Infrared Food Thermometer

Hey there, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the world of infrared food thermometers. These nifty gadgets are fantastic for getting accurate temperature readings while cooking. Still, some common mistakes can trip you up if you need to be more careful. So, let’s break down these blunders and ensure you’re getting the most out of your infrared food thermometer.

Mistake 1: Incorrect Distance 

Picture this: you’re aiming your infrared food thermometer at a sizzling steak on the grill, but are you holding it at the proper distance? This is a crucial point because the distance between the thermometer and the food can affect the accuracy of your readings. You might only get an accurate temperature if you’re close or close enough.

To avoid this mistake, aim to hold your infrared thermometer about 5 to 15 inches away from the surface of the food. This distance sweet spot ensures you capture the temperature accurately without interference from surrounding objects.

Mistake 2: Not Accounting for Emissivity 

Emissivity might sound like a complicated scientific term, but it’s essential to understand when using an infrared food thermometer. Emissivity refers to how well an object emits infrared energy. Different surfaces have different emissivity values, so your temperature readings could be way off if you’re not accounting for this.

To combat this mistake, check if your infrared thermometer allows you to adjust the emissivity settings. Setting the emissivity value to match the surface you’re measuring (like stainless steel, glass, or meat) will give you much more accurate readings.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Ambient Temperature 

Sure, you’re focused on the temperature of your food, but what about the temperature of the environment around it? Ambient temperature plays a significant role in infrared thermometer readings, especially when cooking outdoors or in a hot kitchen.

To prevent this mistake from skewing your readings, consider the ambient temperature and how it might affect your cooking process. Suppose it’s scorching hot outside, for example. In that case, your food might cook faster than expected, so keep an eye on those temperature readings and adjust accordingly.

Mistake 4: Inadequate Calibration 

When was the last time you calibrated your infrared food thermometer? It might be time for a calibration check if you’re scratching your head or shrugging your shoulders. Infrared thermometers, like any other tool, can drift over time, leading to inaccurate readings.

To ensure your thermometer is spot-on, it’s essential to calibrate it regularly. Most infrared thermometers come with calibration instructions, so take a few moments to follow them and keep your thermometer in tip-top shape.

Mistake 5: Misinterpreting Results 

You’ve aimed, clicked, and got a temperature reading—but do you know what it means? Misinterpreting temperature results is a common mistake, especially if you’re unfamiliar with different foods’ temperature ranges.

To avoid this blunder, familiarize yourself with the recommended cooking temperatures for various foods. For example, chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C), while medium-rare steak clocks in around 130°F (54°C). By knowing these benchmarks, you can interpret your infrared thermometer readings confidently.

Mistake 6: Using it on Reflective Surfaces 

Infrared food thermometers measure the infrared energy emitted by an object to determine its temperature. However, if you use one on a reflective surface, like a shiny metal pan or foil-wrapped food, you might encounter inaccurate readings. This happens because reflective surfaces can bounce infrared energy away from the thermometer, leading to skewed results.

To avoid this mistake, try to avoid using your infrared thermometer directly on reflective surfaces. Instead, aim for areas with matte or non-reflective surfaces for more accurate temperature readings.

Mistake 7: Not Allowing Time for Equilibration

Temperature equilibration refers to allowing the thermometer and the food to reach the same temperature before taking a reading. Skipping this step can lead to inaccurate results, especially if the food has just been removed from a hot oven or grill.

To prevent this mistake, give your food a few moments to rest after cooking before taking a temperature reading. This stabilises the internal temperature, giving you a more accurate measurement.

Mistake 8: Using it in Extreme Conditions

Using infrared food thermometers has incredible benefits, but they do have their limits. Using them in extreme conditions, such as extremely high heat or freezing temperatures, can affect their accuracy and lifespan.

To avoid this mistake, be mindful of the operating conditions recommended by the manufacturer. If you’re cooking in extreme heat or cold, consider using alternative temperature measurement methods or investing in a thermometer specifically designed for those conditions.


And there you have it, folks—eight common mistakes to avoid when using an infrared food thermometer. By paying attention to the above-mentioned mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an infrared thermometer pro. So, go forth, cook with confidence, and remember to avoid these pitfalls for perfectly cooked meals every time!

Author Bio:

Hi, I am Mike Morleye. As a professional writer, I put together my writing skills to share knowledge on diverse topics in a readable, understandable and appealing format. Follow me back on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Samantha Walters

Hi! I am Samantha, a passionate writer and blogger whose words illuminate the world of quotes, wishes, images, fashion, lifestyle, and travel. With a keen eye for beauty and a love for expression, I have created a captivating online platform where readers can find inspiration, guidance, and a touch of wanderlust.