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Thermoworks DOT Thanksgiving 2014 Giveaway!

by Michael Chu
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This year flew past so fast that I didn't even realize that next week is Thanksgiving. I've been offered a new product from Thermoworks to giveaway, and we're going to have to rush this giveaway to have it in time to be received by a lucky winner in time for Thanksgiving. The product is their brand new DOT probe alarm thermometer. If you're familiar with the ChefAlarm which I reviewed and gave away earlier this year, then this new product is similar - except it does only one thing and it does it well: monitor the temperature of the probe and sounds an alarm when the temperature reaches the set point. No count down timers, no count up timers, no alarm start or stop... just set the target temperature and you're done. Sometimes simple is just what is needed.

The DOT is a comfortable 3-in diameter device that has a large easy to read display that shows the probe temperature on top and the target temperature below. The target temperature is set using the left/right buttons on the device (left decreases the temperature and right increases it). When the probe temperature reaches the target temperature, the DOT beeps. Seems straightforward enough. Even though this probe alarm seems simple, a lot of thought went into the design. There is an integrated kickstand so the DOT can be stood on the counter when in use (the rubberized bottom ensures it won't slip or slide). When not using the kickstand, you can lie it flat on the counter or use the strong magnets on the back and put it on the refrigerator or other ferromagnetic surface. The housing is not only very durable (designed to withstand the demands of a commercial kitchen), but the seams are splash-proof (the DOT is NEMA rated IP65 - dustproof and splashproof) so getting sauce on it isn't a problem. The DOT uses the same probes as the ChefAlarm and comes with a straight general purpose probe that can provide accurate readings within 7 seconds from -50°C (-58°F) to 300°C (572°F) and survive temperatures up to 370°C (700°F). I've used my DOT and ChefAlarm with the general purpose probe as well as the needle probe (which can be fully submerged in water and can provide a reading in 3-5 seconds) and the air temperature probe (useful for alerting when a grill or oven has been heated up adequately - oven thermometers and barbecue thermometers are notoriously inaccurate and sometimes a recipe needs accuracy to work reliably).

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, having an accurate and reliable probe thermometer with alarm would take some of the stress and anxiety out of preparing dinner. If you don't have a probe thermometer already, the DOT is a pretty good choice. It also makes a fine gift.

So, how are we going to handle this giveaway. As with the previous giveaways, I'm going to ask you to make a comment on this article. This time, I'd like you to comment on something simple that you appreciate that does a task and does it well. (That is, something you prefer to use over a more complicated device.) Several chefs and cooks (most notably, Alton Brown) have popularized the idea of not having "unitaskers" in their kitchen, but there's always an exception that proves the rule. What's yours? (I believe Alton Brown's exception is his fire extinguisher.)

Since we're so close to Thanksgiving, I'll have to run the contest really fast. You can comment from now until some time on Monday, November 24, 2014. I will use the email address registered to the account of the comment that was randomly selected and email them to get their contact info. If I can get the shipping info by Monday night, then, on Tuesday, Thermoworks will be able to next-day the DOT to the winner in time for Thanksgiving!

(By the way, the last raffle resulted in a nice list of topics for me to cover in the future. I haven't had a chance to write lately, but all is not lost. I've got all the information in a spreadsheet and have been gathering notes. I just need some way to earn a living AND find time to write new articles. I'll figure it out eventually, and, in the meantime, I'd like to thank everyone for their patience and helping tell others about Cooking For Engineers.)

Now, the detailed instructions:
  1. You need to be in the United States or Canada to qualify for this giveaway (Thermowork's shipping requirements).
  2. Join Cooking For Engineers (through the forums) and post a comment telling me what simple tool you prefer to use over a more complicated one that does the same task. 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 DOT. 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.)
  3. On November 24, 2014, 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.)
  4. 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 24 hours of my email, then I'll pick another number and winner (and so on).
Good luck everyone!

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on November 20, 2014 at 12:25 AM
38 comments on Thermoworks DOT Thanksgiving 2014 Giveaway!:(Post a comment)

On November 20, 2014 at 01:22 AM, Michael Chu said...
The contest officially starts now. All comments below this one (and above the comment ending the contest) will be included as long as the comment is made by a logged in user with a valid email address. Good luck!

On November 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM, Jim Cooley said...
Coincidentlally, Alton Brown turned me onto a pastry scraper many years ago, before I dropped television completely.

I use that thing for everything from pastry to scooping up stuff I dropped on the floor.

I prefer the plastic handle version because it's so easy to clean.
Here's a link to one at the WebRestaurantStore, an outfit I'm becoming increasingly fond of.

On November 20, 2014 at 04:42 PM, rberndt said...
Subject: Simple, but very good
OK, it's not fancy, but I have struggled over the years with opening cans -- every opener has some failing -- I bought one labeled "Good Cook" brand -- the handles are comfortably angled -- the knob is very comfortable and each rotation covers quite a bit of the edge of the can and the blade cleanly cuts the lid (including that last little bit that always hangs on the other openers). The only downside is that it has a little green plastic tab that is used to keep it closed in the drawer -- that was hard to get to release -- but I just broke that off and having the opener slightly open in the drawer is no big deal.

On November 20, 2014 at 06:23 PM, QSis said...
Subject: Steamed eggs
I've tried the divided egg poacher, I've tried the silicone pods, and I've poached eggs the old fashioned way in swirling boiling water.

But, for me, the best, easiest, fastest way to soft-cook eggs is to break them into a non-stick pan with about 1 T. water, and cover for just a few minutes.

I do add a little butter in the bottom of the pan for flavor, but if you are calorie-conscious, just spray with Pam.

I have a glass cover so I can see how done the eggs are - always perfect, really quick, and clean-up is a breeze!


On November 20, 2014 at 06:48 PM, Greengem said...
Subject: my mortar and pestle
I think that even though I use the food processor for speed, my trusty and very old mortar and pestle is the best. Any spices that I want ground up is nicely mixed in there and clean up is a cinch. Whenever I use the food processor instead, my spices (esp. for curries) don't taste as lovely. Plus, the food processor is so much trouble to clean up.

On November 20, 2014 at 07:21 PM, La Empollona said...
Subject: My Microwave
While it is already somewhat of a multi-tool, I use my microwave well beyond the basics of defrosting a frozen dinner or reheating some left-overs. I use the microwave to:

Steam Veggies
Roast Garlic
Brew Tea
Decrystallizing Honey (to put in tea)
Wilt Spinach
Disinfect Sponges
Melt Chocolate
"Bake" Potatoes

Even when I'm making a dish the conventional way, my microwave almost always has a job to do. Plus, it's the same model I've had since college. Not even one of those fancy convection microwaves.

On November 21, 2014 at 01:52 PM, JimPuls said...
Subject: Unitasker
Like to use fire extinguisher to roll out pie dough. It's a little heavier than a rolling pin and I don't have to think about pushing down.

On November 21, 2014 at 04:37 PM, Dave99 said...
Subject: simple kitchen tool
There is nothing in the kitchen toolbox more functional and basic than the chef's knife. Instead of buying a fancy chopping gadget or three, it is almost always much easier and more effective to chop with the chef's knife. No taking apart pieces, cleaning, re-assembling and storing required. Ant the knife can be used to slice and dice, scrape (back side, or course), julienne and even peel larger vegetables and fruits.

On November 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM, Auspicious said...
I agree with Dave99 on the glories of a good knife.

I do use a mandoline quite often. Slicing, dicing, and hopefully not cutting myself.

On November 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM, Cat53 said...
Subject: Simple Kitchen Tool
One simple tool that I have learned to love is my microplane. I never realized how much extra flavor I could get by zesting lemons and limes. I had tried zesting them before using different graters and peelers, but everything was more of a hassle than it was worth. The microplane works really well and is easy to grab and just zest right into the dish.

On November 23, 2014 at 05:30 PM, mhfiset said...
Instead of whipping cream with a stand mixer or hand mixer, I prefer to do it with a whisk. It isn't very hard, and you have much better control over the final texture.

On November 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM, brendal said...
Subject: Rice cooker!
Yes, I realize the rice cooker can be used for various other purposes other than cooking rice, but that's what I use it for primarily so I'm going to count that as my favorite uni-tasker in the kitchen. :)

On November 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM, jodeleeuw said...
I love the simplicity of my thermapen. Open and take a temp, and its done!

On November 23, 2014 at 10:39 PM, glenninma said...
Subject: simple tool
I use my chef's knife most often preferring it to the food processor for most cutting applications.

On November 23, 2014 at 11:00 PM, Firecooked said...
Subject: Immersion blender
I use an immersion blender to purée soups, make salad dressings, smoothies, hummus and other dips, mayonnaise .... It has replaced my blender and food processor for many jobs.

On November 24, 2014 at 12:26 AM, squawky said...
Have many useful kitchen tools, but thinking specifically of unitaskers that have one job, but do it really well... the pepper grinder.

That's all it does - crack peppercorns - but I can't imagine my kitchen without one. Actually have 4 of them - one for black pepper, another for salt (not *quite* a unitasker), and two smaller ones that are earmarked for specialty peppercorns (someday).

On November 24, 2014 at 12:38 AM, hernandezfisher said...
I love my cast iron skillet. Does the job of a saute pan, wok, roasting pan, mini dutch oven, and lots more.

On November 24, 2014 at 01:16 AM, Robert92 said...
Subject: Simple tool
I love my little paring knife. Use it all the time, really quick to sharpen and for those with a small workspace, doesn't take up a ton of room when I set it down.

On November 24, 2014 at 05:25 AM, JonR said...
Subject: Unitasker
I know my great-grandmother was a whiz with her paring knife but, for peeling potatoes and such, I like my vegetable peeler.

On November 24, 2014 at 07:06 AM, paul.gunn said...
Subject: Simple Tool
I often prefer using a whisk instead of a mixer machine.

On November 24, 2014 at 07:33 AM, anson said...
Subject: Simple Tool
Does it count that I use the broiler instead of the deep fryer when making Buffalo wings?

On November 24, 2014 at 08:36 AM, krisk said...
My cheap Hamilton-Beach chef's knife I use more than the pricey ones I have. Just the right weight, feels great, and holds its edge nicely.

On November 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM, Listening said...
My preferred tool is my boning knife. The handle is a perfect fit for my hand, and its narrow blade lets me easily slice and dice foods as needed. Though its supposed to be limited in purpose, my boning knife has come to be my "go to" knife of choice. It doesn't hurt that once sharpened it stays sharp for ages.

On November 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM, watusecook said...
I'll have to agree with the earlier poster about a good mortar and pestle. I use and love lots of kitchen equipment like my KitchenAid mixer, the food processor, and immersion blender, but for a low-tech tool that does its one task extremely well, the mortar and pestle is it.

On November 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM, awen said...
Subject: Rice cooker
I agree on the rice cooker - it is such a simple appliance and it cooks rice perfectly every single time.

On November 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM, Z is for Zebra said...
Subject: Toothpick
I love toothpicks. They're sharp, non-abbrasive, and easy to dispose of. They have a million uses in and out of the kitchen, and they'd belong in my zombie survival kit together with a roll of duct tape.

I frequently use them instead of a spatula and/or fork to make scrambled eggs.

On November 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I really like my egg slicer. It makes egg salad a breeze and eliminates time consuming chopping.

On November 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM, SierraBob said...
Subject: Parchment Paper
It seems silly, but parchment paper is a life-saver/time-saver.

Tear off a piece, lay it on the cookie sheet, and make as many batches of cookies as you want. They all come off cleanly, and the pan underneath (assuming nothing else happened to it) doesn't even need to be washed after it has cooled down.

Cut a square to fit the bottom/sides of your brownie pan, and you'll never again have to try to figure out how to separate the edges of the brownies from the pan (how do you get a flat knife to cleanly round the corner of the brownie pan without butchering the heavenly corner pieces?).

Line your casserole dish with it before cooking fish.

Cut a round of it to fit the bottom of your springform cheesecake pan (don't let it get between the edge of the bottom and the lip of the side when you clamp the pan closed though... that would be a mess)... now you can slip your flat spatula or cake round between the bottom of the springform and the parchment and the graham crust will remain intact.

Cut parchment rounds for the bottoms of the cups in the muffin tin if you're not using the muffin/cupcake wrappers. Parchment comes off far easier than the paper muffin/cupcake wrappers, and it also keeps anything from bonding between the bottom of the muffin and the muffin pan (ever get frustrated when trying to turn-out a pan of blueberry muffins??? Parchment paper is your best friend!)

You can't go wrong with parchment paper... it's cheap and a roll lasts a long time!

On November 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM, Mei said...
Subject: greatest tool
I would go for my kitchen knife as the best multitasker. No need for garlic peeler, just smash it with the knife. No need to a fancy food processor, just slice, chop, cut with the knife !!

On November 24, 2014 at 01:58 PM, talon8 said...
I grew up watching Martin Yan on Yan Can Cook. Since then I've inherited a Chinese Cleaver that I think belonged to my grandmother. For mashing garlic, ginger, I always go to that rather than my microplane, graters, or any number of other fancy tools just like I learned from Martin Yan 30 years ago. One Giant whack, and I have instant garlic, ginger puree.

Here's a Martin Yan video, for anyone interested:

On another note, I could really use the thermometer. I actually just put the exact model on my Christmas list last week!

On November 24, 2014 at 02:10 PM, KingZora said...
A simple toaster oven. I use it for literally everything that doesn't require a cook top. It's more efficient than a full oven, the broiler element is in an extremely close proximity to the food, and it heats up in a fraction of the time.

On November 24, 2014 at 02:37 PM, ameliarobyn said...
I make everything in my ninja. Cheese straws dough, Biscuit dough, cookie dough, cakes, mixed drinks, and of course anything i need to chop up goes in there as well. I have burned up every mixer I have ever purchased making divinity and cheese straws. So the NINJA is my secret weapon of choice.

On November 24, 2014 at 03:51 PM, Jim Cooley said...
Heh, that's GREAT. Thanks for the tip.

talon8 wrote:

Here's a Martin Yan video, for anyone interested:

On November 24, 2014 at 03:55 PM, Jim Cooley said...
Anonymous wrote:
I really like my egg slicer. It makes egg salad a breeze and eliminates time consuming chopping.

I like my egg slicer too, from everything from eggs to mushrooms to strawberries.

But I have yet to find a brand whose wires don't break after a while. Goy any recommendations?

On November 24, 2014 at 04:53 PM, tcw1138 said...
I have to agree with the 8" chef's knife.

On November 24, 2014 at 09:18 PM, Michael Chu said...
Contest ends now. All entries showing before this comment will be counted.

On November 24, 2014 at 09:30 PM, Michael Chu said...
I found 31 entries for this giveaway. Using, I generated a random number which was #23 and that was watusecook!

Congratulations to watusecook, I'll be contacting you by email to get your preferred color for the DOT and your mailing address.

On June 19, 2017 at 03:17 PM, harbortouch (guest) said...
Subject: I like my pocket thermometer
I like to use a simple pocket thermometer instead of the digital ones. Every time I try to use my digital thermometer, it's out of batteries and I'm not even sure it's that accurate. My simple chefs pocket temperature indicator works like a charm.


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