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Equipment & Gear: Kitchen Thermometers
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drbiggles_repost
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are opening and closing the oven door repeatedly to check the temperature of a roast or related, you're doing it wrong. You should be able to gauge the cooking time versus temperature guided by the weight of your meat. I usually check the temperature of the roast no more than twice, usually once. My cooking times have never gone up to 50% longer, that's just silly talk. If you open your oven door a few times and your chicken ends up taking 2 or 3 hours too cook, I would look in to a new range.
Even smoking pork ribs, it takes about 4 to 5 hours. Whether I open the door or not. It does not take my smoker 6 to 10 hours to smoke ribs because I open the door a half dozen times. Horse pucky.
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lonetexan2
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam, I met another guy at a BBQ meet that had the Deltatrak thing from your link. It didn't come close to matching the speed of my Thermapen. I thought Thermapen fans were geeks till one let me try his in my ice water against a couple cheaper models I already had. Now I've got two Thermapens. Most guys tend to defend whatever they've bought and if you spent $30 I'll bet you're in the same boat. I thought the Thermapen guys were just propping up their own wisdom but check-it out, you'll be hooked. By the way, Thermoworks.com has a $14 model that is just as fast and accurate as that Deltatrak. But, I'd still pay for the Thermapen instead.
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Andrew Pimlott
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the discussion on this page, and want to ask about the other problem (besides speed) with thermistor probe thermometers: Every single model (see eg amazon.com reviews) seems prone to going wildly out of calibration. Sometimes, this seems to be due to moisture or shock, but sometimes (in my own experience) it's random (dead on one day, reads 150 F at room temperature the next). I have not been able to find information about the cause of this problem. Can anyone explain?

Are there any reliable probe thermometers at a reasonable price? Looking at ThermoWorks's site, I can get a thermocouple unit plus an oven probe for a bit over $100. I wouldn't get the alarm, though. Has anyone tried this?
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Horace Bixby
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used several models of the Polder thermometers with the remote probe. I have also used and have several other brands. My experience using these for homebrewing and barbecue is that the accuracy falls off. I believe that the probe can become contaminated(sugar etc entering junction of probe and wire). They appear to start accurate but later appear inaccurate. Shrink tubing over junction appears to help. I usually turn on several of the thermometers at once then compare room temperature readings to a thermopen that I use and have found fast, accurate and a good household standard for comparison. I also have another thermocouple temperature meter that I use for reference also. My preference is the Thermopen. I wish there was a remote probe version of the Thermopen. My thermocouple meter has a remote probe and works well, but is a bit bulky.
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Chef Anthony von Krag
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the best investment thermometers at home is a Taylor oven model. I have NEVER in 46 years of cooking/baking seen a home oven be consistent in temp with in the entire volume. Just knowing what your oven does in differing spots takes a huge amount of guess work out of baking.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't yet purchased a Thermopen, but I am getting ready to. I have used the Poulder for a while and agree with all you have said here about it, but I have found that it isn't terribly accurate. (At least mine isn't). I ruined more that a few steaks while the Poulder was fully inserted. Additionally, my wife got a second degree burn on her thumb when she was removing a roast and the wire slid up against her thumb.

No, I am done with "leave in" probes, and am ready to make the jum to a quality "super-fast read" thermometer.
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david.mihola



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: How to calibrate the Thermapen? Reply with quote

Hello,

since I am new here, first of all my congratulations for your great site!

I just purchased a ThermoWorks Thermapen and am now wondering how to recalibrate it myself - there are no buttons whatsoever on the thermometer and except for the calibration certificate there was no documentation inside the box.

It's not that I would need to recalibrate it now - I am just curious.

Anyway, any information would be appreciated.

David
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like the discussion here ... defintely understand the value of the thermopen, but the price has made me hesitate. a tip from Rose Beranbaum led me to check out the model by CDN - the ProAccurate:

http://www.cdn-timeandtemp.com/products/proaccurate/

(leaning towards the Q2-450 quick tip on a rope model).

it sells for $17, and Rose claims it is just a few seconds slower than the thermopen (in her words, the thermopen was not worth the extra $$$).

anyone else have experience with this? is it possible we finally have a reasonable, mid-level instant thermometer (anything taking more than 30 seconds is utterly useless in my mind).

thanks!
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murky
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject: What makes the thermapen better than other thermocouples? Reply with quote

Its not clear from the review or responses, which thermometers use thermocouples and which do not.

