If there is one BBQ accessory that I have heard the most buzz about while surfing the interweb on Facebook and Twitter it would have to be the Thermapen.
I received the package which by the way took only a couple of days to arrive from the States, so shipping is fast just the Thermapen itself!
The first thing that caught my attention was the size of the Thermapen, I was expecting something about half of the size just going by the pictures I have seen.
Next was that there are no buttons to push!, which is great because buttons can tend to get sticky or wear out over time on other little electronic gizmos. All you do to turn the unit on is to open the probe and your good to go.
People argue about which colour of Thermapen is the “Fastest” in taking temperature readings and many of the discussions are fun even if they are just ribbing each other.
There is presently a special edition Thermapen that is in a Dessert Tan colour with an American flag printed on it which is only available for a limited time and $9.00 from each of these sold gets donated to the Wounded Warrior Program.
And in the near future ThermoWorks will be coming out with a new colour and there are many of us that are hoping it will look something like this…
The above artistic impression came about on twitter when DivaQ suggested that she would love to have a Thermapen with Flames on it and shortly there after Wayne Brown a KCBS Judge and BBQ Blog writer in North Carolina sent Danielle his impression of what it could look like.
Here is a little teaser video from ThermoWorks on the first new colour of Thermapen in 2 years.
But now I am able to see what all of the fuss is about.
I have a couple of Instant Read Thermometers that I have bought in the last couple of years, one being a dial type gauge that can be bought for less than $10.00 in most kitchen type stores and a digital one that I picket up at Presidents Choice last year for $30.00 but neither had the reputation that the Thermapen seems to carry in the BBQ community.
As you can see in the pic above there is a discrepancy between the temperature readings. Now can I tell you with 100% certainty which one is correct? no, but I do know the reputation of the Thermapen which is well known for it’s speed and accuracy, plus the Thermapen does show the temperature to the 10th of a degree.
In reading the instruction booklet that comes with the Thermapen it does mention that side by side comparisons are not the proper way to test the units accuracy. Instead they give detailed instructions on how to do an ice water test and a boiling water test, though the ice water test is more accurate since water can boil at different temperatures depending how high above sea level you are (at sea level water boils at 212F but at higher altitudes the boiling temperature is lower, 202.7F in Denver Colorado
For instance I took a picture of the Thermapen taking a reading of the boiling water that I was cooking potatoes in and as you can see got a reading of 207.9 and here in Oshawa we are 348 feet above sea level.
I have to thank Thermapen for teaching me something about science when I read that in the instruction booklet.
There could be an argument about BBQ whether it is an art, a sport or a science, heck maybe it is all three!
There is a lot of interesting information in the instruction booklet that is shipped with the Thermapen which is well written.
I was quickly able to find out how to use the Thermapen correctly, Do’s & Don’ts and various charts and instructions on using & cleaning the unit.
On the back of the Thermapen is a battery door which can be opened with a penny. The door has a great seal to it and has a tether on it so you do not lose the battery door (Well thought out)
Under the the battery door are of course the batteries which are a standard pair of CR2032 batteries which are readily available anywhere, though You should get over 5000 hours of readings from the installed set of batteries. I remember reading that DivaQ has 3 Thermapens and being a professional BBQ and using hers all of the time has only had to change batteries once!
Also with the batteries are some switches that can allow you to change the settings on your Thermapen.
By toggling the switches you can make the Thermopen read in F or C, Change the display to read 0.1 or only in whole degrees and you can turn off the auto-off feature if that is desired. Though for myself I will use it with it’s factory settings. Because these switches are in the sealed battery compartment, you can be assured of trouble free useage.
I put my Thermapen to the test on a couple of BBQ’d Beer Can Chickens I cooked on Saturday. (To see how I cook Beer Can Chickens you can go to this old post of mine)
As you can see it was chili 54.6F outside on Saturday but nice weather for the 2nd week in November for the Oshawa Area here in Canada.
First I took the temperature of the bid just before going on the grill.
And I took the air temperature inside my heated BBQ (keeping in mind that it really is meant to be inserted into something, the sensor is located right at the tip and only has to be inserted 1/8″ to get a quick accurate reading. But to measure air temperature the reading may take a little while longer than the 2 or 3 seconds to get a foods internal temp)
During the cooking of a BBQ Beer Can Chicken below.
Dinner turned out great! Using the Super Fast Thermapen allowed me to cook these birds to perfection.
About the only thing that I could see as an improvement in the design would be that it could use a backlight on the display. It was dark by the time dinner was ready and with out light the temperature reading was hard to make out. (My camera flash helped with that)
Maybe the next generation of Thermapen will incorporate a light of some kind but I have not heard anything on any possible improvements to date.
I love my Thermapen! It is Super Fast just as advertised and it is so easy to use since there are no buttons to fiddle with.
The unit is built with quality in mind and it would not surprise me if I get years and years of service from it. I do think that a back light is something that is needed, maybe that would decrease battery life but that would be a worthwhile downside.
I can see why many of my BBQ friends on Twitter and Facebook have been raving about their Thermapens.
I ordered the Purple one, I was considering Orange but as we know from that old Welches Grape Juice commercial “Purple is much better than Orange!”
I recommend that if you do not have a Thermapen you seriously consider buying one.
This is the ultimate gift for the BBQ Pitmaster in your family.
What colour would you want to have and why? Or if you have one what colour is it?
Please leave me a comment below
There are only a couple of authorized retailers that sell Thermapens in Canada and the US but be careful of knockoffs, your best bet would be to order it online direct.
For more information on the Thermapen and other fine products from ThermoWorks….
ThermoWorks / Thermapen Website http://www.thermoworks.com
Thermapen Facebook page
Thermapen (and ThermoWorks) Twitter @Thermapen
ThermoWorks Facebook Page
e-mail contact for Jesse Black (media PR for ThermoWorks) firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone # for ThermoWorks 801-756-7705