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Thermapen - Good Machine and Good Eats (Sorry Alton)

Once in a while I find a tool or a gadget that's a little more expensive than comparable products but that I get a lot of pleasure out of using. These are well-designed products that look good, feel right, and perform a relatively simple function very, very well.

The ThermoWorks Thermapen is one of those products. At $85 it's not cheap for a food thermometer but it's worth every penny. I've gone through almost a dozen thermometers in the last few years: digital thermometers, analog thermometers, thermometers with probes, remote thermometers. They've ranged in price from under $10 to $50 and they all had one thing in common: they sucked.

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The thermometers with probes (you leave the probe in the oven or grill so you can constantly monitor the temperature of your food as it cooks) don't stand up to temperatures over 350 degrees fahrenheit and that makes them pretty useless. I've been through a half-dozen probes to prove it. They're also not very accurate. In side-by-side tests the temperature varied by 10-20 degrees. That's the difference between medium-rare and overcooked.

Almost all of the thermometers take too long to read the temperature (sometimes up to 30 seconds) and are not accurate. So you depend on the thermometer to tell you when your steaks are done and they end up being overcooked or undercooked. They also have big massive probes that must make every piece of pork, chicken, or beef feel like Cartman. Not good because the juices leak out and whatever you're cooking dries up.

The Thermapen is fast - it reads temperatures in a matter of seconds and it's accurate. It's got a thin, sharp probe tip (with a sensor at the very tip) so you can measure the temperature of very thin items.

Sure you can probably get by with a cheaper thermometer or you can cut open whatever it is you're cooking and take a peek every few minutes but for a thermometer that you can trust, that's satisfying to use, and that guarantees good results - the Thermapen can't be beat.

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Posted in Food Post Date 05/28/2017