Have you ever wondered how your grill manages to give you those perfectly cooked steaks and other foods time and again? It’s this thermometer that allows the grill to reach optimum temperature then enables a program that switches it off in time.
A few degrees higher and your steak may no longer be rare but may come out well done. Also, you surely wouldn’t want to stand near the grill and push the temperature up a few degrees just because the set program didn’t reach your chosen temperature in time. If you know how to calibrate grill thermometers, they’ll work perfectly well at all times.
So how does one go about calibrating a grill thermometer? A DIY enthusiast will relish the fact that it can be done at home and without much effort. All you need is a container of ice-cold water and a heating device that can take the water temperature up to boiling point at 212°F or 400° Centigrade. The entire calibrating process can be completed in just a few minutes.
- Choose the right grill for your backyard. Manufacturers ensure grills can be calibrated easily. They dispatch a list of instructions along with the kit to help users calibrate the grill at home.
- The thermometer is easily accessible. Just remove the hood and look for the thermometer inside the grill. It could be clamped in place with the help of nuts and bolts or press-fit into a slot with the help of a spring clamp. You may need a Phillips screwdriver for one of those larger grills where Phillips screws are used to hold the thermometer in place. Standard sizes are adopted, so you should have all the necessary tools at home to remove the thermometer.
- User a wrench of the right size to loosen the nut in case you see a threaded rod appearing in front of the grill holding the thermometer. You will have access to the nut from the other side of the body plate. The thermometer is aligned, so the nut and threaded rod aren’t heavy duty. Check your kit to see if a wrench was dispatched with the grill. If you can’t find it with the kit, take the time to find the right wrench, so you don’t have to force the nut open.
- Depending on the type of grill you’ve chosen, the process of calibrating the thermometer will differ. For example, if you have bought a standard grill with maximum thermometer reading 200°F, all you need is boiling water to calibrate this thermometer. Water attains a temperature of 212°F or 100°C at boiling point. Ensure the calibration process is completed at sea level. There is some adjustment to be made in a mountainous region.
- Fill a container with ice-cold water that reaches a temperature of -32° Fahrenheit. Submerge the stem of the gauge or the probe that comes along with it into the ice-cold water. Make sure the entire portion that senses temperature is submerged into this water.
- The gauge is designed to read temperatures from 0° to 200°F, so calibration is easily possible starting with cold water. It’s time to take that first reading. Do not be surprised if your gauge indicates a totally different reading as the water reaches boiling point. It can even be 35° off the required 212° Fahrenheit.
- Some thermometers offer readings in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit. Look to find the adjustment nut or screw at the back of the dial gauge. Make the necessary adjustment until the gauge reads a perfect 212°F or 100° Centigrade. If you are rotating a screw, make very small turns to ensure the dial’s needle stops moving as soon as you stop rotating the screw. Wait until the needle settles down at 212°F without shifting. Then decide if you need to rotate the screw any further.
- That’s all there is to calibrating your grill thermometer. Before you reassemble the kit, read the instructions about how to align the thermometer. Calibration must be done regularly to ensure accurate temperatures are recorded.
Now that you know how to calibrate grill thermometers, it should be quite easy to cook your favorite dish on your accurately-calibrated grill. There isn’t anything much to do other than cleaning the pit to remove the ash. Check the sensing portion of the calibrated thermometer to ensure it is not covered with ash when you reuse the grill.