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Do I really need a Themapen when I have a DigiQ and a Maverick ET733?

I have been studying the forrum and it appears that the Thermapen is highly regarded.  I struggle to buy yet another $100 temperature device when I have already spent significant money on a Maverick 733 and a DigiQ.

Do I really need a Thermapen?  Are there more economical alternatives that perform reasonably well?
Alan in LA (Lower Alabama that is)
"If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before!" 

Comments

  • Alphonse do you really need a Thermapen I would say no but it is a very nice addition to your bag of tricks I have a DigiQ a CyberQ and a Thermapen and I use them often do I really need all  no but he who dies with the most toys wins!!!!
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
  • J_QueJ_Que Posts: 200
    Short answer is no you don't "need" it but it is a very good tool to have in your toolbox. There are other alternatives but the thermapen is one of the best. Just my opinion.
    I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,131
    A good instant read is a nice tool to have.  The Maverick and Digi-Q will tell you the temp, but they are slow to respond.  They are fine for a hunk of meat like a roast or a butt, but are of little value if you need to do a quick check of steaks, chicken breast, etc.  I'm not saying it has to be the thermapen, but a decent quality instant read is a nice tool to have in the belt. 

    This is one option that is a less expensive I have seen suggested:




    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,509
    edited December 2013

    From my perspective the gear you are describing perform separate functions and give you different information upon which to understand and/or influence the BGE cook.  I don't use the Digiq but I know that it is a BGE controller so it will maintain a given internal cook temperature (predominant use for long duration low&slow cooks) and I believe the target meat temp.  The Maverick will also monitor the internal cook temp and meat temp.  This information has the most value on those protracted cooks when the finish temp can cover several degrees (pork butts, brisket, chuck raosts etc).

    The thermopen is an instant read thermo so you know the target meat temperature right now.  When doing a hot&fast cook the desired finish temp tolerance can be very tight.  Missing by a few degrees can change the end result from rare to medium etc.  And the thermopen has other kitchen uses as well.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth.

    BTW-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.

     

    Louisville
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 15,298
    edited December 2013
    You need it instead of. Sold my Digi Q, gave away my Party Q and Mavericks.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max +++ 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • The RT600C is what I have and it works great. The biggest difference is in the first "stick" . After that reading if you are cooking multiple meats or taking multiple temp readings the second "stick" of the RT600C is almost instant.
    I will have a thermapen someday but the RT600C costs $20 and works for me until I wear it out or break it.
    We're talking 3 seconds difference in the time it takes to get a reading.
    Have you got more time or money I guess?
    Nowhere Indiana
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 817
    edited December 2013
    I used both the Maverick and Thermapen for my Thanksgiving turkey.  Inserted the Mav probe in the breast and when it read the correct doneness, I verified that the thighs were cooked to correct temperature.  Also with the high failure rate and misreading of the Mav it is good to have an accurate back up to be sure that what the Mav is telling you is real world.  If I had to give one up, the Mav would go and the Thermapen would be kept.
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • HibbyHibby Posts: 417
    The thermapen can simply do things the Maverick cannot. Aside from that, your maverick will fail you and more likely sooner than later.
    Conservative stalwart in Thornville, Ohio
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,862
    edited December 2013
    I agree 100% with @Loosemoose. The life-altering experience that most folks describe after buying a Thermapen has more to do with buying a reliable thermometer than with buying the Thermapen specifically. Most folks have had a sh!tty time with the crap that is sold at HD/Lowes and other joints, or with other meat fork thermometer type gizmos given as Christmas gifts in year's past. My life changed when I bought a Thermoworks RT600c a few years ago, because I finally had an accurate, reliable meat thermometer. I bought a backlit thermapen  a few months back, because I wanted to taste the Kool-Aid too. Its a great device, but honestly I don't appreciate any great difference in how it works vs. the RT600c. The advantages it does have are the larger backlit display and the somewhat more compact form factor. I could have easily lived with waiting 3 more seconds to get a temp reading.

    IMO, I would have bought the thermometer first (RT600c vs. Thermapen), then decided between the DigiQ vs Maverick 733. At this point though, if you are wary of spending the $$$ for a Thermapen, i would highly recommend the RT600c. It will serve you very well. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • lakewadelakewade Posts: 370
    As @lousubcap said, the Mav and DigiQ are different types of tools.  I have a CyberQ WIFI and a Mav myself, both of which I had well before my Thermapen.  While I like them both for what they do, as the years have passed I probably use my Thermapen 95% of the time and we cook on the egg 4-5 times a week.  The Thermapen is just second nature now.  I love messing with the CyberQ from time to time because I am a huge tech geek and it really does work well when you are away from the house and doing a cook, but really, how often is that?  A lot of the fun is hanging out at home cooking.

