Infrared Non Contact Thermometer

infrared thermometer reading

Finally, after several previous failed attempts. I placed my order and it arrived in good working condition. It was not because I don’t had budget, but I was doubtful that it wouldn’t be useful enough.

infrared thermometer reading

It is a non contact IR (infrared) Thermometer. The device resembles a gun with a shortened barrel. Of course, they should not design it close to the real thing. To use, simply point it to material of interest. Press the trigger and keep it pressed to scan and release and get the final reading. It is the last reading that is registered, not the average of scanned readings. Expensive brands might have that function. It is wise to read the description carefully before placing order.

Before, I was using a dial-probe type. I need to deep it to mixture every time and wait a minute or so for the dial to travel and stabilize. It was taking a while and the probe should be wiped off clean after. It has contamination risk if the paper towel is not sterile. Oh! It is by nature a contaminant. Accidental shreds might go into food of concern.

I know it reads temperature by infrared. However, I never fully understand the mechanism.

It has red laser beam so the user can ensure he is pointing to the right surface. The sensor is underneath, deep down a wider hole.

It measures surface temperature value. It is not ideal to use on non homogeneous mixture. It cannot be used in lieu of of oven thermometers. It will give the temp value of metal and not the inside air.

In terms of GMP, non contact is one of the best measure. Measuring parameters with very minimal intervention, to point of operating a machine using a remote control.

I am using it for chocolate tempering and molding. I found it very convenient, quick and reliable. I should have bought it earlier. The time when I was starting to practice tempering. The number of mistakes I made and the long learning period could have been reduced significantly.

Calibrating Thermometer At Home

small dial type thermometer smart chef

Without complex scientific knowledge. Without a laboratory to work on. Without money to pay the lab or someone to calibrate it for you. Hate reading scientific books or even simple scientific articles. Well, you can do thermometer calibration at home without those complexities.

There is one item at home at its two states. The water. It is 100 C when boiling and 0 C when frozen. All you need to do is place the thermometer probe in boiling and frozen water. Record the actual reading. Then the adjustment works like this. Example. In boiling water, if the reading is 98 C and the thermometer has adjustment screw,  turn the screw so it reads two degrees higher. If it has no any, then you have to add two points for every reading you make. If you are working with a digital thermometer, there must be a way to adjust it. Look for its manual.

Smart Chef’s Mini Dial Type Thermometer

small dial type thermometer smart chef

Items are showing up when you least expected them. Or should I say it slams in front of your face by surprise. I roamed around two department stores, spent half a day, and never saw any thermometer. I’d been thinking of buying it from online store but the low balance of my debit card was holding me back.

After a week, I stopped via SM Hypermart Tagaytay looking for something else, an oven lighter and some hand tools. In this encounter, I found what I previously looking for, a small dial type thermometer, which I am planning to use for chocolate tempering practice. Just when I was about to do a COD order from Lazada, I found a cheaper alternative for only 149 pesos – compared to 450 plus delivery fee.

It is a small Smart Chef’s brand thermometer. It has a magnified 1 inch diameter dial face for easy reading. A 5 inches pointed probe. A carrying case which could be easily clipped in clothing. Reads from 0 to 220 Farenheit only. Those who love the Centigrade will have to memorize the conversion formula or should have a conversion table in hand. What I never liked is the lack of adjustment screw. It should be pretty accurate for the lack of feature.

small dial type thermometer smart chef

I never tried doing the calibration testing yet but it seems the dial is fast acting.

Reasons to Dump Regular Glass Thermometers

This short piece of glass is of great help. It always help us in monitoring temperatures. Temperatures of oven, water, juice, jellies, refrigerator, freezer, air and even body temperature. However, there are other types that do the same function without much risks.

thermometer mercury tip

1) Using glass thermometer is indeed risky. Glass is fragile. Handle it with care to prevent breakage. But accidents do happen and cannot be always avoided. Broken glasses might hurt own’s hand, feet if left scattered on floor…

What are you going to do if broken glasses fall in prepared juice? Simple filtering can remove larger pieces but not minute shrapnels that can cause mouth and internal organ wounds when swallowed.  Glass is an inert material and no stomach acid can degrade it.

2) DOH Administrative Order 2008-0221 – ban of mercury based thermometers starting September 28, 2010. Many hospitals have implemented the ban long before the indicated date. Dangerous mercury is the reason. Mercury in any form is toxic. It enters the body through swallowing, inhalation and absorption to skin and mucous membranes. Imagine a piece of mercury in hand separated by a thin piece of glass. Scary! Never sure if the order was also effective on food industry.

If the piece of mercury based thermometer is broken and fell to food, then the food should be dispose immediately. Removing mercury and broken glass pieces is not possible.

3) It is hard to read. I have been using  this type of thermometer since elementary grade. I always find it hard to read, finding a fine line along a sealed glass tubing.

Switch to dial type or digital thermometer with a stainless steel tip.