View Full Version : Thermapen 30 days later

01-24-2009, 08:16 PM
Got a Thermapen for X-mas, it's cool and all, however, I feel it's maybe replacing a skill that quite frankly took me awhile (and several cuts of meat) to get down. For years (since college) I've used the touch method to determine when steaks, chicken, tri-tip, pork chops, pork tenderloin, fatties (more recently) etc. are done and I really have it down to a science. Now that I have a thermapen and I find myself poking my product early and often to see if it's done and then fretting over a degree or two. Anyone else have similar thoughts. Let the flaming begin http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

EDIT: The morning after . . . There's a great post in the just conversation area discussing "what you've learned from this site" and someone posted that he's learned not to drink and post or something along those lines. Man do I agree. I Edited the garbage out of my original post and got to the point. Time to put the breathalyzer back on the computer. Thanks for putting up with the obnoxious original post guys.

Brandon N.
01-24-2009, 11:08 PM
I will go down in flames with you Lar http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
I still use my Thermapen, but only for certain things. I am trying to "ween" myself off of it.

Ray Crick
01-25-2009, 03:43 AM

I also use the touch method for steaks. The Thermopen is great for other things however (even for checking the calibration of your home thermostats). It will read ambient temps quickly and easily.

I also use mine on vacations when I am cooking on a strange grill. It is wonderful for checking the inside temp of a grill with a broken thermometer.


01-25-2009, 05:06 AM
I agree with your assessment completely. In order to prevent any additional deterioration of your long earned skills and ability, you should immediately cease use of the Thermapen, at which point it should be exiled and banished to the East Coast! (Preferably a nice home is CT. Address to be provided.) http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Dan H.
01-25-2009, 06:34 AM
not gonna flame you, I couldn't spend that myself, The nu-temp was a HUGE purchase for me and I really went out of the ordinary to buy it. As stated in another post elsewhere the best therm I own is a 5 dollar instant read thats right on the money, smoke and food stained, crooked needle, and the head is the size of a quarter, got it at City Market and the nu temp has to prove itself against it and so far is doin great!, lol. what if we go hiking and have to catch a rabbit and cook it up over a pile of wet/snowy sticks freezin cold, the nu-temp, thermopen, or the city market special therm. wont mean nothin then, we must poke the rabbit to check doneness to survive so we should never foget the use of our hands...., or our ability to build a snow cave!

01-25-2009, 06:34 AM
For some items I can see relying on the feel test. However, for many others I love the Thermapen. For example, if I want to pull a roast at 125*, there is no way that I can tell by feel or looks where 125* is. Another example, a pork loin. No way can I tell by feel or looks when I'm at 140*. So for me an instant read is a must. For other, maybe not

Tony C.
01-25-2009, 08:37 AM
i didn't see a problem with the original post?? you are entitled to your opinon on something you paid for!! i too use the poke test for steaks, i've never ever probed one and i ate many extra rare and well done steaks to perfect said test. but for bigger cuts i love my thermapen. it's also great for making sure several spots on butts are in the 200º range without having the cooker open too long.

John Furdyn
01-25-2009, 09:35 AM
I use the touch method for steaks hamburgs and the like.

I got an instant read therm, a few months ago, what I really like it for is chicken. Just cooked leg qtrs. the other day. I always over cooked chicken until I got the instant read therm.

01-25-2009, 11:51 AM
It seems to me that you should stick with what has worked for you in the past. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Save the Thermapen for the thicker roasts as others have noted up thread.
I also got one for X-mas from one of my sons, just used it. 67 in the crib, 12 outside, 160 internal on my chuck roast on the WSM, all within a minute.
Its definitely a professional tool and something I'm looking forward to using.
P.S your OP read fine to me.


01-25-2009, 11:57 AM
It seems to me that you should stick with what has worked for you in the past.
You know Tim you're absolutly right (just don't tell my SO, she's the one who gave it to me), I'm neurotic enough when I'm watching Stokerlog report temps on my butt and brisket smokes, I think for me not knowing the temp when grilling is a good thing, LOL.

Dan N.
01-25-2009, 02:42 PM
But a Thermapen is great for flipping meat after you check the temp.

Candy Weaver
01-26-2009, 11:54 AM
Nope, don't think I'll flip brisket with my thermapen! I think the probe itself is really good for testing resistance of brisket. More than temp IMO, when there's no resistence brisket is done. That point seems to happen at a temp range of 190 to 215 or thereabouts. I used to think that it had something to with grade of meat. I'm not sure anymore.

r benash
01-27-2009, 09:50 AM
I still use the touch method with steaks. Sometimes I'll use the TP. But really the TP has a lot more uses than checking steaks. It's good for a lot of other uses than just sticking it into a steak http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

02-03-2009, 06:32 PM
Question, how do you calibrate a thermapen? I had a feeling my Maverick was off so I did the boil test and it said it was dead nutz on, figured I'd test my thermapen while I had the water going and it's about 3 - 4 degrees low. Not a big deal but I figure it should be accurate.

Greg Maciejewski
02-04-2009, 04:18 AM
Your Thermapen should have come with a calibration certificate. Mine did.

Check out this link (http://www.kamado.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi?pg=next&topic=1&page=14356). Towards the bottom of the page is a "Thermapen Calibration" document.

02-04-2009, 06:56 AM
Thanks Greg!

James M-B
02-20-2009, 03:39 AM
Reading your post makes me realise!

A while ago I was at a food fair here in the UK (Ludlow) and there was a stand giving cooked meat samples / demos and I saw the cooks were checking everything with a thermometer. I remember saying it was "Health and safety gone mad" and that there was probably more risk through contamination by the therm than an undercooked lamb burger or whatever and that if they couldn't cook it they shouldn't demo. I'm a little ashamed to say I also blamed the spread of the litigation culture from (ahem) the US and that some suit (like me) probably made them use the therms.

Fast forward six or seven years and I've bought a Thermapen - initially as a learning tool but now as a crutch.

Now I dislike the charred outer / raw middle chicken legs and so on sometimes found at grillsides and would hate to fall into that trap but now I think about it I'm sleepwalking towards it!

Thanks for the heads up, now I'm off to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Dale Perry
02-20-2009, 10:29 AM
I really do like my Thermapen. Anyone who is new to grilling & bbqing should have one superfast <span class="ev_code_RED">Red</span> T-Pen.

Chicken all brown on the outside and bloody by the bone doesnt happen at my house. Yuck, cant go that. Had an experience a while back trying to choke down some chicken a friend cooked on the grill for us. Black on the outside, raw by the bone. I didnt want to say anything and really didnt know how to handle the situation. My daughter came in late, took a bite and said "EWWWWW" this chicken is bloody! I almost died.

Tim C
02-20-2009, 01:54 PM
i took the plunge and ordered a thermapen today.
costs way more than i think its worth but im not highly skilled at the touch method. im getting it to make my wife mad more than anything

Al Silverman
02-21-2009, 03:18 AM

There is a calibration adjustment screw under the label on the back. You can do the boiling water thing.


r benash
02-24-2009, 06:28 AM
Good info Al!

03-01-2009, 08:15 PM
I use one of these http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


I don't exactly need it, but love good tools for the job. I like the upper range on this for brick ovens, bbq pits, etc.

Lower range is great for staying food safe while making sausages, charcuterie, etc

Ray Crick
03-17-2009, 10:49 AM
I just got an e-mail from Thermapen and they are haveing a big sale and the Thermapen is only $69 until March 23. You should be able to find this on their web site.

Tim C
03-17-2009, 03:32 PM
here it is. i just got mine a month ago or so. oh well


Brandon A
03-18-2009, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Tim C:
here it is. i just got mine a month ago or so. oh well


Wow Tim, thanks for posting that. I'm glad I read this thread, just ordered a blue one. 76.49 shipped. I'm running out of toys to buy http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Tim C
03-19-2009, 06:09 AM
i think a forshner 14" is next, then a mandolin slicer. long range maybe a digiQ

george fotis
06-30-2009, 11:34 AM
Looks like a new thermapen has just been released.

The All New Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen™

* 3-second readings!
* Improved accuracy and durability
* Water-resistant design
* Biomaster anti-bacterial additive
* °F to °C reconfigurable
* 0.1° resolution full range to 572°F
* Auto on/off—no buttons!
* 1,500 hour battery life

I was looking to buy a thermapen (and I felt like it was already too much to spend) and now this for about 20 dollars more.
I realize that if you already have one 'upgrading' wouldnt make sense, but if you are just buying one it does make for a difficult decision.

Jay S
07-03-2009, 09:11 AM
Buy the waterproof one. I'm on my second Thermopen as my first one died, and this one just went way out of range so I'll need to crack it open and do a manual calibration.

Dampness and humidity killed the first pen, and I suspect the same for my current one. If it gets a little damp or steamed up then it causes a film to form on the circuit boards which short it out. For that reason alone I would buy a waterproof pen, and I might have to if my current pen can't be fixed.