A probe thermometer is used to take food temperatures and can either be a dial or digital thermometer. Both are reliable; however, digital themometers can take temperatures of thin food while dial thermometers may have to be immersed up to 2 inches into the food to take a proper temperature.
When taking food temperatures, the probe should be placed into the thickest portion of the food. This placement is especially important for a whole turkey or large roast. Stir soups and sauces thoroughly before taking a temperature. Digital thermometers should be used when taking temperatures of thin food, like hamburgers or chicken breasts.
How to you know a thermometer is accurate? The answer is to check it in ice water. Water freezes at 32º F.; therefore, a glass of ice water will be very close to 32ºF. By setting the thermometer in the ice water for a few minutes, you can find out if the thermometer is accurate if it correctly reads 32ºF.
What if my thermometer is not accurate? If it is a dial thermometer you can calibrate it. At the back portion of the dial, there should be a hex or square shaped nut. While the thermometer is still in the ice water, use a wrench to hold the nut secure and twist the dial portion until the temperature indicator is on 32ºF.
In the event of hot weather, visit protectdupage.org for heat safety tips, including a list of cooling sites in DuPage County.