Is Thermoworks Feeling the Heat?


 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I don't use the magnet on either of my ThermoPros, but if my wife would let me get by with it, I could see it stuck to the side of our fridge. I keep one in our kitchen on a cabinet shelf in easy reach. My wife has learned that it can be a very handy tool. The other is at my "grill station" by the door leading out of our glassed in porch where I have my daily driver grill. Since I can do what I want there, it is generally sitting right on top of its small counter, easy to grab in a second.

I am also somewhat surprised that this conversation has lasted for 8 pages. It has been an interesting run from when Thermoworks first started discounting the MK-4, then started doing their teaser ads and finally coming out with the Thermapen One. I guess I was expecting something with an all new styling, but in thinking more about it, that would probably have been a very poor strategy for a company who already had a number 1 rated product. Reminds me of the catastrophe Coca Cola had with their "New Coke" launch. I think Thermoworks wisely avoided that kind of debacle and came out with an even higher quality product that won't alienate their existing customer base. I am not sure it will be a lightning fast seller, but I am sure it will succeed over time.

For me, I really like my flashier looking ThermoPro TP620 "knock off" thermometer. Nice bright display, thermocouple fast enough response for me, and a sharp looking design with a nice grip. NOT as good as the much more expensive new Thermapen One, but still very good and with some strongly positive attributes of its own. I can wash it under running water - even though I don't overdo that - and that's all I ask as far as that goes. As I have mentioned before, while ThermoPro is not up to the standard of Thermoworks as a manufacturer, they are NOT a fly-by-night outfit. They make a wide range of nice products and do have customer support (generous as we have seen) as well as a very fair warranty.

I guess this thread shows there are many options that appeal to different people based on criteria that differ in priority from one person to another.
 
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James Villa

TVWBB Fan
We have a Mk4 and the protective zip wallet in a drawer. When cooking it's within an arms reach and for grill it's taken outside on the table next to the grill/smoker.

Our fridge has enough magnets on it, to add something of the Mk4 size is a no go for us.

Only way I pick up the new "One" would be on sale.
 

Richard in NS

TVWBB All-Star
NIST certified can be misleading. As an ISO 9000 certified auditor I never saw where a temperature measuring device certification was valid for more than one year. Yes, it can be recertified every year for a fee but it is not a lifetime certification when purchased. There were instances where companies would buy new certified devices every year as it was cheaper than having the old one recertified. Just an FYI as it probably doesn’t matter for backyard grilling. 🙂
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Richard, if we can fill 9 pages of discussion on 1 second vs 3 seconds of readout time and magnet vs no magnet and drawer vs refrigerator. I think 1 degree vs 3 degrees temp accuracy is going to be just as important to backyard grillers.

t0sG1c6.jpg
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
NIST certified can be misleading. As an ISO 9000 certified auditor I never saw where a temperature measuring device certification was valid for more than one year. Yes, it can be recertified every year for a fee but it is not a lifetime certification when purchased. There were instances where companies would buy new certified devices every year as it was cheaper than having the old one recertified. Just an FYI as it probably doesn’t matter for backyard grilling. 🙂
Don't forget that you can always calibrate your own device by just sticking it in boiling water and see how close you are. A degree or two here or there is not a big deal, but if it is off by let's say 10 degrees or more then I would want to know.

That's what the "test" spot on the hood thermometers is all about too!
 

Rick Poch

TVWBB Fan
Nah, I wouldn't blame Thermoworks for bad research and R&D. They probably seriously considered the magnet but opted for the silicone cover with magnets as a choice for buyers. I can understand where some just would not want the magnets. But, for me, I like them.
Same. I like the boot and MK4 resides on the side of the fridge.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
Yes, you can self calibrate it, which I like but that is not a “certified” calibration.
I'm just saying, any thermometer should be calibrated from time to time. Doesn't have to be certified, but any thermometer can drift. In freshman year of college, taking chemistry classes, we had an entire lab where we calibrated thermometers. We did a 2 point calibration because our thermometers measured a large enough range so we were able to use ice water and boiling water as our zero and 100 degree C points, then make a calibration based on that data. It was surprising how different the thermometers across the lab were, and it was a good exercise.
 

Richard in NS

TVWBB All-Star
I'm just saying, any thermometer should be calibrated from time to time. Doesn't have to be certified, but any thermometer can drift. In freshman year of college, taking chemistry classes, we had an entire lab where we calibrated thermometers. We did a 2 point calibration because our thermometers measured a large enough range so we were able to use ice water and boiling water as our zero and 100 degree C points, then make a calibration based on that data. It was surprising how different the thermometers across the lab were, and it was a good exercise.
I totally agree. I only mentioned it was misleading for that fact. Thermometers do not always stay calibrated. The casual user could read that NIST statement as meaning it is a permanent calibration. I do look for ones that can be calibrated but the NIST means nothing for my cooking.
Richard, if we can fill 9 pages of discussion on 1 second vs 3 seconds of readout time and magnet vs no magnet and drawer vs refrigerator. I think 1 degree vs 3 degrees temp accuracy is going to be just as important to backyard grillers.

t0sG1c6.jpg
Yes Bruce, just like car brands and options. For me, I just buy the one that has the features I like when it is on Sale! 😆
 

Colin

TVWBB Pro
NIST certified can be misleading. As an ISO 9000 certified auditor I never saw where a temperature measuring device certification was valid for more than one year. Yes, it can be recertified every year for a fee but it is not a lifetime certification when purchased. There were instances where companies would buy new certified devices every year as it was cheaper than having the old one recertified. Just an FYI as it probably doesn’t matter for backyard grilling. 🙂
Richard, you speak the truth. As a Measurement Tech for a natural gas pipeline company back in the 90's, I had to get my test equipment recertified every year to satisfy witnesses from other companies. It was our goal to calibrate metering equipment to 0.1% of full scale. Not that this kind of accuracy is applicable to cooking, but it demonstrates the need for NIST and the equipment being certified as you well know. Just adding a little more insight into this topic.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
Richard, you speak the truth. As a Measurement Tech for a natural gas pipeline company back in the 90's, I had to get my test equipment recertified every year to satisfy witnesses from other companies. It was our goal to calibrate metering equipment to 0.1% of full scale. Not that this kind of accuracy is applicable to cooking, but it demonstrates the need for NIST and the equipment being certified as you well know. Just adding a little more insight into this topic.
Zero point one percent is a tight spec!

Anyways, whether a calibration is certified or not does not matter for backyard grilling. However, certification shows a lot of good techniques to use for calibration. Yes, thermometers drift. Yes, calibration is a good idea. No, certifications do not last forever, in fact the length of certification should be included as part of it.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
Here is a thermometer calibration. This is ice water, so the goal is 32F:

1625084073787.png
Here is boiling water, 212F is target:
1625084141973.png

I will post the graph and calibration next. Going to whip it up on Excel.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
1625085876677.png

So this is not really that "off" but the idea is that the "actual" temperature is on the x axis (horizontal) and the temperature that you get from the thermometer is on the y axis.

The way it works is then I would find the point on the y axis that is the temperature I am reading, and drop a line down to the x axis to see what the actual temperature is.

This thermometer is pretty close, and I for one like to hit my internal temp as a "minimum" cooking temperature, then remove and rest, etc. so I usually do go over 5 or ten degrees for a moment or two during a thermometer cook.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I wanted to post some info into this thread regarding the Thermopro 19-h. I purchased one from Amazon almost a year ago. I was grilling some chicken a couple nights ago and the display suddenly went to all dashes. I tried turning it off and on. I even tried a new battery. It still will only read dashes. I emailed Thermopro C/S and they wrote back to send my order # and mailing address so they could send me a new one. I should get it in a couple days. I would expect it to last longer than a year, but since it didn't, I am happy that Thermopro is standing behind it which is nice for an $18 item.
 
I have some renewed respect for Thermoworks. They reached out to me via direct message and I contacted them regarding my now 6 year old Thermapen which is not functioning properly. They sent a shipping label and I've mailed it to them. I'll see what they do.. repair....replace...but if it's $35 to service it, they can keep it. I'll know in a few days.
 
By way of follow-up. I mailed my Thermapen to Thermoworks about 12 days ago. They provided the shipping label. They repaired it, refurbished it..i.e... they polished out the scratches or replaced the window and replaced the battery cap and the silicone perimeter gasket and tested it, providing me with a card showing the test results. They shipped it back to me USPS 2 day with new batteries in it. That's outstanding service. It was manufactured in 2012 and they honored a 1 year warranty 9 years later. Impressive!
I also own a ThermoPro TP1A and TP3A as well as 2 Alpha Grillers(between 2 homes). All of which work extremely well for me. But I'd buy a Thermapen again in a heartbeat.
 
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GarciaWork

New member
Sorry for the hijack, but I am new to the higher end side of grilling. I currently use a stick in and leave thermometer to have real time temperature. But people seem to REALLY like these instant reads. Is that a better way to do it? I have actually looked at Thermoworks for a remote set up, one for meat and one for grill temp. But, I never thought to look at pros and cons... with the M4's on sale, that would be nice, but I could even see getting the latest and greatest. What are your thoughts, more experienced members?
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I have both a remote Thermoworks Smoke grate and meat thermometer and a instant read. I think both are great. But, I think an instant read is the first one a guy should have. The leave in kind only measure that one spot in the meat. When temping meat, you want to check a couple different places to get a true reading and trying that with a leave in slow as snot thermometer isn't feasible. To get really great results, just 5 or 10 degrees can make a huge difference.

I would start there and then as you get into grilling more and want to try other things like low and slow cooks for ribs or brisket and such, a remote meat and grate thermometer is really necessary.
 

 

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