The ThermoPro TP-03A is an inexpensive folding-type instant read thermometer with decent response times and good accuracy. It cannot be left inserted in food in a cooker.
The thermometer has a button that releases the spring-loaded probe, much like a switchblade knife. The manufacturer suggests completely opening the probe before use, and the probe locks into place when fully extended. The same button releases the probe, allowing it to fold back into its housing for safety. There is an on-off button on the face and a small button on the back to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. There is no backlight, nor does the display rotate when the thermometer is inverted.
It is powered by a single AAA battery, but the manufacturer does not specify the battery’s operating life. The housing is not sealed against moisture, making it vulnerable to damage due to moisture. The unit is covered by a one-year limited warranty. The accompanying instructions are adequate. The manufacturer’s contact info, including e-mail address, website and telephone number are included on a card with the unit.
The thermometer exhibits good performance, but the build quality is what you might expect for a unit costing only $12.99. I’ll give it a Bronze Medal for its price/performance ratio.
Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
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.