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Thermapen... justify the cost.

I have read several post about how wonderful the Thermapen is.  Some posts went so far as to say that the Thermapen made them a better cook. In all sincerity I have a hard time with justifying $100 for a thermometer.

So how exactly does this thermometer work so much better?  Anyone have some specific examples of how having a Thermapen made the purchase worth it?
Texas Aggie transplanted in Georgia
Large BGE, Small BGE, more accessories than I'm willing to tell the Mrs. about.



  • It gives me more confidence in the food I am preparing. I know that the meat is a safe temp and the right temp regardless of the situation. If it's a brisket at 197 or a filet at 125 I know that I get accurate readings...really fast. I don't think it's essential but I would replace mine tomorrow if it was stolen, just like it that much. I waited for an open box sale...I think it was $70.
    LBGE Knoxville, TN
  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,507
    I'm about to pull the trigger on one after tonight's tandoori cook. There was no way to keep a probe in the chicken with all the turning involved and I'm not sure the probe wires would have survived. Waiting on my cheap Taylor "instant" read was a PITA. If I could have know. In 3 seconds what the temp was would have been awesome. Thermopen just got bumped to the top of my wish list. Next commission check.... I'm in sales...
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    Hi, my name is TJ and I'm not a Thermopen user. I have a couple of $10 Taylor 'instant read' thermo's that I've had for years. They always calibrate right on. I know, they take 10 seconds or so to stabilize, compared to 2-3 seconds for the Thermopen, but on a 12 hour cook, what difference does seven seconds make. Once they stop working I'll probably buy a Thermopen for the cool factor, but for now, they do the job just fine. Important thing is to cook to temp, not time.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,130
    Consider the Thermoworks RT600c - its 25% of the cost of a Thermapen. Same company, takes 6 seconds instead of 3. Works very well, and will help you egg some amazing things.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,058
    edited October 2013
    I understand your recluctance. but I now own 2 of them so I guess you might say I'm a believer. I am such a STRONG advocate of NEVER cooking to time and ALWAYS cooking to temperature. I often dry age my own 10 to 16 pound sub-primals of beef so by the time they are 35 or 45 days along I am rather guarded about my steaks. The last thing I want to do is over cook them. Since you apparently already stepped up to understanding what a BGE can do for your results as opposed to a cheap gasser or whatever then bite the bullet and take the next step up the staircase toward culinary heaven! BTW - you know what? first older style, non water proof Thermapen is now 11 years old and still has the original battery! 
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    They are really nice when you are trying to get a reading when the egg is at very high temps.  In addition, if you are checking multiple butts or briskets during a low and slow, you limit the time the dome stays open which can impact the stability of the grate temp.  I use mine every day and have no regrets.  Can you get by without one? - Sure, but it is so much easier with one.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • You'd be fine without one I suppose. The big thing is using temperature to cook your food for amazing consistent results. It totally changed the way I cook. I cooked 6 filets tonight and perfectly, to 3 different levels of doneness for the family.

    You can do that with any thermometer. But my thermopen is fast and accurate. I'd buy another tomorrow if I lost this one.


  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    I guess for me its not a single poke and read. Meat has different zones, fat pockets. In order to understand whats happening - I want to check this end, that end, the middle. 2 or 3 temp readings so I can make sure I am not in a fat area, or next to a bone. The quickness of read is the probe and go, quickly I know whats happening
    Cookin in Texas
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    My top reason is the speed it offers. When I am probing a hunk of meat over a 600 degree temp, 6-10 seconds = ouch. 3 seconds = hooray! The fact that it allows me to cook a steakhouse quality steak more than justifies the price for me. Hell, it pays for itself in 1 meal considering I can make a meal for 30 bucks that would be well over 100 at a Ruther Chris/Mortons/Capital Grille.

    I also use it for my tea and coffee. It has really elevated the quality since I know the exact water temp(I use whole leaf tea and french press coffee).
  • It's simple, you will keep buying cheaper versions of the Thermapen until you actually buy a Thermapen.   Take the short-cut and buy it now.



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • ParallelParallel Posts: 433

    Thermapen... justify the cost.

