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Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometers


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#1 Shel_B

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 08:09 PM

I would like to get both a refrigerator and a freezer thermometer.  What brands and features should I look for?  Where in the refrigerator and the freezer should they be placed?  Thanks!


.... Shel


#2 dcarch

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 05:07 AM

I don't like freezer and refrigerator thermometers.

 

The inside environment of a home refrigerator is dynamic, there is no way you can get a good understanding of what is going on with temperatures in the freezer and refrigerator with thermometers.

 

1. Where are the food placed?

2. How often doors are opened.

3. When is the frost -free heater cycles on?

4. How much food?

5. How hot was the food when you put it in? 

 

Instead, a remote read IR non-contact thermometer ($30 to $300) is what I use. Just aim the laser beam at various spots, very quickly, you will get a very good idea the thermal characteristics of your entire refrigerator.

 

dcarch



#3 weinoo

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:41 AM

I would like to get both a refrigerator and a freezer thermometer.  What brands and features should I look for?  Where in the refrigerator and the freezer should they be placed?  Thanks!

How many features can there be on a thermometer?


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#4 KennethT

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:57 AM

The problem with IR thermometers is that you have to calibrate the emissivity of each surface you measure. Otherwise, your readings could be off by 5 degrees F easily. Also, the temperature of the inside of the cavity (and the food, which is a thermal mass) could be very different from the wall temperature - especially depending on timing, like if the defroster just turned on.

I keep my refrig thermometer hanging on a middle rack in the middle of the box, away from the walls, but close to foods with a lot of mass (like a jug of water). I don't open the door very often, so when I do, I get a good idea of the ave temp.

In the freezer, it sits practically buried in a pile of food, away from the walls.

Just my .02

#5 dcarch

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:46 AM

The problem with IR thermometers is that you have to calibrate the emissivity of each surface you measure. Otherwise, your readings could be off by 5 degrees F easily. Also, the temperature of the inside of the cavity (and the food, which is a thermal mass) could be very different from the wall temperature - especially depending on timing, like if the defroster just turned on.

I keep my refrig thermometer hanging on a middle rack in the middle of the box, away from the walls, but close to foods with a lot of mass (like a jug of water). I don't open the door very often, so when I do, I get a good idea of the ave temp.

In the freezer, it sits practically buried in a pile of food, away from the walls.

Just my .02

 

You don't really have to calibrate all surfaces unless they are drastically different in reflective. I have found in this test, by using cooking oil in the freezer and water in the refrigerator, using a regular thermometer, the IR thermometer is very good by comparision (and of course quick). Using a thermometer measuring one single location, you can be off by 15F +-.

 

I am very particular about the freezer, because I need very cold temperature for sanitizing my cold smoked salmon.

 

dcarch



#6 KennethT

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:16 AM

Right - similar surfaces will read similarly - but, for instance, the refrigerator walls may read differently than a frozen pork loin, or a box of frozen pizza, etc.

I know this is OT, but for critical freezing, I use a small, non defrosting chest freezer. It consistently stays at -10F, and a bit colder at the very bottom.

#7 dcarch

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:27 AM

The best temperature testing device for the freezer is a box of ice cream. 

 

 

dcarch


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#8 weinoo

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:38 AM

I keep my refrig thermometer hanging on a middle rack in the middle of the box, away from the walls, but close to foods with a lot of mass (like a jug of water). I don't open the door very often, so when I do, I get a good idea of the ave temp.

This is what I do.  I recall an article a couple of years ago about where the coldest parts of the fridge are - surprisingly, not where we expect them.

 

There was also something (maybe here by Fat Guy) about dairy spoilage in the fridge, and how it is majorly affected by how often the door is opened and closed.


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#9 MelissaH

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 11:07 AM

We use a remote-read indoor/outdoor thermometer. The transmitter goes in the fridge or freezer, and sends its reading to the receiver, which lives in the kitchen. No need to even open the door to get the temperature inside.

 

I'd love to get something with a little bit of memory, so we can track at least the high and low (for instance, when we're out of town) but I suspect my geek side is showing now.


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#10 Shel_B

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 11:51 AM

The best temperature testing device for the freezer is a box of ice cream. 

 

 

dcarch

 

I get your point, unfortunately I don't keep ice cream at home.  If I did, it would be gone in a heartbeat ...


.... Shel


#11 rotuts

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:01 PM

i had something like these some time ago:

 

 

http://www.amazon.co...A21H4VZRQ7TG9YY

 
 
it had two channels   one section cup for the freezer and one for the refrig.  stuck on the side of the refrig.
 
I enjoyed it, understanding that it might not be giving me 'accurate' info
 
dont know what happened to it
 
then I found this just now:
 

http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_k_img_y

 

way cooler.

 

again, .....



#12 andiesenji

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:20 PM

I have three or four of these - only using three now as my newer LG fridge/freezer has an integral digital thermometer/temp control.

 

These from Thermoworks are accurate and sturdy.  At least one has survived being knocked out of the fridge, grabbed by the dog, carried outside, where I had to retrieve it - washed it off, used an emery board to file down the places where dog teeth had dug little pits.  It is still working just fine in my cheese fridge - which is kept at a higher temp than the regular one. 

 

I've tried various thermometers and in my opinion you can't improve on the ones from Thermoworks.  You can also get the fridge/freezer ALARM thermometers if you need critical temp control. 


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#13 FauxPas

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:00 PM

I have three or four of these - only using three now as my newer LG fridge/freezer has an integral digital thermometer/temp control.

 

I have an LG fridge with separate digital temp control for fridge and freezer also, but i have never tested to see how accurate the interior temps are compared to the settings. I suspect that you may have done so - if so, wondering how they matched up?

 

Or maybe I should get one of those little Thermoworks ones and find out!  :-)

 

Also, your dog story made me laugh, especially filing down the dog bite marks. 


Edited by FauxPas, 07 June 2014 - 04:00 PM.


#14 dcarch

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:14 PM

I have an LG fridge with separate digital temp control for fridge and freezer also, but i have never tested to see how accurate the interior temps are compared to the settings. I suspect that you may have done so - if so, wondering how they matched up?

 

--------------

 

Still, the whole appliance has only one compressor to cool both compartments. Having two temp control helps, but not completely.

 

dcarch


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