a certain meat temperature.


I have purchased 3 so far, and none of them register the boiling temp of water - so I took them back to the store for a refund. Am I incorrect in assuming that a pot of heavily boiling water 6 inches deep will reach 212 degrees F?

The thermometers all registered different numbers ranging from 180 to 204. Unreliable. And I couldn't get the 204 to repeat for more than a second. The prices for these units went from $20 something to $35.


Holly from Richardson, TX

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September 5, 20070 found this helpful

This website had some good information on ratings for instant thermometers. I did not find anything on the style you described, but this may help.

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September 6, 20070 found this helpful

Well, in my college foods classes, I learned that at different altitudes, water boils at different temps. The higher the altitude, the lower temp. at which the water boils. If you are at a higher altitude, that may be why your thermometers didn't read 212 degrees.

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September 6, 20070 found this helpful

Never thought of that, and potentially it's a serious safety issue. Thanks! My Dad is immunocompromised, kidney transplant, so he takes kitchen safety a lot more seriously than I ever used to. We'll check ours!

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September 8, 20070 found this helpful

We're at a low altitude. Dallas, TX. I was wondering if the kitchen stove could get the water hot enough to reach this temp, and waited for a real rolling boil to test the thermometers.


America's Test Kitchen suggested Polder thermometers. About $25. I will buy one soon and try again.

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September 8, 20070 found this helpful

QueenBeeCrafts suggested I go to this website. They had a sugestion for testing the thermometer with ice water. Here it is, with the web site at the bottom of the article....Most dial or digital food thermometers are accurate to within plus or minus 1 to 2 °F. The accuracy of the meat thermometer can be verified and the thermometer "calibrated" if necessary. Thermometers should be checked periodically. Follow manufacturer's recommendations. Some dial thermometers have a calibration nut under the dial that can be adjusted by twisting the small nut beneath the thermometer face with pliers.
The easiest way to check the accuracy of a food thermometer:
Ice Water Method - Fill a large glass with finely crushed ice. Add clean water to the top of the ice and stir well. Immerse the thermometer stem a minimum of 2 inches into the mixture. The thermometer should read 32 °F after 30 seconds.


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By Ron from Ft Myers (Guest Post)
July 2, 20080 found this helpful

I received a Oregon Scientific remote thermometer as a gift. I was amazed how well it worked. I even used it for an outdoor thermometer to check a change in temp. However, my elation was short lived and the thing quit working within 2 months (Probably 15 usages). I also replaced all the batteries with new ones. The product was never immersed in water or subjected to a harsh environment.

I checked the Oregon Scientific web site and the product is not shown. Wonder Why??

Since it was a gift I have no recourse. I would like to purchase a replacement that performs like this one did originally. My culinery servings are more consistent and edible when temperature is known.

Any Suggestions?

Look forward to hearing from you.


Ron from Ft. Myers

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