Tuesday, July 15, 2014
ThermoPop -- great thermometer for $25
I am not a type of cook who spends her disposable income right and left at William and Sonoma. Most students are pleasantly surprised when they find out how much my pots, pans, and knives cost. But I always get a bit embarrassed when they ask me about meat thermometers. I used to use flimsy little digital thermometers from Taylor and Maverick that cost $15. They were functional, but infuriating. The electronics were flimsy and the display would sometimes flicker. They took as long as 15 seconds to come up to temperature once you stick them into something. They have a thick probe that is hard to stick into meat.
One day, Jason surprised me with a Thermopen for my birthday. It's $100. "What an extravagance for a thermometer," I thought. But I am addicted and can't go back. The temperature stabilizes 3 seconds after you are in the meat. The probe has a slender tip that goes into meat like it was butter. The body is water resistant. Using this thermometer is pure joy.
You can imagine my excitement when Thermoworks put out a $25 version called ThermoPop. With all the features of Thermopen, but slightly toned down precision and response time. It should stabilize in 5-6 seconds and the reading should be within 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The range is still huge -58 to 572°F. I ordered one right away. I tested it in a glass of water against my expensive Thermopen at 40F, 100F, 120F, and 160F. I got the same reading on both the $100 and $25 thermometers. The difference in response time was negligible. Thermopop was a couple of seconds behind.
Don't be surprised if the readings you get when you turn both of your thermometers on is quite different. They are not designed to measure air temperature. The cheapy ThermoPop stabilizes very slowly in air and was 5 degrees higher than Thermopen. Not that I would trust Themopen with air either.
At this point, I don't know how well Thermopop will hold up. I'll try to give you an update in a year (or earlier if it breaks ;)
Posted by Helen Rennie at 12:08 PM