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Instant Read Digital Thermometer used on Americas Test Kitchen

JoanNYC Aug 1, 2012 12:20 PM

I love the thermometer that they use for everything from testing oil, roasts, etc etc, seems to be the same on they use all the time. If anyone knows which one this is I would love to know. Thanks much

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  1. Ferrari328 RE: JoanNYC Aug 1, 2012 01:26 PM


    A bit pricey but really really good. I invested in one and have never regretted it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ferrari328
      rexster314 RE: Ferrari328 Aug 1, 2012 04:20 PM

      One of the best purchases I've ever made. Works great, and is super fast readout

      1. re: Ferrari328
        sherrib RE: Ferrari328 Aug 1, 2012 04:23 PM

        That's the one! My steaks have been perfectly cooked ever since . . .

      2. b
        bbqJohn RE: JoanNYC Aug 1, 2012 04:31 PM

        Although I own a Thermapen there are lower cost slightly slower alternatives. I personally don't see a need for a Thermapen especially in a home kitchen, but everyone's got their own needs. One of the ones below is more than serviceable.

        I reviewed 4 models at this link.


        1. al b. darned RE: JoanNYC Aug 1, 2012 06:40 PM

          I have a Thermopen only because Santa bought it for me a few years back. It's a nice product, but for my money I would (and did) buy this one for about 1/6 the price:
          I've had one of these for at least 10 years. It's nearly as fast as the Thermopen, and, unlike the Thermopen, it has a "hold" feature. The buttons look small but I have hands of ham and I have no problem with them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: al b. darned
            Bada Bing RE: al b. darned Feb 16, 2013 07:40 PM

            I own both the CDN thermometer (my first one) and then got a Thermapen when there was a closeout sale. (You can sign up on the Thermapen website and get email offers.)

            The Thermapen is better in all respects for my purposes, but not so much that I'd say a person on a budget should feel hobbled with the CDN. What I like most about the thermapen, in addition to it's speed, is the smaller diameter of the hole that it creates.

            For people really trying to budget, consider getting a timer with a probe thermometer, such as :


            That allows you to instant read anything but also monitor a roast or chicken in the oven with the door closed. Those probe wires can wear out, esp. if you use high heat, but Taylor will replace one or two of them for free if you call them.

            I also have an infrared surface temp thermometer. I guess I have to confess to being a temperature geek.

            1. re: Bada Bing
              liu RE: Bada Bing Feb 18, 2013 09:32 PM

              Bada Bing, I also have an infrared surface temp thermometer. I use it all the time for making various types of tea (white, green, oolong, black) because they steep best in different water temperatures. It is a very useful tool!

          2. j
            John Francis RE: JoanNYC Aug 2, 2012 03:27 AM

            The Thermopen instant read thermometer is expensive but as Ferrari328 and others say, it's really good. It's used on other serious cooking shows too, such as Good Eats. Sure, it costs more, but while I won't splash the cash for expensive cookware like All-Clad, I don't regret a single $ I spent on my Thermopen. Still working fine after 4 years of constant use.

            As others have said, cheaper instant-read thermometers do the job too. America's Test Kitchen recommends five priced below $35, with another Thermoworks product, the Super-Fast Waterproof Pocket Thermometer and the CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer (al B. darned's choice), at the top of that heap.

            bbqJohn, I clicked on your link but could only find reviews of three models by J Reyes: the DeltaTrak Flash Check 11061, HVAC Fieldpiece SPK1, and Comark Digital Thermometer model PDT300; what's the fourth?

            For what it's worth, ATK recommends the Comark Waterproof Digital Thermometer though not as highly as its two top choices: "The side buttons were helpful, but the small screen was difficult to read. It also took a whopping four seconds for this thermometer to even turn on." Also, it's the most expensive of the cheap thermometers at $32.ATK doesn't review the other two that you do.

            3 Replies
            1. re: John Francis
              bbqJohn RE: John Francis Aug 2, 2012 04:58 PM

              Should have read 3 and comments on Thermoworks lower cost option.

              1. re: John Francis
                Thanks4Food RE: John Francis Feb 16, 2013 10:00 AM

                Can you tell me what those five below $35 were? Was the Super-fast Pocket Therm. the 2nd choice after the Thermopen? I'd love the Thermopen but am not sure I can bring myself to spend that: I do take the temp of my bread loaves, but rarely eat steaks/roasts.

                1. re: John Francis
                  DuffyH RE: John Francis Mar 8, 2013 06:53 PM

                  When ours died after 6 yrs of frequent use, Thermoworks repaired it for $25. Their customer service is very responsive.

                  If I were buying one today, I'd buy the splash-proof model, as moisture was the culprit in our failure, and is the most common cause of failure, according to customer service.

                2. j
                  jedovaty RE: JoanNYC Aug 2, 2012 07:50 PM

                  Since I do a lot of tinkering, I bought a digital multi-meter which also reads temperature. I put together my own probe k-type thermocouple at omega, stainless steel shaft.

                  1. t
                    TomDel RE: JoanNYC Feb 17, 2013 03:25 AM

                    What's especially nice about the Thermopen for us older folks is the digital readout is large enough to read without glasses.

                    1. j
                      John Francis RE: JoanNYC Feb 18, 2013 12:49 PM

                      The Thermapen is terrific. I use it almost every time I cook. Hey, it even tells me the temperature of my room!

