Science, Tech, Math › Science Re-Use the Turkey Thermometer Easy to Reset Thermometer to Use Again Share Flipboard Email Print Reset the turkey thermometer for chicken or other poultry. Fotosearch / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated March 06, 2017 Did you know you could re-use the thermometer that comes with many frozen turkeys? It makes sense, when you think about it. Those thermometers contain a ball of metal and a spring. The thermometer is designed such that the metal will melt at the safe temperature for turkey meat (~180°F), releasing the spring and popping up the button. To reset the thermometer all you have to do is dip the tip of the thermometer in hot water (near-boiling will definitely work) to melt the metal. Push the button back down and remove the thermometer from the water, keeping the button depressed. Wait about a minute for the metal to cool, locking the spring back into place. There you go! If you don't cook turkey all that often, remember the thermometer is good for chicken or other poultry, too. It's much smaller than the typical meat thermometer and also much less likely to injure your hand if you go fishing around in a drawer for a thermometer that you rarely use. You'd need to cut open a turkey thermometer to confirm it is metal that holds the spring, as opposed to some polymer, but if is metal inside the thermometer, you should discard any thermometer with a damaged coating. Metals with low melting points tend to be toxic, after all. This also means that if you cut open your thermometer to examine its workings, you should use care and dispose of your experiment out of reach of children or pets.