    My answer would be yes you need it.  I messed around with a couple of other "quick read" hand held thermometers before I finally got a Thermapen and wish I would have just gone straight to it.  



    -----------
    I feel a whole lot more like I do now than I did when I got here.
  • Sold!

    Thanks for all the feedback, now I have an excuse if my wife finds out I spent another $100 on toys.
    Alan in LA (Lower Alabama that is)
    "If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before!" 
  • gmacgmac Posts: 458
    I use my thermopen for so much more than egging. I check mash temperatures when brewing, internal temps when cooking indoors and I take it on vacation to the cottage where there is no egg (but would be if I had my way). It's small so it travels well. Plus you can probably really embarrass your wife when you go out for dinner and check food temps in the restaurant (which I have only considered doing because she would kill me).
    Mt Elgin Ontario
  • The pen is also a good quality assurance tool when you are questioning your temp readings and/or probing a brisket for done-ness. "Done-ness," probably not a real word but should be.

  • jtippersjtippers Posts: 509
    gmac said:
     Plus you can probably really embarrass your wife when you go out for dinner and check food temps in the restaurant (which I have only considered doing because she would kill me).
    I gotta try this!   =))
    LBGE April 2011 • SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013
    Location: Jasper, Georgia
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,311
    :)>- :)>-
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • ParallelParallel Posts: 404
    Need? No. Then again... you don't really NEED a Maverick 733 or a DigiQ, but they sure make life easier don't they.  ;)

    Every time my elbow bends my mouth flies open.
  • Parallel said:
    Need? No. Then again... you don't really NEED a Maverick 733 or a DigiQ, but they sure make life easier don't they.  ;)
    Careful - I told my wife that we needed them and now you go saying things like this!  Take it back quickly.
    Alan in LA (Lower Alabama that is)
    "If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before!" 
  • I have a CyberQ and a Thermapen.  After the CyberQ claims something is done I double check with the thermapen to double check before pulling the meat off the egg.
  • So about 2 months ago I was in the same boat.... i bought the thermapen and have used it alot! i use it more then anything else egg related but the egg and charcoal itself
  • You don't need it. Buy meat, a lot of it. Then cook that meat over and over and time and time again til you can look at what your cooking and say "stick a fork in errr, she's done".
  • mguzikmguzik Posts: 18
    Thermapen is great ! I left it in the rain overnight few times and it still works great , I had to take it apart and dry it .
    I have a digiq for my egg and I always use thermapen to verefy my temps .
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,131
    Alphonse said:
    Parallel said:
    Need? No. Then again... you don't really NEED a Maverick 733 or a DigiQ, but they sure make life easier don't they.  ;)
    Careful - I told my wife that we needed them and now you go saying things like this!  Take it back quickly.
    This link should get you back on track. You need it!


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • One thing I noticed when I started using my new egg few weeks ago.  Cooked my chicken at 375 direct.  My chicken stayed tad shy of golden brown although my repeated attempt to feel the chicken had felt it was not done.  Decided to pull out my old digital thermo to see.   Was surprised it was at 174.   Chicken was still moist though.   Next cook I pulled out 165 and it was even moister and less "brown".    (amazing cooker)

    Anyway while I was waiting for cheap probe to register, I sorta burned myself.  Now I have to use welder's glove to stick my probe in to re-learn how to read my chicken for doneness.

    Decided, I'll ask for Thermapen for Christmas.
    Large BGE
    Frederick County, MD
  • I use my DigiQ for low and slow. The Thermapen works great for quick cooks like pork chops, steaks, and chicken. You get a quick, accurate temp reading that prevents over cooking. So yes, you need both in my opinion. 
  • thailandjohnthailandjohn Posts: 951
    edited December 2013
    My answer is yes.....I just bought my fourth Thermapen as a gift....it cannot be beat for getting accurate temps fast
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,862
    Coletrain said:
    You don't need it. Buy meat, a lot of it. Then cook that meat over and over and time and time again til you can look at what your cooking and say "stick a fork in errr, she's done".
    You'll work through a Thermapen's worth of meat (or more) before you reach that point.

    Stick a Thermapen in it... and you'll KNOW when she's done.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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