Refrigerator Thermometer [Detailed How to Use Guide]

A refrigerator thermometer helps you check the internal temperature in your refrigerator. But it is crucial to know the proper placement of the thermometer for the best results.

Taylor Precision Products 5924 Large Dial Kitchen Refrigerator and Freezer Kitchen Thermometer, 3 Inch Dial,Silver

Where Should a Refrigerator Thermometer Be Placed?

You should place your refrigerator thermometer where the unit has the warmest spot. That spot will be close to the refrigerator door because the door tends to have the warmest temperature due to use. But be sure to keep an eye on the thermometer from time to time so that you know when the temperature changes.

How to Use a Refrigerator Thermometer

Purchase a thermometer and place it at the spot that has the warmest temperature. That will be the door or the top shelf inside the unit. Placing the thermometer on the bottom shelf or close to the back wall is counterproductive as those spots are the coldest inside a refrigerator.

Give it about 24 hours before checking the temperature reading. That way, you are sure it is accurate. Adjust the internal temperature to a slightly warmer setting if the reading shows it is too cold. And adjust it to a cooler point if it shows it is too warm. However, ensure you wait 24 hours between each adjustment if you have to do it more than once.

How to Read a Refrigerator Thermometer

To read a refrigerator thermometer correctly, ensure you place it at a warm spot and it is not touching a warm dish or any other item. Otherwise, it will alter the reading of the temperature and make it incorrect.

Close the door of the refrigerator for about thirty minutes to allow the thermometer to adjust to the internal temperature. After that, check the reading on the thermometer. The dial should move to a spot between 0 and 5 on the right side of the face of the thermometer if it is the analog type. A digital thermometer will display the temperature reading, and it should be between three and five degrees Celsius or 37 degrees to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

The same steps apply to the freezer section. The internal temperature should be between -15 degrees and -18 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The dial should move to the left side of the thermometer, to the negative side. The thermometer will display the temperature to let you know whether or not you should adjust it for food safety.

Note that several factors can affect the internal temperature. A leaky door seal, overstuffing the refrigerator or leaving it too empty, and frozen evaporator coils are some of them. So, ensure nothing is tampering with the temperature before adjusting it.

How to Use a Digital Fridge Thermometer

Ensure the thermometer has the correct type of battery inside it. The instruction label should have guiding steps on how to remove and replace the battery. Next, find the temperature switch and toggle it between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Next, place the thermometer’s probe inside the fridge to begin checking the temperature. Some thermometers allow you to set the temperature so that when it changes, you know the internal temperature of the fridge. You may have the type of thermometer that magnets to the fridge. Otherwise, find a way to hang it while checking the temperature.

Set an alarm on the thermometer to know when the temperature is above or below the set temperature. Then, you can adjust it accordingly.

How to Reset a Fridge Thermometer

You can press the Max/Min button or the reset button and hold it until you hear a beep. The beep lets you know you have reset the thermometer’s memory. It is crucial to reset the memory so that you can take correct temperature readings. A reset only works for digital thermometers.

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How to Calibrate a Refrigerator Thermometer

To calibrate a refrigerator thermometer, take the following steps:

Step 1

Prepare to calibrate. There are two known methods of calibrating a thermometer; one is using the freezing point and the other is the boiling point. The boiling point works best when you are at an elevation of about a thousand feet above the level of the sea. The freezing point works regardless of your level.

You can opt to use both methods side by side to see which works best for you. So, boil some water and get ice. Locate the nut for calibration on the thermometer; the nut enables you to adjust the thermometer. But note that a calibration nut is only on analog thermometers. Digital thermometers have reset buttons.

Step 2

Place the thermometer’s probe inside the container of boiling water. Watch the thermometer’s indicator stop moving or give a space of thirty seconds before reading the temperature. It should read about 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. If it is off, adjust the calibration nut until the temperature reaches the above temperature.

Step 3

Set the probe in a container of crushed ice if you are using the freezing point method. Add some cold water to the container if there are gaps. Then, wait about 30 seconds or until the thermometer’s indicator ceases to move. The temperature should be 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius. The thermometer has proper calibration if it achieves this temperature. Otherwise, adjust the nut until you reach it.


A thermometer is one device that can help you tell the correct temperature within a refrigerator. Therefore, it is crucial to have a refrigerator thermometer, especially if you have temperature issues with your appliance. Ensure you purchase a top-notch one or contact the refrigerator manufacturer for a recommendation.

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