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Probe Thermometer Recommendations?

Bada Bing Nov 15, 2010 04:34 PM

I have gone through several probe thermometers over the years, with a sticking point always seeming to be the probe wire, which fails with time. Taylor was good enough to send me one free replacement probe when I called them, but they said that one probe is all they'll replace for free, and I also found eventually that it was inaccurate. (It read about 10 degrees too low in the 130-200 Fahrenheit range, which really matters for lean pork and poultry, especially.)

Any ideas about whether there's a very durable and reliable one to be had?

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  1. c
    caliking RE: Bada Bing Nov 15, 2010 04:42 PM

    I think this type of thermo has a common problem no matter who the manufacterer is. I have used a Maverick ET-7 and ET-73 with good results for bbq/smoking including overnight cooks. If the ET-73 looks good to you then wait a while - the ET-732 is the new and improved version and is slated to hit the market soon.

    For indoor oven cooking the ET-7 is a pretty good item. If all else fails, check which one Alton Brown uses ( I think its a Polder usually) or the Cook's Illustrated preferred one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: caliking
      ZeroSignal RE: caliking Nov 15, 2010 06:02 PM

      The comark instruments #HLA 1 is a nice durable unit

      1. re: caliking
        paulj RE: caliking Nov 16, 2010 08:27 AM

        Making a probe wire thin enough to pass through the seal of a closed oven door also makes it fragile. Mine hasn't failed yet, but I don't use it heavily, and I am in the habit of treating equipment like this with care. For example between uses I keep the probe neatly coiled up with the display in a ziplock in a drawer in the living room.

      2. t
        tzurriz RE: Bada Bing Nov 15, 2010 06:10 PM

        I've had horrible luck with them too and have sworn off them completely and am back to my old fashioned instant read. Good luck.

        1. z
          ZeroSignal RE: Bada Bing Nov 16, 2010 10:43 AM

          The ones with the plastic coated wire are $h!t. Must be a S/S braided wire coating.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ZeroSignal
            paulj RE: ZeroSignal Nov 16, 2010 10:47 AM

            Mine's has the braided wire cover (Taylor, from Target). Are the plastic coated ones even oven proof?

            1. re: paulj
              ZeroSignal RE: paulj Nov 16, 2010 11:42 AM

              Yeah they are oven proof but poor quality. Taylor makes good items but I dont think there probe style therm is up to par for what it is.

              1. re: paulj
                Bada Bing RE: paulj Nov 16, 2010 04:47 PM

                I assume the plastic is silicone, which can be heat-hardy.

            2. z
              ZeroSignal RE: Bada Bing Nov 16, 2010 10:45 AM

              Comark #HLA 1

              1. w
                windwatcher RE: Bada Bing Nov 17, 2010 04:19 PM

                i've had the classic Polder timer with probe for probably 10 years, and I've used it in the teakettle or in a pot of boiling water to tell me when it's boiling, in a BBQ, and in the oven - use it for bread braking. And I don't think I've ever had to replace the probe or maybe once. Lately it seems a little wonky - didn't signal the last loaf I baked, but i'm not complaining. I'll buy another one exactly like it.

                1. Zeldog RE: Bada Bing Nov 24, 2010 07:13 PM

                  I've used Taylor, Polder and various off brands, and all I can say is "save the receipt and make sure there's a decent warranty". They have all been fairly accurate, tested in boiling water, but the probes seem to be the weak point. It's a total crap shoot. Sometimes they last years and sometimes they die after 2 or 3 months. And if you want to order a replacement probe it costs almost as much as a new unit.

                  1. monku RE: Bada Bing Nov 24, 2010 07:38 PM

                    Here's a tip.
                    The probe usually goes bad when moisture or water gets inside the probe tip where it connects to the wire. When you're done using it only wipe the probe tip with a damp paper towel and don't ever immerse it in water and "soak" it.
                    I've successfully brought back to life probes by "drying" them out in a toaster oven at low temperatures (warm...180 degrees).

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