We love our instant-read thermometer. It is essential for cooking everything from bread to meat, and we even use it sometimes to double-check the water temperature for our coffee! But our current thermometer is slow and a little jumpy in its readings. We have been eyeing the super-speedy, super-accurate Thermapen, a different sort of thermometer that takes it to a whole new level. But we hesitate: Is it really worth the $100 price tag? One could argue that a thermometer is one of the most important tools in a kitchen. Its readings tell you when food is safe, and when food is just right. It can help you decide if the bread or cake is still doughy, or if it's ready to eat. It's a completely indispensable tool.
And we know cooks who swear by the increased functionality and speed of the Thermapen the way we swear by our own little analog thermometer. They say that its speed and accuracy transformed the quality of their cooking.
The Thermapen uses a different sort of technology to give virtually instant readings. It uses a technology found in lab equipment (thermocouple) to give much faster readings, and also more accurate ones. You only have to insert the probe a little ways into the food to get a reading; no fiddling around to find just the right spot. It also has a large range of temperatures, unlike many normal probe thermometers. The one we've seen goes from -52°F to 572°F.
It does seem like an extremely useful tool, but the price still holds us back.
Find it: Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen, $96 at Amazon
Do you have a Thermapen? Is it worth the high price tag, or is it not too much more helpful than an ordinary thermometer?
Related: Kitchen Tools: Instant-Read Thermometer