YOU ARE HERE >> AmazingRibs » Ratings & Reviews » Ratings Reviews And Buying Guides » Best Thermometers For Food And Cooking » How to Buy the Best Instant Read Thermometer » ThermoWorks ThermaPen Classic Review
By: Bill McGrath
The Thermapen is a rapid-reading handheld digital thermometer designed for testing food temperatures. Its sharp point and quick response make it a good choice for testing doneness. It cannot be left in the oven or grill while cooking.
The probe opens like a folding knife, and the unit turns on and off as the probe is extended or closed. The unit will shut itself off automatically after 10 minutes to conserve the battery, but this feature can be disabled via a switch in the battery compartment. Temperature can be expressed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, selected by a switch located in the battery compartment. The temperature can be read to either a whole degree or to 0.1 degree, again selectable via a switch in the battery compartment.
The user’s manual is logically arranged, easy to read, and thorough. Small changes to the calibration can be made if needed. The unit comes in two models, one with a backlight, one without. Battery life is significantly shorter on the backlit model. Accessories available at extra cost include a zipper wallet, a wall bracket, a leather wallet and a protective silicone boot.
A one-year warranty covers the product, although personal experience with the company suggests that they are quite liberal about covering problems even after the warranty has expired. The manual includes an address and telephone number for the manufacturer, as well as website links. A certificate of calibration is included.
This thermometer is one of our favorites. Its quick response time, accuracy, long battery life, good customer support and quality of manufacture win a Gold recommendation.
Meathead’s Notes from the Field:
“The “Lamborghini of instant read thermometers” is what Harry Soo of SlapYoDaddyBBQ calls the Thermapen, and he should know because he is one of the winningest competitors on the BBQ circuit.
Another nice thing about the Thermapen is that the company stands behind it. My first (an older model) began to malfunction after eight years. Probably had nothing to do with the fact that I had dropped it half a dozen times. I called them, gave no indication that I was a writer, described my problem, and rather than hit me up for a repair bill, they told me how to fix it.”
Published On: 5/7/2014 Last Modified: 2/18/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.
Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.
We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.
The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker