Thermapen Unboxing and Review

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, 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!

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Updated cooking temperatures guide.

A while ago I stared a chart of internal ‘doneness’ temperatures for beef, pork, chicken, and fish.  You can find the original post here.

In addition to several useful doneness temperatures, I’ve also included a very handy Celsius/Fahrenheit scale that you can use to convert from one temperature scale to another, that covers a range of -30°C to 370°C (-22°F to 700°F)!  So I guess if your freezer goes lower than that, or your oven goes higher,  you’re just out of luck.

Free download!

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Toaster-oven sous-vide eggs

I’ve been playing around with the idea of sous-vide cooking for some time, but had never tried it.

Sous-vide, (French for under-vacuum) is simply cooking without air — usually at low cooking temperatures, a vacuum sealed bag of food is placed under water and allowed to cook at the desired internal done temperature.  Cooking like this prevents any over-cooking throughout the food (think of the steak that’s pink in the middle and well-done everywhere else) and it retains all of the foods natural juices and flavours.  The biggest problem for the average foodie is that you need a device called a thermal immersion circulator that costs in the neighbourhood of $1300.  The reason you need such a fancy device is because when you’re cooking meat sous-vide, you need to keep your meat at the right temperature to prevent both over-cooking and under-cooking (food poisoning). Because of the fairly narrow temperature window you need something that has the capability to maintain a low stable temperature. But I digest…er, digress…

Eggs are great for sous-vide because they’re already in their own little hard white vacuum packages and the cooking temperatures aren’t critical.

My set-up was simple, an egg in a bowel of water, in my toaster oven, with a temperature probe in the water.  Being able to set the oven temperature and monitor the water temperature proved critical. I found that in order to maintain a 150° F water temperature, I had to set the oven to about 210°F. If you have a gas stove, I’m sure you could manage to get the right temperature with a low flame in a regular pot of water, but I’ve got a ceramic cook-top (much to my chagrin!), so stove-top cooking wasn’t really an option. Electric stoves just aren’t stable enough — your temperatures would be all over the place.

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