What advantages does the Thermapen have over other thermocouple thermometers? Most if not all of the praise for it seems to be due to its fast response and accuracy attributable to the the fact that it uses the thermocouple.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: What makes the thermapen better than other thermocouples Reply with quote

murky wrote:
Its not clear from the review or responses, which thermometers use thermocouples and which do not.

Of the thermometers reviewed, only the Thermapen uses a thermocouple. All the other digital thermometers used a thermistor.
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Quick Tip
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: New thermometer patents and filings Reply with quote

There's a company that has created technology and filed patents addressing thermometer issues we are all discussing here; SPEED, ACCURACY, CALIBRATION.

They have created a thermistor thermometer (Quick Tip), which reads from room temp into boiling water in 5-7 seconds (w/ 1/2 deg. accuracy), a self-calibrating thermometer circuit (SelfSet) and an cool feature call "TLC - Time Left to Cook) which shows estimated remaining time to achieve set temperature on a clock display. They are an OEM manufacturer for many of the known brands (CDN, Polder, et al). Check it out here - www.fobinstruments.com.
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lonetexan2
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject: Quicktip vs Thermapen Reply with quote

I tried one of the FOB quicktip units after reading a Cook's Illustrated review. They tested the same thing twice, one from each of two different brands. They have red tips and are clearly the same. Cook's found two very different response times and they still rated the Thermapen the best. The red stuff chipped off the tip of my probe and I found the thermistor was glued into the open end of the metal tube. I guess the idea was to make the thermistor faster by not covering it with metal. The problem is the red paint chips off. I think that water then got into the tip and it doesn't work anymore. Before the chipping happened I tested the FOB unit against my Thermapen in ice water. The Thermapen got to 32 in less than 3 seconds and the FOB thing took 10 seconds. I guess that difference won't matter to some but the chipping red stuff really bugs me.
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otrpu



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Lakewood, CO

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Need Polder User Manual Reply with quote

Hi, been too many years since I used it. Sorta forgot I even had it. Anyone know where I can find a user booklet for the Polder Digital Thermometer Timer? Looks like this one. . .http://www.amazon.com/Polder-Cooking-Thermometer-Timer-Clock/dp/B00004S4U0/sr=1-2/qid=1166392578/ref=sr_1_2/105-5494530-6115625?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen
I use it for breadbaking. Can't attest to accuracy, but after a half hour I poke it in the loaf and leave it, then pull the bread out when it reads 200*F.

Thanks,
OTRPU
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Need Polder User Manual Reply with quote

otrpu wrote:
Hi, been too many years since I used it. Sorta forgot I even had it. Anyone know where I can find a user booklet for the Polder Digital Thermometer Timer?

Luckily, I own this very same thermometer and after digging through my instruction manuals in my filing cabinet for about five minutes, I found the "manual". It was just one sheet of paper.

Here's a scan of my paper in PDF format.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: To lonetexan2 (guest) - Re: Quick Tip® vs. Thermapen? Reply with quote

It is curious that your response (lonetexan2) to "New thermometer patents and filings" was only to criticize discredit Quick Tip® Technology thermometers. You then compared it to and extolled the virtue of Thermapen - when Thermapen had never been mentioned.

I am in agreement with "chennes (guest)" posting on Jan 5, 2006:
Quote:
Actually, it seems like most people who write up these thermometer comparisons stack the deck in favor of the Thermapen.

It appears that subsequent postings under different guest names or pseudonyms serve the same purpose.

The purpose of this board, I believe, is the discussion of unbiased, substantiated test results, (like Michael Chiu's respectable efforts) and the exchange of authentic informaton. It should not be an arena for self-aggrandizement.

My purpose in posting previously was to inform this community about F.O.B. Instruments Ltd.'s developments in "thermometry".

I am part of the team which developed Quick Tip® Technology, selfset Calibraton™ (patented), TLC - Time Left To Cook/Cool™ and several other patent pending thermometer developments.

I look forward to participation on this board to gain the valuable and informed opinions of engineers who not only use, but understand cooking thermometers.

Are you connected with Thermapen; either as an employee, investor or paid blogger?

Respectfully submitted,
Richard
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