Old 10-23-2009, 12:28 PM
kebwi's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 1,013
Default Re: Instant read thermometer

No no, I don't care if it's 950 or 980 when I'm making pizza. I was concerned because I was using it to judge whether my curing hearth was going to dip below the recommended concrete curing temps of high 40s, so I cared about the difference between high 40s and, say, low 40s...and I simply don't know the "degree" to which it was accurate.

No big deal. I hadn't noticed a "range" on the thermometer as you suggest. I'll look more closely next time. It is pretty cheap after all.

One thing I noticed is that when pointed directly at a person's skin, even point-blank, it rarely registers 98 degrees, but I suppose that might be correct. Maybe we aren't actually body-temperature on a surface. I have no idea actually. That's a interesting question. (It was below 98, not above; I can't remember the actual reading now).

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Old 10-23-2009, 12:55 PM
papavino's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 220
Default Re: Instant read thermometer

It completely depends on which area of the body you are measuring the temperature. If it's an extremity, I highly doubt you'll be getting a reading near 98 degrees. The forehead or an armpit would be a good spot to try, although I'd recommend against aiming the thermometer at anyone's face. Another thing to take into consideration is the emissivity of the surface you are measuring. The harbor freight thermometer doesn't allow you to set or change the emissivity, so it probably uses 0.95 as the default, which should be fine for pizzas, but it could make a difference.

And a quick check of the HF website shows "Accuracy: +3F/+2C or 2% of reading" for their non-contact thermometer.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:38 PM
jmhepworth's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kaysville, Utah
Posts: 291
Default Re: Instant read thermometer

I used the Harbor Freight IR thermometer to measure the temperature of the oven when I was curing it and I get it out most of the time when I'm cooking pizza, but I rely a whole lot more on burning the black off the wall to tell me it's hot enough.

For food preparation I use the CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer. My daughter got it for me for Christmas because she said America's Test Kitchen recommended it as an afforable ($20) alternative to their first choice, the Thermapen ($80). It does the job well.

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