Ours too! Grilling was the most frequent subject of our debates. Solved.
What do you do when the battery dies?
On a thermapen? The one I have you just pop out the batteries and replace them.
5,000 hours of typical performance with included lithium battery, replacement batteries available
For the therm pop version I buy a handful of replacement batteries.
Rooster’s reply is helpful.
“pop out the batteries and replace them” means you stock batteries?
I do a lot of cooking off the grid for extended periods as a yacht delivery skipper and try to avoid batteries. 5, 50, 500, or 5000 hours doesn’t matter so much when you are eleven days from land. My use case may be a niche but suppose your thermometer fails in the middle of a brisket or a turkey. Do you have batteries in stock? Are they fresh?
I’ll buy the batteries as needed?
I’m a little curious to your response.
I mean if you don’t care about how many hours it operates, and are concerned about having batteries in stock that are fresh. Just have the purchase of the battery on a checklist? What did you expect from this thing? A solar cell?
I’ll be more clear. You’re part way through roasting something: brisket, turkey, pork loin … it doesn’t matter. The battery fails in your electronic thermometer. What do you do right that minute? Run out for a battery? That seems to be what you suggest.
Precision is much less important than accuracy and an $8 mechanical thermometer works great. Why spend extra money on something that doesn’t work as well? I simply don’t get it.
Dave, you could have made that point three posts ago.
Yeah your right, fussy gadgets take fussy maintenance. The last time I bought a cheaper pair of thongs I had to replace them after only a few uses, same with a less expensive manual can opener.
I wont go top of the line right away but too cheap and I wind up heading back to the store.
Its to each their own, ymmv.
lol, how many times am I gonna spell tongs wrong…lordy. TONGS.
You don’t even have to take your roasting pan out of the oven.
Your $8 mechanical can’t do that.
(BTW, how’s that Victrola holding up?)
Besides, every kitchen still HAS a mechanical thermometer, even if it’s neglected for a Thermapen.
In your worst case scenario:
you can still use your old one. You know…in an emergency.
Full disclosure: I’m still using an iPhone 4S I’ve had for six years; it’s in perfect condition so I see no reason to upgrade, but a Thermapen is worth the money, especially when it’s on sale.
My mechanical Taylor is not instant read. It takes four to six seconds to stabilize. Is that a real big deal? Not to me.
I am far from a Luddite. I simply don’t believe in technology for its own sake, especially when it comes with additional failure modes.
I miss my iPhone 3G and the 4 that replaced it. I have an iPhone 6 because I drowned my previous phones before learning about Lifeproof cases. grin My personal and professional electronics runneth over. All have something to offer.
Yes, I still have the VTVM I built myself in 1972. My current model Fluke DVMs are what get used. They have all kinds of truly useful functions that let me do diagnosis in the field that I would otherwise have to do in a lab.
Home cooks seem to love to buy things that take batteries, or plug in, or have an app. sigh One of my customers has at least eight things to connect to by WiFi or Bluetooth with apps. I see and touch and sell and repair this sort of thing all the time. Technology for its own sake is not good value.
I’m sorry for ranting. As an engineer I just find it frustrating to reduce reliability, even a little, without meaningful added value. Once in a while that boils over.
So after reading your missives it seems that a thread about sales on Thermapens is probably of no interest to you?
As a guy who only wants to improve his grill game I am happy to report buying the thermpop and batteries was worth not wasting money on meat.
I read a lot of things I don’t expect to find of interest. I have an open mind and always look for subjects I may want to change my mind about.
No offense… but how often does that even happen? This just seems like making a mountain out of a molehill. If I’m that worried about the thermometer, I’d take a quick check prior to actually starting my roasts etc.
Where is the notion that the thermapen was not precise or accurate? Rather, the notion is that the thermapen was quite accurate, precise, and especially fast the only draw back is the cost. Now, is it a good value, that’s debatable but probably why the topic was made in the first place since its on sale.
I presume you had some uh… interesting thongs. I won’t question your choice of undergarments.
Well, sometimes temperature may just be that crucial. Here’s an article on serious eats that may compel you about the time or justify its existence as useless.
… would you consider a horse or a model T?
I’m curious at this thought process. Wouldn’t you want something that’s faster, more precise, more accurate? Its not like the thermometer fails constantly.
I think most other thermometers take on average 15 seconds for a good readout while the thermapen takes around 4seconds. I think those ten seconds can be quite valuable in things such as seafood but that’s just me. I’m curious as to what technology you do find useful without any drawbacks. I always felt things moved along increment by increment.
lol…yeah dont question it. my typing stinks.
I get what you are saying here. Philosophically, I am a fan of the simplest approach that gets the job done. I run from things that are fussy to maintain, likely to fail, or that have so-called features that get in my way. I used, and still have, a simple mechanical thermometer and I certainly can and mostly do cook without using a thermometer of any kind. But I do find one useful when grilling and roasting. One use of the Thermapen and I was hooked. I will now even temp leftovers with it when I am reheating food in a hurry. Yet I know, batteries.
P. S. Don’t even get me started on the fancy-ish electric oven that came with this house. It sits there like a cold, dead hulk during power outages. I could still fire up the burners on the budget gas range in our old house when the electricity went out. Blargh to failure modes.
I am a fan of mechanical, non-electric things. Both from a utility aspect and because of romantic notions. I have a cast iron waffle iron. A manual coffee grinder. On this, however, I think you are dead wrong. Every August we work a fundraising stand where we sell over 100 orders of popcorn chicken. We check the temp on each and every piece. Even my ThermoPop and others which take 4 seconds are too slow to keep up with this hectic pace. Also, my old fashioned candy thermometer is great at giving me a ball park figure, but it can’t give fast readings around the pot when making caramel, e.g., where every second matters. Yes eventually you can do it without a thermometer, but you need one while learning. The only knock I have is that the probe is not long enough to easily test some things, like a very tall loaf of bread. ( I’m on the fence if temperature readings are a good indicator for bread doneness, anyway.)
Edit: I wasn’t sold on the Thermapen right away. I had it for quite a few months before I really appreciated it.
I may spend more time cooking off the grid than most people but I see failures a lot. New batteries are no panacea. In my experience adding complexity without substantial value-added is not a good idea. YMMV.
My point is that precision and accuracy are quite different things. Who has actually determined themselves in a scientific way, or can point to credible assessments, the accuracy of a Thermapen. I’ve sure checked my Taylors. Too many people confuse precision with accuracy. Just because you get a decimal place or two does not mean the number is not ±5°F or more.
I read the Serious Eats article. It makes a good case for a thermometer but not for a battery-powered one. Nothing that makes a difference between three seconds and a just a few more. Certainly none for a popping the door open and reading the thermometer through the door.
To your question “Wouldn’t you want something that’s faster, more precise, more accurate?” there is no question that the Thermapen is more prices than my Taylor. What is not clear is whether it is more accurate OR if the accuracy makes a difference for 99% of cooking tasks. Your question goes directly to the root of my point of technology for its own sake. Is it fast enough? Accurate enough? Precise enough?
Remember that you are only measuring at a single point. An inch away the target may be warmer or cooler by several degrees.
The scientific method applies to cooking.