This temperature fork reads temperature via a sensor located in the right tine only. There is no min/max or hold function, but there is a backlight. The display is right-side-up when the handle is up and the tines point down, backwards, in my opinion. There is a built-in LED light that can be turned on if working in dim light. It illuminates the area of the fork tines.
When turned on, this unit displays the current temperature. The fork has a timer OR a temperature mode, they cannot work simultaneously. If you are in timer mode and switch to temperature mode, the timer stops and resets to zero if up-counting, or your previous time setting if down-counting. It will also auto-turn-on when inserted into something above 113ºF (45ºC). Below the temp readout is a matrix of four kinds of meat and four doneness levels. These are set to government recommendations and cannot be changed. When the probe is inserted into cooking food, the squares in the matrix will show the doneness state for each meat type. You must choose the correct column from which to read. However, you can set a target temperature which will trigger an audible alarm and a flashing display. This setting is remembered when the unit shuts off as it will if the temp is below 113ºF (45ºC) and 5 minutes passes.
The fork takes several readings when inserted into a hot material like meat. I simulated this by heating up some water in a bowl, and comparing the temperature read by the fork to the value obtained from a thermometer of known accuracy. The fork read within a couple of degrees of the reference unit. This is acceptable accuracy for a device like this.
The manufacturer’s contact info, including address and website, but no telephone number, is found on the instruction sheet. The unit is covered by a 90-day limited warranty.
I’ll admit to a personal bias: I don’t like these fork thermometers. I think they’re a gimmick. I prefer a fast hand-held with a long, thin probe shaft to the relatively short and fat fork tines. However, this unit performs as advertised, is sufficiently accurate and fast-reading, and may work perfectly well for some users. I will ignore my personal preferences and give this unit a Bronze medal for performing according to specs.
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Bill McGrath - Bill McGrath is AmazingRibs.com's Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkeley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's training modules.