So, as I alluded to a while ago, I bought myself a Thermapen instant-read thermometer!
First I’d like to talk about buying a Thermapen in Canada, from where yours truly hails. In short, you can try to buy locally (as I always prefer) or import them from either the US or the UK. Preferring to buy locally, I looked around…and around…and around, and only found one supplier, and they came in at a significantly higher cost than anywhere else I could find on-line. Ultimately, I decided to order from ThermoWorks.com, as they were having a sale on at that point which included an oven probe-type thermometer (more on that some other time) and they have a great shipping deal. Shipping is often a major cost consideration in Canada, as it can often be 50-100% of the item you’re importing! Shipping to Canada via FedEx was $19, including all taxes and duties. You just can’t do better than that! I really have to commend ThermoWorks for finding such a great price.
Anyway…on with the unboxing!
The ThermoWorks box.
Recyclable paper packaging…a nice touch
What was inside: The “New! Splash-Proof! Super-Fast Thermapen”, the RT104 “Triple Count Down/Up Timer”, the TW362B “Cooking Thermometer/Timer” (free promotional item with purchase of the Thermapen), a probe holder, and some literature.
Before making my purchase, I noticed an omission in the product design that I thought I would remedy with a quick trip to Lee Valley Tools. The problem was, I like to keep my thermometer with me at all times in the kitchen or at the grill and the Thermapen could easily slip out of, or get knocked around in, a pocket without some assistance. Enter the “Eclipse” from NiteIze stick-on pocket-clip! At $10, it’s a bit steep, but well worth the investment. Once stuck to the Thermapen with its special 3M adhesive (for which there are mounting instructions) its design will lock your thermometer into your pocket without any chance of it falling out on its own [in fact I had to show someone how to remove it from my chef’s-jacket pocket before he was able to try it out!]. Why there isn’t a built-in clip, I couldn’t tell you…it seems obvious. But the Eclipse is an easy solution at a reasonable price.
I also bought this nifty magnetic belt-clip at Lee Valley at the same time for use with the triple count down/up timer. It’s great if you’re not in the kitchen and still want to keep tabs on things.
Finally, the Thermapen review!
How can a kitchen thermometer demand this sort of price and attention? At $90, you could probably buy 9 cheap digital thermometers or 15 traditional analog ones! But the difference is this: the Termapen is fast AND accurate! And for that, you pay. If you doubt the importance of those two things, go and grill me a thin flatiron steak to a perfect medium-rare, or 10 mini-slider hamburgers just to the point of doneness…now do both those things at once. With a traditional thermometer, you can’t. By the time you get a reading (which may be off several degrees), you will have over-cooked your meat and if it’s not accurate, you’re just guessing. Cooking meat, poultry, or fish to the perfect temperature brings out all the flavours and keeps in all the juices! White chicken meat is juicy and flavourful when cooked properly and fish is soft and flaky. Even those who like their steak cooked well-done will enjoy a steak that is cooked just to well-done and not beyond. That’s where the Thermapen shines.
The design is also fantastic. Because it uses a flat watch-style battery, the unit itself if quite thin, so it will easily and comfortably fit in a pocket. Some other professional thermometers use cheap AA batteries, which is great when you need to change them and want to also run a back-lit display, but they make the unit thick and bulky. Also, the fact that the probe is tucked away safely when the unit is not in use (it turns on and off by the position of the probe!) is fantastic. You’re never going to stab yourself or risk breaking off or catching the sharp tiny probe tip as long as you close it when you put it away. It’s splash-proof, has a good feel in hand, and comes in an array of colours (I bought bright orange to match my Dynamic immersion blender…)! It’s as close to perfect that I’ve come across.
This is a tool I use in my kitchen every day. The Thermapen won’t make you a better cook, but it will make the most of your cooking abilities. I highly recommend the investment.
Mr. Carnegie, Scavenger Gourmet