Can I Use A Meat Thermometer To Take My Temperature?

Can I use a meat thermometer to take my temperature

If you’re feeling unwell or cold, and notice that your skin is quite hot to the touch…you might have a fever. And usually, this means you need to stay home and rest so that you can get that fever down and get better.

But…what if you don’t have a thermometer in order to take your temperature and verify whether you have a fever or not? 

It can happen, as not everybody is prepared with a working thermometer at home in case you have a fever. So…what can you do? 

What if you have a meat thermometer? Can you use that to take your temperature?

A meat thermometer is a special kind of thermometer that is used to measure the temperature of different types of meat while they are cooking, so they are not exactly designed for taking a human’s temperature to check for fever.

But it still takes the temperature, right? 

Well, if that is your line of thinking, you are pretty much correct. In an emergency, if you don’t have a normal thermometer, you can use a meat thermometer in order to take your own temperature. 

However, this won’t work as well as the right kind of thermometer and you have to make sure that you are doing it the right way to get the most accurate temperature reading possible.

If you want to find out how to use a meat thermometer to take your own temperature, with safety guides and tips, keep reading. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know! 

How to Take Your Temperature With a Meat Thermometer

Using a meat thermometer to take your temperature sounds a bit…weird. And that’s because it is! You wouldn’t usually use a meat thermometer on yourself, as it is not designed for this purpose, but, if you really need to check for fever, and you don’t have a normal thermometer, then you can make do with it as an alternative. 

The question is, how on earth do you use the meat thermometer to take your temperature? You can’t exactly stick it in as you would with meat – that would hurt a lot! 

Instead, you need to place the meat thermometer inside your mouth. This doesn’t sound like the most appealing thing but it’s the only way to go about it. So, make sure to disinfect the meat thermometer and then place it in your mouth, under your tongue.

Leave it there for a few minutes, so that it has time to read the temperature, and then take it out and check what it says!

It will look and feel weird but it’s super simple to do and it’s not like you have any better alternatives, right? 

That being said, if you want to get a more accurate reading, you can’t just grab any old meat thermometer and stick it in your mouth, as the reading is likely to be very inaccurate.

Here are some of our tips on what to do to make sure it works a little better:

Can I use a meat thermometer to take my temperatures

Use an instant-read digital meat thermometer

There are different types of meat thermometers and if you want to get the most accurate reading of your temperature possible, you should use an instant-read digital one. These will be able to read the temperature within seconds, so you aren’t holding it in your mouth for too long. 

The higher quality the thermometer is, the better it will work too, so make sure to use your very best when checking for fever! 

Make sure to place the meat thermometer properly!

Unless you place the meat thermometer properly in your mouth, you won’t get an accurate reading. Remember to place it underneath your tongue and to keep it there, still, for a few seconds or however long it takes to get the reading.

And, it goes without saying, but you should close your mouth a little around the thermometer so that it can better read the temperature inside! 

Calibrate the thermometer before use

Before you use the meat thermometer to take your own temperature, it is important that you calibrate it, so that the reading is as accurate as possible. 

In order to do so, these are the steps you should follow:

  1. Boil a pot of water and fill a separate glass with some ice
  2. Cover the ice with the boiling water, and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes (make sure it’s not long enough to cause the ice to melt!) 
  3. Place the meat thermometer in the water. The tip should be touching the ice at the bottom. 
  4. The thermometer should read a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If this doesn’t happen, then the thermometer isn’t accurate. In which case, you will have to buy a new one. 

Is a Meat Thermometer a Reliable Way of Taking Your Temperature?

You might be wondering if you should really trust a meat thermometer to read your temperature properly and whether it is a reliable alternative or not. The truth is that it is not completely reliable, as this kind of thermometer isn’t designed to read a human’s temperature. It is designed for meat. 

However, it is the most reliable alternative for checking whether you have a fever or not, in the case of you not having a normal digital thermometer. So, if that’s all you have, then it’s the best you can do!

Safety Tips For Using a Meat Thermometer to Take Your Temperature

Since the meat thermometer isn’t designed to be used for taking a human’s temperature, you need to make sure you are being extra careful and safe when using it on yourself. 

Here are some of our top safety tips:

  • Disinfect the meat thermometer thoroughly before placing it in your mouth! Especially if you have used it on meat, as it could have leftover bits of half-raw meat! 
  • Be very careful and gentle when placing the meat thermometer in your mouth, as it has a sharp end that is used to stick it into the meat. One wrong move and you’ll be rushing to the hospital with a bleeding mouth. 

Final Thoughts

So…can you use a meat thermometer to take your temperature? Well, it won’t give you the most accurate reading and you would have to be very careful when using it.

But, if you don’t have a normal digital thermometer, then the meat thermometer is your best alternative and can indeed be used to check for a fever. 

Annie Plummer
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