Test a Thermometer’s Accuracy Using Boiling Point of Water

Can you get sick if you eat undercooked chicken meat? Chicken meat should be cooked thoroughly and its internal temperature measured. A well-cooked chicken should have an internal temperature of 165℉. Use a calibrated meat thermometer to verify the quality and safety of your chicken. How is the boiling point of water used to test a thermometer? Do you know how to test your thermometer for accuracy?

Methods for testing a thermometer’s accuracy.

A lot of bacteria are found on the outer part of the chicken. You should check the temperature of the meat to determine if it is fully cooked. Chicken breast can be prepared in many different ways. You can cook them on a grill or chop them off to make sandwiches. A safe temperature should be appropriate and consistent. To get the safe temperature for chicken breast, use a calibrated thermometer. Check the thermometer used for accuracy yearly or when dropped. There are two methods used to test if the thermometer is accurate.

1.    Boiling water test.

To calculate your location’s boiling point, you should consider atmospheric pressure and altitude. At the sea level where the atmospheric pressure is normal, an accurate thermometer dipped in boiling water should read 212℉. After determining the boiling point of the water, use a short, wide pot to boil water vigorously. Gently stir the water for 10 seconds, then take your reading. The boiling point of water boiling in a tall, narrow pot is 1℉ higher than a short wide pot. Hard water has minerals dissolved in it. The temperature for boiling hard water is 1-2 ℉ higher than soft water.

2.    Ice bath test.

The temperature displayed should be 32℉ or less. To create an ice bath, you will require:

§  Ice cubes.

§  Tall glass.

§  Pre-chilled water.

§  Something to use for stirring.

Use ice cubes made by the refrigerator ice maker rather than using crushed ice. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add pre-chilled water and ensure it is below the top of the ice. Gently stir the mixture for 15 seconds. Insert the thermometer stem into the ice bath’s center. It is gently stirred for 15 seconds. The thermometer’s stem should move constantly and be surrounded by ice cubes. The accurate thermometer reading should be 32℉. If the thermometer rests on ice, the temperature reading will be lower. If the thermometer rests on the glass, you will get a higher reading. Avoid measuring the temperature of the water below the ice. If your thermometer is off by a few degrees, consider the degrees when taking the measurements.


Chicken is a popular meal loved by many. Undercooked meat is not safe for human consumption. Measure the temperature of the chicken to know if it is well cooked. To get an accurate temperature reading, you should ensure your thermometer is well calibrated. There are two ways to do this. It includes using a boiling water test or ice bath test. If the thermometer is off by a few degrees, account for the degrees when taking your measurements.


Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels


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