Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 11, 2010 08:36 AM

Anybody have one of those new fangled infra red thermometer?

You have seen these, if you have watched Good Eats much.

I have to admit, I would really like to have one. I think maybe it will go on the birthday gift want list.

If you have one, what do you do with it? How do you like it?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have an "old-fangled" HVAC IR thermometer that I've tried to use in the kitchen and realistically, I can't think of any ongoing use for it once you've played with it by measuring the surface temperature of everything in sight. Good for a few giggles. Once, twice, or maybe three times if you really like playing with grown-up toys. :)

    Other than maybe double-checking your oven (or fridge or freezer) thermometer, I can't think of any practical culinary uses for them. And those are basically one-shot uses unless something's wrong with your appliances or the thermometers. How often do really need to measure surface temperature (only) in the kitchen? Might be useful for grilling/smoking, though, if you do that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MikeG

      Oh... about the only thing I could think of is beating an egg sugar mixture to the ribbon stage. It usually requires you to very gently heat it up to about 180 degrees but usually you monitor that by putting your finger into it until it just gets hot.

      Maybe if you were melting chocolate or even worse those candy melts and wanted to make sure the temperature didn't exceed about 110 degrees. After that the chocolate loses its temper and the melts start getting all gummy instead of smooth.

      1. re: tonka11_99

        The glitch there is that you're only measuring the surface - a good, regular probe thermometer is more effective.

        There's an idea. If you want a really impressive thermometer-type kitchen toy and have generous family or friends, put a Thermapen on your list! I don't have one, but want one!

    2. They are commonly used to check the temperature of pizza stones, as people who make pizza with high heat want the stone to be as hot as possible. I use it at least once a week just for that.

      1. I’ve had one for a number of years, works great for gauging the surface temp of any non-reflective surface and doubles as a cat toy. It doesn’t get used in the kitchen nearly as much as I thought it would, it’s a cool toy, but in my opinion, it’s not nearly so useful as to justify the cost.