How Does infrared thermometer Work

How To Use Infrared Thermometer In Kitchen For Cooking And Grilling

How To Use Infrared Thermometer In Kitchen For Cooking And Grilling

If you really enjoy cooking and grilling foods for your family, you must use latest equipment to make your work easy. Infrared thermometer is one of the essential kitchen tools that help you to measure the temperature of foods when you are cooking foods in the kitchen. The main feature of this latest kitchen device that you don’t have to come in contact with the food or penetrate the thermometer into it (like a digital thermometer) to measure the temperature. Isn’t it a great feature?

Furthermore, we saw that many restaurants rely on this for food temperature reading purposes. But, many of us don’t know how to use an infrared thermometer for cooking to get more accurate results. In this article, our expert is going to discuss it.

How to track temperature of the oil with Infrared Thermometer to Keep the Temperature Below Smoking Point

  • Take your pan or pot and heat it as normally you do.
  • After half a minute pass, add cooking oil into it.
  • Find out the smoking pointy of the specific type of fat or oil you are using for cooking. We have listed the smoking point of various fat and oil so that you don’t have to take pressure finding it online. Here it is:
FATSmoke Point °F
Smoke Point °C

Unrefined canola oil

225°F

107°C

Unrefined flaxseed oil

225°F

107°C

Unrefined safflower oil

225°F

107°C

Unrefined sunflower oil

225°F

107°C

Unrefined corn oil

320°F

160°C

Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil

320°F

160°C

Extra virgin olive oil

320°F

160°C

Unrefined peanut oil

320°F

160°C

Semirefined safflower oil

320°F

160°C

Unrefined soy oil

320°F

160°C

Unrefined walnut oil

320°F

160°C

Hemp seed oil

330°F

165°C

Butter

350°F

177°C

Semirefined canola oil

350°F

177°C

Coconut oil

350°F

177°C

Unrefined sesame oil

350°F

177°C

Semirefined soy oil

350°F

177°C

Vegetable shortening

360°F

182°C

Lard

370°F

182°C

Macadamia nut oil

390°F

199°C

Refined canola oil

400°F

204°C

Semirefined walnut oil

400°F

204°C

High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil

405°F

207°C

Sesame oil

410°F

210°C

Cottonseed oil

420°F

216°C

Grapeseed oil

420°F

216°C

Virgin olive oil

420°F

216°C

Almond oil

420°F

216°C

Hazelnut oil

430°F

221°C

Peanut oil

440°F

227°C

Sunflower oil

440°F

227°C

Refined corn oil

450°F

232°C

Palm oil

450°F

232°C

Palm kernel oil

450°F

232°C

Refined high-oleic sunflower oil

450°F

232°C

Refined peanut oil

450°F

232°C

Refined Safflower oil

450°F

232°C

Semi refined sesame oil

450°F

232°C

Refined soy oil

450°F

232°C

Semi refined sunflower oil

450°F

232°C

Olive pomace oil

460°F

238°C

Extra light olive oit

468°F

242°C

Soybean oil

495°F

257°C

Safflower oil

510°F

266°C

Avocado oil

520°F

271°C

Source: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/50/Smoke-Points-of-Various-Fats
  • Slowly the oil or fat in the pan/pot will heat up. Next, you have to point your infrared thermometer at the oil. Make sure that you haven’t pointed it dry part of the pan. Otherwise, it will show the temperature of the pan, not the oil. You have to hold the trigger until the temperature doesn’t show on the screen.
  • Continue this process till you get the desired temperature but never let the temperature of the cooking oil reach or exceed the smoking point. Otherwise, you have to discard the existing oil and pour fresh oil back again. If the temperature of fat or oil passes the smoking point, the flavor of the food you are willing to cook will change exponentially. Moreover, the food will no longer be healthy as it will soak oil.

How to Measure the temperature of Barbeque Grate?

  • Place some wood chips or charcoal in your BBQ griller. Some fire extinguisher on it and light them.
  • When the fire becomes normal, close the lid of your BBQ griller or smoker.
  • Wait some moment until the grate itself becomes hot. After a few moments, take off the lid and then use your IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of the grate.
  • Shoot the gun across the entire surface pointing it on different spots to find where its cool and hot spots are located. So you can find spot on the grate where you can use spot for grilling or also find spot for resting meat till you serve it for eating.

Measure Grill Temperature with an Infrared Thermometer

  • Put a cast-iron skillet on your BBQ grill. Let it heat up. Don’t forget to lid on the skillet.
  • When you guess that the BBQ grill reaches the desired temperature, remove the cast iron cookware from the grill.
  • To increase the emissivity of skillet, immediately apply some amount of cooking spray or oil to it. This will help you get a more accurate temperature.
  • After that shoot the gun pointing on the surface of the cast iron skillet and check the reading on the screen. The temperature reading of the cast iron skillet will be the same as grate of the BBQ grille.   

