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Mar 5, 2012 03:11 PM

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !


After one month of usage, my thermometer with probe started to give random results.

I was very surprised as it did work very well for the month I owned it. So I looked at user feedbacks on, and for my model (eKitch brand) and I saw that I was not alone in that case.

But more interestingly, I noticed that many makes and models suffered from abnormal rates of random failures that looked similar to mine.

See for instance:

"Taylor 1470 Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer"

"CDN Digital Programmable Probe Thermometer"

"ThermoWorks The Original Cooking Thermometer"

All these models seem to share the same Achille"'s heel: the probe itself.
So far, I haven't figured out what makes it fail, but until then, if you shop for an oven thermometer with probe (a tool that I otherwise find extremely useful), skip those models with that sort of probe, it's junk.

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  1. I've had that Taylor model for a number of years - more than I recall - without probe failure. However I do treat the probe and its cable with great care - not bending it sharply, pinching it, or getting it wet (beyond inserting the probe in the item I am measuring.

    A one piece thermometer is more robust, just not as convenient for tracking the temperature of items in the oven.

    3 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Hello Paul,

      I did treat my probe with the same care, but it failed nevertheless. I don't know if it's due to the fact I left a little bit of water in the oven, trying to increase humidity by creating vapor. But no liquid water went in the probe itself.

      1. re: KissesFromParis

        How hot of an oven was it used in? Both of the cheap probe thermometers I have say in VERY small print in the instructions that using it in an oven hotter than 400f will damage the wires in the lead.

        1. re: Coogles

          For myself, 180 degrees. I saw the fine print which made me even more frustrated. Not even close.

    2. I've had a few like those, untill I bought a weber remote , I've had it 7yrs, use it at least twice a week in the oven, in the bbq, winter, summer, rain snow never failed. I'll add the batteries are 4yrs old and I just ran it for 9hrs on sunday doing a pulled pork, and it's still going strong.
      I also picked one of these up to moniter the inside temp of my smoker(or bbq) and the second probe I can use in my food, or moniter 2 zones in the smoker(or bbq) and I can check the accuracy of any thermometer I have.
      There's also a maverick that i've heard a lot of good reviews about as well
      It comes down to , you get what you pay for, 20$ for a digital thermometer, i'll pass

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave5440

        Hello Dave,

        Unfortunately, it's not (only) a price problem, I believe the electronics are fine. But I believe you were lucky.
        I can see on the photos that these two models work with the same kind of unreliable probe, and both of them suffer from the same sort of reliability problems, as is confirmed by amazon user feedbacks.
        For the Weber:

        For the Maverick:

        Basically, it seems to me that about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the user feedbacks are negative, i.e they fail in the first 6 months. Not counting those that fails after one year and are not reported. There really seems to be a quality issue with the probes, or more probably a design issue, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
        Now I'm looking for an affordable professional digital thermometer with a K-type probe that goes in the oven, or a cooking thermometer with a different kind of probe. Or if I can't find it, a simple non-digital oven thermometer.

      2. I would go with something like this:

        I tend to trust measurement instruments more than consumer stuff, as they have to pass tighter tolerance. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any K-type needle probe that goes in the oven.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KissesFromParis

          If you feel it's worth the $100 US, these are quite accurate and you can purchase a probe with a metal jacket that will take up to 350°C and is heavy duty for another $65 US.

          The obvious advantage to this type instrument is that the probes, and there are many from which to chose, are replaceable. We use Fluke at work but the hand unit never dies, it's the probes, and having them replaceable is a great feature.

          1. re: KissesFromParis

            The second link I put up is a k type, also it is the one I have. If you buy the k type you linked to you will need to purchase your probes separately, as it ships with just the wires. And I agree with you on consumer models which is why I went with 140$ commercial, plus probes My link didn't work so mine is similar to this The amount of probes available is staggering if you know where to look If you can get your old probe apart, you can just slide the wire with no probe down into the old one and secure it , it will work fine
            Here's an easier link to probes


            1. re: Dave5440

              Thank you for your answer, but this is a bit out of my budget. I think I'll stick with an oven thermometer and a standard cooking thermometer. It's far less convenient, but I guess there is not much alternative at the moment.

          2. Thanks for sharing your experience.
            I contacted Taylor case number 00095106 with a probe failure after one use and received a response from Mago Sanchez, the Customer Relations Representative.

            "We provide a 1yr warranty on our units but the probes are considered accesories."

            "We have replace ment probe wire available. The model number you need is a 1478RP and is $5.00 EA. We only accept payment via mail. Please send us a check/money order to the address below:"

            In short, you paid $20 for something that may or may not fail, at random, despite the care taken of the device. Hopefully consumers will understand this and purchase from more reputable suppliers that don't plan their business model around failure.

            Junk. Do not buy. Beware of fraud.

            1. Two reliable thermometers for consideration from Rösle.

              Both are well-made stainless steel, include good probes, and both are back lighted. in F or C measurments. Both are sold in North America.

              The second roasting unit is magnetic, and can be mounted on an oven or BBQ. It can also be programmed to chime when done to your taste ( rare, medium, well ) for for different meats, fish, and poultry.

              Our cost was 15 CHF for the first unit, and 24 CHF for the second.