A surface thermometer is a device used toread the surface temperature of something. These devices may work by being leftin direct contact with a surface, and they can also be remote, usingnon-contact methods to get information about temperature readings. They can bepurchased through a variety of sources, including kitchen suppliers, scientificequipment catalogs, and suppliers of materials used in manufacturing.
A simple surface thermometer attaches withclips, straps, or magnets to the surface of an object. A sensor on thethermometer provides feedback about fluctuations in temperature and may feedthis information to a remote display, depending on the application. Othersurface thermometers work by measuring radiation from the surface, often using a laser for guidance. The measuringrange can vary, depending on the product; some are tolerant of very hightemperatures, while others are designed for applications like cooking, wherethe temperature range is relatively limited.
In cooking, a surface thermometer can beused to check the temperature of a grill or griddle to make sure it's ready foruse and address concerns about food safety, in settings where low temperaturesmight expose people to the risk of bacteria from undercooked food. In othersettings, it may be important to monitor the surface of equipment in aworkspace, for doing everything from processing products on slabs of thecorrect temperature to stopping production if equipment gets too hot.
When selecting a surface thermometerdesign, it is important to note the temperature range, as the device may failor break if it gets too hot or too cold. Other considerations can include howthe device attaches, and ease of reading when it comes to the display. If thethermometer is going to be situated in a hard to reach location, it may benecessary to have a big display for high visibility, or a remote display, allowingpeople to check temperatures without having to be directly in front of thetemperature sensor.
Like other devices used for measuring, asurface thermometer should be calibrated with something of a known temperatureif it is going to be used in a setting where small temperature fluctuations arecritical. Devices requiring calibration are usually shipped with briefoverviews on how to do this, and people can also send them back tomanufacturers for inspection, calibration, and repair, if it is needed. Somecompanies provide this service for free over the life of the device as part ofthe product guarantee.