Since a food thermometer is such an important tool during various steps of food preparation, it has become essential that accurate and reliable thermometers be readily accessible. With so many cheap, poorly manufactured thermometers available, many businesses are tempted to purchase a lower quality product. This is understandable to an extent; if the person responsible for sourcing the company’s equipment is looking through a brochure or website, it can be hard to differentiate between models when it comes to things like accuracy, toughness and build quality. If all the options look the same, I might as well buy the cheap one, right? In the short term, perhaps this is the case, but a few months/years down the line, try taking another look at the numbers when it comes time to replace units. You’d be surprised.
In many cases, we’ve found the frequent replacement of low-cost thermometers is more of an issue than you’d think, particularly for those organizations purchasing thermometers in large quantities. With costs continuing to rise in the restaurant industry, any way a business can cut costs and improve efficiency is of course very welcome.
Some of the cheaper models of thermometers are flimsy, and built with such poor quality that they should almost be considered disposable. For example, say you’re paying as little as $15 for a bi-metallic stem pocket thermometer; these thermometer types require daily calibration to ensure accuracy (possibly more frequent calibration if they are not handled correctly), and on average need to be replaced every 2-3 months because they get lost, get dropped repeatedly, get wet, the probe snaps or the unit just stops working. Taking the time for employees to calibrate at least once a day can start to add up, and the need to buy and keep replacement units on hand isn’t doing much good for your labor and equipment budget. Not to mention the risk of a situation where there isn’t a thermometer available for employees to check final cooking temperatures. This leaves you with no adequate way of making the required checks, and ultimately puts your customers and your brand’s reputation at risk.