                      1. p
                        pharmnerd RE: JoanNYC Feb 18, 2013 11:47 PM

                        My Thermapen's worth every penny. As a novice home cook, BBQ lover & coffee aficionado, helps me get the right temp FAST every time.

                        1. j
                          John Francis RE: JoanNYC Feb 19, 2013 04:00 PM

                          I've just seen an episode on Good Eats about cooking Rock Cornish hens that went into how instant read thermometers work. Alton Brown says there are two kinds. The Thermapen uses a thermocouple, two tiny wires of different materials extending into the thermometer's point, that expand at different rates and measure heat by the difference. This is the most accurate technology and also permits the thinnest probe. The other kind uses a thermistor, a ceramic bead that's bulkier so the probe is wider and punches larger holes in the food, slower, and set back from the point so the reading is said to be less accurate; also cheaper.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: John Francis
                            liu RE: John Francis Feb 19, 2013 04:09 PM

                            I'm listening...good information, John...thanks!

                            1. re: John Francis
                              Thanks4Food RE: John Francis Feb 25, 2013 09:20 AM

                              Hey, John Francis, your post above shows me that you ARE around--I revived this thread to ask you the question further above, but no one answered it. Would you, please? (What the 5 below $35 were, etc.)

                              1. re: Thanks4Food
                                John Francis RE: Thanks4Food Feb 25, 2013 11:54 PM

                                Recommended by ATK:
                                ThermoWorks Super-Fast Waterproof Pocket Thermometer
                                CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer
                                ThermoWorks Super-Fast Pocket Thermometer
                                Comark Waterproof Digital Thermometer
                                OXO Good Grips Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer

                                Not recommended:
                                VWR Flip-Stick Thermometer
                                CDN ProAccurate Quick Read Waterproof Pocket Thermometer

                                1. re: John Francis
                                  Thanks4Food RE: John Francis Feb 27, 2013 06:35 AM

                                  Thanks so much!

                            2. t
                              timwaltham RE: JoanNYC Feb 26, 2013 12:49 AM

                              the thermopen can be quite expensive. its better to get their digital thermometer with the k socket and buy a k probe from their range.


                              that way you get to use whatever probe you want want, ie fast response meat probe, oven probe, surface temperature or the standard penetration probe.
                              i got mine on minitherma k thermometer for just £12.50.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: timwaltham
                                John Francis RE: timwaltham Feb 26, 2013 08:42 AM

                                The Thermoworks MTC Thermocouple Thermometer is a new product and America's Test Kitchen hasn't evaluated it yet. As far as I know. It comes without the necessary thermocouple probe, which Thermoworks also sells. If you buy their "kit," including the meter and a probe, it costs $72, which is $17 less than the Thermapen's current list price. Additional probes cost from $24 to $59. Not cheap, and not convenient; you also need their storage case to keep from damaging or losing the probe. No such problem with the Thermapen.

                                timwaltham, exactly what did you buy for your £12.50?

                                1. re: John Francis
                                  timwaltham RE: John Francis Feb 26, 2013 11:09 AM

                                  i got it from their website (http://thermometer.co.uk/ and it came with the penetration probe too), i think thermoworks is just the american branch of it.
                                  i think they had an offer on at the time but it wasnt much more on amazon, perhaps its also slightly cheaper here in the uk too.

                                  it seemed like a 'no-brainer' to get the modular unit, not only was it alot cheaper and must be the same electronics, but theres the choice of using all the other probes if ever you needed them (ie, oven, air temp, fast response meat probe and surface temp probes are useful for the home cook) or yours could be replaced if it or the reader ever went faulty.
                                  the probe can also be left in a pot and the reader left reading further away from the heat and steam, something i do often for milk/yogurt and sugar heating.
                                  storage isnt a problem, theyre just left in the box in a draw, the probe i use all the time just stays in the reader stuck to the microwave (its also magnetic).
                                  the probes are expensive but you only need the standard penetration probe, the other probe options are nice to have.

                                  1. re: timwaltham
                                    John Francis RE: timwaltham Feb 26, 2013 01:08 PM

                                    Thanks for the information. I see that Thermoworks is the American distributor of ETI Thermometers, including the Thermapen, at a substantially higher price; the Thermapen lists for £48.00 in the UK, which converts to about $72 compared with Thermoworks's $89. But I doubt they're allowed to sell in the US.

                                    ETI Thermometers also has a modular thermocouple device which is apparently not the same as Thermoworks's MTC Thermocouple Thermometer. The probes also look different and the British ones are priced much higher than the American. So I wonder if what you bought is the same as what's available over here.

                                    All this is academic, as I'm sure ETI Thermometers doesn't sell in the US, or Thermoworks in the UK.

                              2. e
                                Edward Tyson RE: JoanNYC Feb 26, 2013 05:25 AM

                                The thermapen is expensive but they do occasionally have open stock items. I have tried other instant read products but I have yet to find one that works as well.

                                1. Antilope RE: JoanNYC Feb 27, 2013 09:53 AM

                                  We have two of the Thermopen thermometers. Great for baking. At 195-F I know the baked good is done. No guessing anymore.

                                  I also have the Thermoworks Extra Big Digital Timer. It has a full calculator type keyboard, but the entire surface is sealed so stuff won't get in the buttons. It times up to 99 hours. It is industrial quality with a strong magnet that holds it securely to the fridge. Best of all, it was only $ 19.


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