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!}?>
Also, I didn't know there was a forum, so I'll be excited to peruse those.
I've read countless reviews about how great the thermopen is at quickly and accurately measuring mash temps and providing just a little bit of a boost to the brew day.
Also, I must have been living under a rock, because I missed any baby announcement. Congratulations! (I assume that you meant to say that you do use it to test the water before putting the baby in, not that you wait for the opportunity to stick her with sharp objects.)
I think I've been too busy with the newborn and then the server crashes / stability (and full-time work) and forgot to announce that I am a first time father now. Emma Rae Chu was born on July 4, 2013.
And thanks for catching that typo. I think it was one of those sentences that started off one way and then I changed it but forgot to remove a keyword. :) Article fixed.
Thanks for having this give away.
Besides which my Taylor timer/temp probe works fine, and when that fails I have a mechanical Taylor to back me up.
And a watch.
I thought it had cooked awfully quickly, but had trusted my thermometer so absolutely, it had to be correct.
Not even close. Carving the turkey was more like surgery than supper.
I'd buy a second one for my father after that -- he's the next most likely to cook items requiring a good thermometer, and he appreciates fine, reliable equipment.
would also like to give one as a gift to the friend who agreed to take an online course on Food and Science with me :)
My mother is getting more into cooking and I would pass her the current, I believe.
I have a different brand of probe thermometer that I'm reasonably happy with for meat (which is really all I use one for). If the probe on it dies I may switch up to the thermoworks version as a replacement since it appears to be easier and cheaper to replace the probe for it than for some other brands.
I can imagine a multitude of uses for each. My wife, a laid-off Special Ed teacher, and I do a lot of tasks where a timer such as this would come in handy. For me, mostly in the kitchen or @ the wood-fired oven I built with my own hands a few years ago.
Love the articles contained here! Keep up the great work!
BTW I've enjoyed C4E for years now.
I pulled all 112 comments, removed mine, duplicates, and those where I did not have email addresses. The final tally was 109 entrants. I used random.org to generate a random number and it gave me 87 which equated to Greengem (who was the 87th qualifying post [and the 89th comment overall]).
Just for fun, I did a little analysis of the comments (these might not be completely accurately as I went through them pretty fast).
Of the 109 entrants...
83 said they would get a Thermapen for themselves
17 said they would get it for their spouse or significant other (with several mentioning that they would use it as well or benefit directly from it)
14 said they would give it as a gift to someone from the previous generation (6 to fathers, 3 to mothers, 2 each to father-in-laws and mother-in-laws, and one to the parents without specifying which one)
7 said they would give one to a friend or buddy
5 said they would give it to someone from the subsequent generation (2 daughters, 1 son, 1 son-in-law, and 1 nephew)
4 would be given to the same generation (2 siblings, 1 brother-in-law, and 1 sister-in-law)
2 given to family members without specifying who
and 1 gifted to a boss
Additionally, 7 specifically mentioned that they would be gifting the Thermapen to themselves and gifting the food (with several more implying that's what they were going to do).
Merry Christmas everyone and if you aren't Greengem, consider buying a Thermapen. Starting about a year or so ago, Thermoworks is providing a percentage of each sale through any of the links on this page and elsewhere on this site back to Cooking For Engineers. 100% of the proceeds goes directly towards paying for server and bandwidth costs.
Appreciate the mention, Michael! :D
It's just that new and fancy crap usually breaks down after a few years no matter how wonderful it might be. I'll take my 30+ yo Taylor thermometers which don't need batteries or Bluetooth to function as required, and work quite well, thankyouverymuch.
It's given me a topic for a new and exciting thread: