How to Calibrate an Oven Thermometer

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Things You'll Need

  • Oven thermometer

  • Pan

  • Water

  • Needle-nose pliers

Oven thermometers are used to measure the temperature of an oven. Oven thermometer accuracy is important, not only for baking and cooking food consistently and evenly, but also for cooking meat at the proper temperature. To avoid health hazards, such as parasites, meat should be cooked at no less than 325 degrees to an internal temperature recommended by FDA safety standards. A properly calibrated oven thermometer helps ensure you cook your food at safe temperatures.


Step 1

Check the accuracy of your oven thermometer by placing the thermometer on the center rack in your oven. Set the oven to 325 degrees and allow it to preheat. Once the oven has preheated, open the door and check the reading of the thermometer. After another five minutes, check the thermometer again.

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Step 2

If the thermometer reading is off, turn off the oven and let the thermometer cool inside it.

Step 3

Once the thermometer has cooled, if it is water resistant, boil it. The thermometer should register the boiling point as 212 degrees. Repeat Step 1 to measure the accuracy of the thermometer.


Step 4

If the thermometer is still not accurate, fill a bucket with crushed ice. Adding clean water to the top of the ice and stir. Place the thermometer 2 inches down in the ice. The thermometer should give a measurement of 32 degrees. If it does not, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to adjust the screw on the underside of the dial face until the temperature reads 32 degrees.


Frequently check the accuracy of your oven thermometer.

You can purchase an oven thermometer at your local hardware store or grocery store for a few dollars.


Always wear heat-resistant gloves while working around heat.

Keep children clear of the hot oven and stove.


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