How to Calibrate Your BBQ Thermometer

If your thermometer has the ability to be calibrated, you can re-calibrate your barbecue thermometer from home.

Thermometers intended for measuring higher temperature items such as BBQ grills should be calibrated in boiling water. Distilled water should always be used as minerals etc. in tap water can significantly affect temperature boil points. Another important consideration is your local altitude (Table A). For example, at sea level, pure water boils at 212° F but at 10,000 feet above sea level it boils at 194° F.

You may use Google or visit zipdatamaps.com to determine the altitude of your city.

Calibration in Boiling Water

  • Bring a clean container of distilled water to a rolling boil.
  • Place thermometer probe into boiling water for at least one minute taking care not to let the probe contact the container.
  • If the thermometer does not read between 210° and 214° F adjust to 212° F.

Table A - Boiling Point of Pure Water in Relation to Sea Level

Feet Above Sea Level Boiling Point Feet Above Sea Level Boiling Point
0
212° F
4,500
203° F
500
211° F
5,000
203° F
1,000
210° F
6,000
201° F
1,500
209° F
7,000
199° F
2,000
208° F
8,000
197° F
2,500
207° F
10,000
194° F
3,000
206° F
12,000
190° F
3,500
205° F
14,000
187° F