Review: Splash-Proof Thermapen


Review: Splash-Proof Thermapen

A few years ago I reviewed the original Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer. Here's what I said:
The Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer by Thermoworks is the best instant read thermometer out there.  Many thermometers call themselves instant read, but the Thermapen is the only one that really is instant read. You get the temperature in four seconds, instead of the 30 seconds or so that other "instant read" thermometers take.
After I wrote that review, the original Thermapen was replaced by a new, Splash-Proof model. Thermapen was kind enough to send me a new Splash-Proof Thermapen for review.

I've been using it for about a month now, and here are my impressions.

New Splash-Proof in red, old one in gray

Same as the old Thermapen: 

  • Fast: It takes a 4-Mississippi count for both the old and new thermometers to find a temperature in my testing. That's about 25 seconds faster than any other thermometer I've used.
  • Probe: It has a needle-sharp probe, which leaves a very small entrance hole in whatever you're testing. And, because it uses a thermocouple, the temperature sensor is right at the tip of the probe, making it easier to use.
  • Expensive: The thermocouple is why this thermometer is so expensive compared to other kitchen models; they use thermistors, which are cheaper, slower, and less accurate. You get what you pay for.

Improvements from the old Thermapen: 

  • Doesn't shut off until you close it: The original Thermapen would shut off after a minute or so to save batteries. This always happened at the exact moment I needed it again, forcing me to close and open the thermometer to reset it. The new Thermapen doesn't shut off until you close it.
  • Sharper display: The old display was great, with big numbers. The new display even better - bigger numbers, sharper, and easier to read, especially in low light.
  • Higher degree of accuracy: The splash-proof Thermapen now has accuracy down to a tenth of a degree. Instead of 160*F, you get 160.4*F. This makes it easier to see which way the thermometer is trending in the few seconds it takes to get to the final temperature.
  • Splash proof: The new Thermapen is more water resistant than the old one - it's right there in the "splash-proof" name. I never had an issue with this, but in a wet environment like a kitchen,  extra protection can't hurt.


Worse than the old Thermapen: 

  • Higher degree of accuracy…leads to slower results: That tenth of a degree? It may be too accurate. Comparing them head to head, the older thermometer looked like it was finding temperatures faster, because it would rise to a temperature (say, 212*F), and stick to it. The new one has a tendency to bounce around: 212.9, 212.8, 212.9…leaving me watching it for a few extra seconds to see if it has settled on a temperature. I don't think I would have noticed it as much if I wasn't testing them side by side. The splash-proof is still as fast and accurate as the old Thermapen; even with that slight lag caused by tenth of a degree fluctuations, it reads faster than any other thermometer I've used.


Conclusion:
$96 $93 is a lot of money for a thermometer. The splash-proof Thermapen is still worth every penny. As I said in my original review: if my Thermapen broke, I'd order a new one immediately, and pay extra for overnight shipping. I consider my Thermapen an essential cooking tool. Highly recommended.

Notes: 

In the picture, you can see the old and new Thermapen side by side. What's wrong? The old Thermapen registers 213*F, and the new one 209*F. In the same pot of boiling water. This worried me - was the new Thermapen off by four degrees?

I should have known the old Thermapen was incorrect. I live at (slight) altitude, 1140 feet above sea level. I have to adjust the timing in canning recipes; it always takes a few extra minutes to process food safely.  Water boils at roughly 209.9*F at my altitude, with a little fluctuation due to barometric pressure. The splash-proof was reading perfectly - and my old standby was a few degrees off!


PS: I'm publishing this review just in time for thanksgiving. The key to a turkey with moist white meat? Pulling it out of the oven at 160*F. You don't have to spend $96 on one, but make sure you have a thermometer to test your turkey!




Disclaimer: Thermapen sent me a free thermometer for this test. I bought my old one with my own money, and the new model is every bit as good. Also, while I'm disclaiming: If you buy something through the Amazon.com links on my site I get a small commission from the purchase. Thank you!
(OK, I'm good with the FCC now.)

Splash-Proof Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer



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2 comments:

Rob said...

Well, I really wish Santa had brought me a thermapen yesterday. I cooked a 15 lb. Turkey on the rotisserie. I took it off the grill at 175º. It was still good but drier than I had hoped for.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Darn! I hate when that happens.

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