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Jul 30, 2014 12:29 PM

Pros and Cons of Thermapen?

Hi guys,

So we all know that the Thermapen is the king of thermometers right now. But it's really damn expensive. I have one too but I personally think it's far too expensive for what it is. I can source high quality thermocouple sensors and components for much less!

I was thinking about making a product that could rival the Thermapen and offer it much less. Maybe throw it up on kickstarter or something to get some funding.

What do you guys NOT like about the Thermapen? I personally I think it should come with a backlight if they're charging us 90 bucks for one. This could really help me draw up a list of features to include.

Would love to hear some thoughts.

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  1. The only down side is the price and honestly, they have addressed that to some extent with the Thermopop for $25.

    It's a second or two slower than the thermopen and the only down side I see to it is the probe doesn't fold up. Thermoworks has a backlit thermopen, it's a couple of dollars more.

    I suppose the ideal would be a thermopen with the thermopop thermister instead of the thermocouple to hit the $25 price point and a backlight. In other words, a thermopop in a thermopen case, at the thermopop price point.

    1. I'd like to see:

      1. A feature whereby the very tip is insulated/decoupled so that hitting a bone or the bottom of a pan doesn't throw off the reading.

      2. A clipped version that can be left in a pan (stove or oven) with both a LOUD alarm and a Bluetooth link to a mobile device.

      3. Switchable to whole-number mode, so you don't see the flickering 1/10s.

      4. Rubberized body.

      5. Backlight.

      6. Accidental-dunk-proof (100% sealed)

      5 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Hi Kalokahu,

        Thanks for drawing up this list, its pretty eye opening. I'm really interested something you mentioned and that is bluetooth connectivity.

        I think theres enough space in the thermometer body for a small bluetooth transmitter. What do you want to use the BLT connection for? Live streaming of the temperature reading?

        I guess that would mean an app is required!

        Thanks and keep em coming!


        1. re: benjamin831

          Hi, Benjamin: "What do you want to use the BLT connection for?"

          Beyond simply streaming the reading, I think a simple app should also be able to allow the user to select a finish temperature, and then predict an approximate time-to-finish, at least for oven use with meat. You might need to put a second sensor in the body and a "start" button. At the very least, if the device was tracking and plotting the temp as you went, it might help minimize the number of holes poked in a perfectly good roast, and provide a very useful heads-up when things are getting near done.

          Imagine millions of homes that would at least have a CLUE about when their Thanksgiving meal will come together without the crude (and undependable) math involving weight, temperature and 15-minute increments.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            That would be really fun, as well as useful! Would not further goal of cutting cost, but I'd love that. I've never seen a calculated estimate of doneness that came close to what is actually happening (ie, the weight and temp etc calcs). There must be too many variables with each bird - and likely other roasts as well.

        2. re: kaleokahu

          The ChefAlarm they make comes with a pan clip and has a loud alarm with a volume button and is backlit. It doesn't link to a mobile device though.

          1. re: rasputina

            Damn, there goes my Nobel!

            For my next feat, I will reinvent the internal combustion engine.

        3. I can;'t think of a single con.

          1. <But it's really damn expensive. I have one too but I personally think it's far too expensive for what it is. I can source high quality thermocouple sensors and components for much less!>

            Well, thermocouple sensors are very accurate for sure. Have fun.

            1. There are already $20 to $50 thermocouple thermometers around. No one talks about them, though the ones I've used have worked very well (though I suspect there are quality control problems). If you can make one that will sell, retail, at a grocery store, for ten bucks, then you've got something.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dscheidt

                True, I noticed some on Amazon when I was doing some research. But truth be told, a lot of the thermometers out there are quite hideous. They really look out of place if you have a nice kitchen with fancy cookware.

                I think Thermapen was the first popular folding thermometer with tons of colors.

                1. re: benjamin831

                  the people who care what their thermometer look like will simply not use one, or will use an inferior one that they think looks cool.