    Only YOU can do that. I think there's not a lot more to say than has been said... either you can justify the cost for yourself or you can't. I love mine, but I don't look down my nose at anyone who doesn't have one.

    Every time my elbow bends my mouth flies open.
  • Thermometer-snobs?



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • ZickZick Posts: 173
    Love it! An investment for a enormous amount of peace of mind.
    When was the last time you did something for the first time? - Zick Boulder, CO
  • Another thing not exactly mentioned, you've got 6-10 pieces of meat. If your using a 10 second thermometer you've got your hand in the fire for over a minute. Good look with that!


  • caliking said:
    Consider the Thermoworks RT600c - its 25% of the cost of a Thermapen. Same company, takes 6 seconds instead of 3. Works very well, and will help you egg some amazing things.
    The ThermoWorks site says the range of this thermo is "-40 to 302°F".  Does that mean it doesn't register temps above 302°F?

    And btw this model is on sale for $19 right now.

  • Ok i just purchased one after hearing all the hype but i'm a believer after just 4 cooks is it a luxury HELL yes but so is owning a BGE. i have an All Clad IR thermometer and the thermapen blows it away as already said somebody i wish i just bought the thermapen  and saved the first $65 buck i spent... 
    Toronto,  Ontario,  Large, Large, Mini Max
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,067
    Hmm justify the cost huh? Okay, take the $1000 dollars worth of accessories I have and leave me my Thermapen. I use it almost everytime I it goes beyond egging. It's a professional tool that I wish I would have had many many years ago.
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746
    You will find yourself/spouse using inside (so I got a second one).
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • luistluist Posts: 15
    Complete no brainer. Once you have one you will think how did you live without it.
    I use mine all the time in all aspects of cooking.
  • I waited and debated and finally pulled the trigger. I have had mine less than a week and love it. Check out the protective boot they sell for it also.
    Albion, PA
  • I use mine on almost every cook, inside and out. Based on that fact alone, I justify the cost because I use it. As @Mickey said, your spouse will use it too. I've just recently used it while canning some jam. It's not just for meat. It is an all purpose tool.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • 3sheets3sheets Posts: 81
    I don't even try to justify the cost of my toys and that includes my thermapen.

    Location 33.537588, -83.969298 (33.5 miles and 41 minutes SE of the Mothership)

  • EggoMaticEggoMatic Posts: 130
    After reading all of these wonderful posts from your fellow eggers concerning this device, if you haven't made up your mind to buy one now then just don't do it. Keep what works for you. I just can't see putting a good piece of meat on the grill without having the best device to tell me to take it off when it's ready. When your wife wants one for inside cooks, then you know it's a good tool!
    LBGE Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    edited October 2013
    I balked for some time. Seemed like an awful lot of money (just a little under $70.) After going thru several mechanical thermometer, I had 3 on hand during a Thanksgiving cook. I found one was not responding properly at all. Tried another. Got a reading that I didn't quite trust, so stuck the third one in. It indicated 20 degrees different, leaving me quite confused.

    Fed up by what i had experienced, decided I would shell out for the Thermopen.


    Soon found myself testing everything. I was trying to learn to bake bread, and used it to take the temp of the water I was using to get the highest temperature the yeast could stand without killing them. Found that the appearance between a loaf at 190 and 205 was about the same, but the texture was completely different.

    Wonderful for leftovers. Can re-heat just to safe levels, w/o having to over cook. My wife is an indifferent cook, but the Thermopen is so convenient that she's started using it.

    And the obvious. Every time an Egg or an oven is opened, there goes the temp. The faster, the better.

    When the 1st battery on mine finally died, I freaked. Was afraid I had gotten the pen wet, pr let it sit to near a burner. Great relief when I put in the replacement, and everything was fine.
  • And btw this model is on sale for $19 right now.

    this looks pretty straight as well


  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Nice seeing you pop up my friend
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Mickey said:
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Nice seeing you pop up my friend
    Thank you. Nice to be seen!

    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,863

    And btw this model is on sale for $19 right now.

    this looks pretty straight as well
    I agree that looks like a nice option.  It is not as fast as a themapen, but I'm sure it will be much faster than any [email protected] you buy at wally world or target.  

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • This website is bad for my wallet. Ok, I just ordered a thermapen.
    Houston, TX
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