The Thermapen: Weapon of Choice for Year Round Cooking


Around the year, families d will congregate around ovens and roasters, smokers and grills and ask the age-old question:  “Is it ready yet?”.  In my book, the only thing worse in my book than an overdone meal is an underdone one so you want to be accurate in getting the temp to 165deg in the deepest part of the thigh or thickest part of the breast.

So what’s the fastest and safest way to check the temp?  While nostalgia may kick in for the infamous pop-up thermometer such as those in the Turkey, this age-old method of measurement is also going away and for good reason –  it’s imprecise and no one wants to send a family member to the ER due to food poisoning.  Ok, maybe that’s a little overblown but it could happen.

Enter our weapon of choice:  The Thermapen by ThermoWorks.  I learned about this wonder from a friend in the restaurant biz who swears by it.  I thought spending $85-90 on a thermometer seemed excessive until I understood the features and how it’s a little secret in the restaurant and food service industry:

The Thermapen 

  • 3-second readings
  • High accuracy to ±0.7°F (±0.4°C)
  • Water-resistant design
  • Biomaster anti-bacterial additive
  • °F to °C adjustable
  • Auto on/off
  • 1,500 hour battery life
I can attest this will be the last thermometer you will need.  As for sensitivity and accuracy, an NIST-Traceable certificate of calibration showing test results is provided for each individual thermometer.
There’s always room for improvement though as I learned when my first Thermapen died due to leaving outside during the rain.  ThermaWorks has since come up with a moisture resistant design, and added an anti-bacterial additive.  I haven’t had a problem since getting my replacement unit (on my own dime, my fault after all).  My only word of warning – the temperature probe is sharp and thin – designed to to minimal damage when putting it into the meat.  If you do decide to put one of these in your pocket between trips, make sure the probe is fully in the sheath – ouch! Configuration settings in the battery compartment allow management to easily set the Thermapen for C or F, read in tenths or whole degrees (0.1 or 1), and disable the auto-off for continuous readings till the probe is closed. Although likely to never be needed, a calibration trim button fine-tunes the unit calibration at a single temperature such as an ice-bath.
As far as gadgets go, this is about as easy as they come and has garnered over 145 5-star ratings on Amazon.com (over 165 reviews).  The thermapen makes a great holiday gift for the cook in any family.
 

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