How To Measure Liquid Temperature

You can use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of liquid foods like soup, sauces, broth, and other liquids. So, how to measure the temperature of this liquid?

Before you start checking the temperature of any liquid foods, you have to make sure it is well warm or not. To do so you need to stir it with a ladle to make yourself confirm that the surface temperature is same as deeper part of the pot o cup. If the liquid is well warm then you have to pull a ladle of liquid from the middle of the cookpot. Also, you have to make sure you took liquid from the bottom of the pot. Whenever you pull off the ladle from the liquid, be prepared to shoot the infrared gun at the ladle or the liquid part. Doing this step will give approximate temperature of entire pot with liquid.

How to Measure Temperature of Sauté Pan?

We have seen many professional chefs use IR guns to measure the temperature of the sauté pan. To measure the temperature of the sauté pan before cooking food, you need to spray some cooking oil on it when the pan becomes well to heat. So you have to use oil to measure the temperature of the Sauté pan? Because oil has better emissivity than pan material. Other than that, the pan uses to pretty shiny because they are normally made of stainless steel. The shiny pan will reflect the infrared ray shoot by IR gun and this may result in showing faulty or slightly lower temperature reading. Moreover, any shiny surface always emits less thermal radiation than a normal dark matte surface or other kinds of surfaces that don’t shine. Since an infrared thermometer shows result based on the radiation of the object, it will give an inaccurate reading. But, some infrared thermometers now-a-day also have the capacity to measure the accurate temperature of shiny objects also. Only you have to adjust the emissivity of the thermometer according to the emissivity of your pan material. Below we have listed the emissivity of some of the common materials:

MaterialsEmissivity

Aluminum Foil

0.04

Aluminum anodized

0.90

Asphalt

0.93

Black Body, matte

1.00

Brick, red

0.75 – 0.93

Chrome, polished

0.05

Concrete

0.85 – 0.94

Copper, polished

0.02 – 0.05

Copper, oxidized

0.87

Fabric

0.87 – 0.98

Galvanized Pipe

0.46

Glass

0.92 – 0.95

Granite

0.45

Gypsum

0.85

Ice

0.97

Iron, polished

0.14 – 0.38

Iron, rusted red

0.61

Limestone

0.92

Marble, polished

0.89 – 0.92

Marble, white

0.95

Paper, white

0.68

Plaster, rough

0.89

Plastic

0.84 – 0.95

Quartz Glass

0.93

Rubber, black

0.95

Sand

0.90

Skin, human

0.98

Snow

0.80

Soil

0.92 – 0.95

Silver, polished

0.02

Silver, oxidized

0.04

Snow

0.80-0.90

Steel, oxidized

0.75

Steel, polished

0.07

Tape, electrical, black

0.97

Tile

0.97

Water

0.95 – 0.98

Wood

0.86 – 0.90

Source: https://ennologic.com/emissivity-infrared-thermometer-readings/

If you use some cooking oil, fat, or any kind of butter on it, it will increase the emissivity to great extent and give a perfect temperature reading. Because the laser will hit the oil or fat in the pan first rather than pointing the pan.

Other Important use of Infrared Thermometer in kitchen

Check Oven Temperature. Most ovens usually operate around the temperature you preset to bake something. You can use an infrared thermometer to check if your oven running at your preset temperature.

Check the temperature of the refrigerator. You can also use IR gun to get the actual reading of your refrigerator or freezer temperature.  

Making Yogurt. To make yogurt you must have to maintain the temperature of milk perfect. If your milk becomes too much hot or cool, your yogurt will not set perfectly. The great news is you can use infrared guns to check the temperature of both boiling and cooled milk.

Making Homemade Cosmetics. An infrared thermometer will be your most essential tool if you are very fond of homemade cosmetics and you make lotions, soaps, and even skincare creams at home. How it can assist you? Well, to make these cosmetics at home, you need to boil carrier oils or other volatile ingredients. Infrared thermometer is best to measure the accurate temperature of carrier oils or other volatile ingredients. Remember that during the temperature measurement of this ingredient, you must have to stir the liquid in continuous motion.

Final Words

Hope the above guideline will help you to have a good idea of how to use an infrared thermometer during cooking, grilling, and making other things at your kitchen. If you know some other tricks and techniques of using an infrared thermometer in your kitchen, you can share it with us in the comment or you can email us at blazinghome@gmail.com.  

If you have a strong feeling that your existing infrared thermometer is not giving you an accurate reading, then we recommend you change it immediately. You can check our best-rated infrared thermometer that is specifically made for cooking and grilling purposes.