Milk Thermometer

How to Calibrate a Milk Thermometer

When it comes to make a perfect cup of coffee, a properly calibrated milk thermometer is an important entity for all the coffee connoisseurs. With the help of this product, you’re going to make sure that the milk, after steaming, isn’t too hot neither too cold. Whether you use it at home or outside in a café environment, an accurate thermometer is essential to ensure a consistent cup of Joe.

Thermometers start to give inaccurate readings after regular use. There are a number of ways in which you can calibrate your thermometers and in the below-mentioned article, we will discuss some of the simplest ways in which you can make this item work flawlessly. All of these methods can be done inside your home or even a commercial setting without the help of an experienced personnel.

How to Calibrate a Milk Thermometer

Before calibrating a thermometer, make sure that it is adjustable and can be calibrated without the help of professional servicemen. For this purpose, have a look at the underside of this particular product. If the manufacturer has provided a hexagonal nut, it means that you can calibrate this instrument yourself.

1st Method: Ice Water

Milk Thermometer

For this method, you’re going to need

  • Ice,
  • Water,
  • Container/Glass
  • Thermometer

Step 1

Take out a clean container and add crushed ice along with water inside this container. Allow them to remain as such until they develop a squelchy slush.

We recommend using distilled water in order to ensure the correctness of measurements.

Step 2

Immerse the container inside the ice water. Make sure that it should not touch the walls of this particular vessel.

Step 3

After 1 minute, take out the thermometer and measure its readings. If the calculated readings falls in between 1 to 5*C, adjust them to the freezing point of water i.e. 0*C.

2nd Method: Hot and Cold

Milk Thermometer

For this method, you’re going to need,

  • Water,
  • Milk
  • 2 Glass Pitchers
  • Ordinary Thermometer and
  • A Digital Thermometer

With this method, you can calibrate as many thermometers as you want in a short duration of time. So if you own a coffee-shop or work as a professional barista, this is a viable technique.

1st Step

Take a glass pitcher and fill it up with water. Add crushed ice inside this pitcher to form an ice bath.

2nd Step

Pour boiling hot water inside the 2nd pitcher and make sure that the pitcher is fully filled.

3rd Step

Take out the thermometers you want to calibrate and place them inside the ice bath. Apply the similar mechanism to the digital thermometer as well.

4th Step

Allow the readings, on all the thermometers, to fall down until they stop. Check out the temperature readout and if it shows a similar temperature to that of the digital thermometer, it means that your thermometer is correctly calibrated.

For all the other thermometers which shows a different reading, calibrate them with the help of the hexagonal nut. Move the nut, clockwise/anticlockwise until it shows a similar reading to that of the digital thermometer.

5th Step

After adjusting all the thermometers inside the ice bath now is the time to place them in hot water. In this case, the temperature will rise. Keep them inside the hot water until the temperature stops rising upwards.

6th Step

Apply similar mechanism which you applied in case of ice bath and calibrate your thermometers with the help of digital thermometer. Remember, there is no need to calibrate a thermometer which shows a similar reading to that of its digital counterpart.

7th Step

In the last step, once again place all the thermometers inside the ice bath. At this stage, all of them should be showing a similar reading. However, if you find that 1 of the instruments is still showing a separate readout, it means that it could be faulty and you might have to purchase a new one.

It is important that your digital milk thermometer is working correctly. Otherwise, you might end up calibrating all your thermometers to a faulty readout.

Milk Thermometer

Useful Tips

  • If you’re going to use the thermometer inside your home kitchen, you might have to calibrate them once in a couple of weeks. But if you use them for a number of times per day, it is recommended to calibrate them once in a week.
  • If your thermometers are for a commercial setting, it is ideal to calibrate them at the start of every day.
  • In case of any accident, such as being dropped on the floor, a thermometer should be adjusted at the earnest.
  • Readjustable thermometers should be corrected with the help of professional people.


Milk Thermometers are helpful when steaming milk, to confirm that you can unswervingly attain the desired temperature. With steady usage and washing, these thermometers can lose accuracy so it is important to check them on a regular basis.

Especially if you’re working as a Barista, a poorly calibrated milk thermometer can cause brewing a bad tasting coffee. So take a look at the aforementioned methods and keep enjoying making a perfect cup of Coffee.

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