I've written about the Thermapen before during last year's giveaway and when I tested a variety of thermometers back in 2005, and I still believe it is the best thermometer I've ever used. I sheepishly admitted during last year's giveaway that over the years I've collected several Thermapens which I use in various places in the house.
For cooking, I reach for my Thermapen whenever I need to a temperature check, and that's not limited to cooking meats. I use it when I make candy (like my English Toffee which I make several pounds of each Halloween to give away), baking bread, checking the temperature of simmering stocks, or whether or not a stew has chilled enough to go into the refrigerator. The less than 4-second readings is really what makes it so convenient - with typical "instant read" thermometers that take about 10 seconds to stabilize, the extra time (which doesn't seem so long) really does prevent me from using them more often. With a fast and accurate probe, the Thermapen is quick enough that I don't feel held up by my tools.
|Emma tests the water resistance of her red Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen|
I thought I'd take a moment to mention a couple of other Thermowork devices that I've been using on a regular basis. To take surface temperature readings instantly (less than a second), I reach for an infrared thermometer. Measuring temperature with an IR thermometer isn't as simple as pointing and shooting (although, usually that's all you have to do) because the emissivity of the material you are aiming at changes the coefficient used by the device to calculate the temperature based on the infrared measurement. So, taking a reading on a shiny stainless steel surface is quite different than reading the surface temperature of a pot of water. Most IR thermometers have a fixed emissivity coefficient of 0.95 which works well for water and organic materials, but the IR thermometers I've tried from Thermoworks have adjustable emissitivy values in case you need to measure the surface temperatures of other materials accurately. I use this IR Thermometer I bought a few years ago, but this IR thermometer is on sale for $45 as of the time of this posting.
Other tool I've been playing with regularly is their new ChefAlarm which has a super fast probe (5 seconds vs 12 seconds for most probe alarm thermometers) and an option for a super thin probe that is suitable for use in sous vide applications.
Lastly, I've found the their splash-proof TimeStick to be handy when I've got something in the oven or is time sensitive. I used to set an alarm in the kitchen (and still do), but when I know I'm stepping away (which is fairly often with work and baby care fighting for my attention), this lightweight but rugged timer has come in handy on more than a few ocassions. I know I can just set a timer on my phone, but somehow it's not as handy to do that while I'm at home. The TimeStick slips into my pocket conveniently (also comes with a lanyard and a magnet on the back) and is easy to set with one hand.
Anyway, hopefully, I've given you some holiday gift ideas so onto the giveaway instructions:
- You need to be in North America to qualify for this giveaway.
- Join Cooking For Engineers (through the forums) and post a comment to this article with whether or not you'd buy a Thermapen as a gift and who that gift would be for (you can admit that you would buy one for yourself). I need you to join so, if you win, I'll have an email address to contact you with to get your mailing info so Thermoworks can send you the thermometers. I won't have contact information for guest/anonymous posts so I can't include your entry unless you are logged in. (If you are an existing member, be sure to double check your email address on file to make sure it's accurate.)
- On December 11, 2013, I'll post a comment signifying the end of the contest. All entries (where I have contact info) above my comment will be eligible to win. (I don't know what time I'll be making the post, so it's best just to enter early.)
- I'll number the participants and generate a random number which will determine the winner and post the winner as well as contact them via email. If there is no response within 48 hours of my email, then I'll probably pick another number and winner (and so on).
I'm running the giveaway until December 11, 2013, so the new thermometers should arrive in time for Christmas (for your perfect holiday prime rib). Good luck everyone!}?>