ThermoWorks Thermapen - Product Review
If I could give the aspiring home cook, beginner pitmaster, or outdoor cooking enthusiast a single piece of advice when it comes to cooking meats it would be this...
Temp > Time. Always.
Seriously, I mean it. When it comes to preparing the perfect dish, the temperature is everything.
I remember my first time making Prime Rib, I followed the directions perfectly. It was overcooked. I remember my first time making Turkey, I cooked it according to the recipe, it was dry and overcooked.
Temperature is the difference between the perfect steak and a poor attempt. Temperature control is the difference between plump, juicy poultry and meat so dry it will make your leftover sandwich cry.
Yes, I am passionate about temperature. Why? Because I didn't know that so many recipes I was trying to recreate were flawed because they would only give cooking time instead of the target temperature.
About a year ago, I decided to get ready for my first-ever BBQ Competition. I signed up for the Steak Cookoff Association's first even in Utah. I signed up without a clue what I was doing; I was a greenie, never stepped foot at a competition before and here I was signing up to compete against the best of the best in Utah.
Overwhelmed? Sure, just a lot a bit.
As I do with any endeavor, I did my homework. Do you know what the single consistent tool is that everyone recommends when preparing for an SCA event? An instead read thermometer.
A perfect steak in the SCA is cooked Medium, I know, I know - I don't agree that's perfect either. (I'm more of a medium-rare guy). Almost every recipe and every video, folks were using the MK4 Thermapan from ThermoWorks.
So, I bought one.
Oh. My. How did I ever cook a steak before? Yeah, it's THAT big of a difference.
Fast forward to today. Every cook the Thermapen is in my pocket.
Things I love:
Instant read. Seriously, 2-3 seconds and you have your temperature. No more over/undercooking. Pull it when it's ready!
Small and convenient. I keep mine in my apron or in my back pocket while cooking.
Not just meats! We are getting more and more into baking over here at the Sloth household, taking the temperature of yeast? Boom! No problem.
Glowing panel. There are times in the world of barbecue when you pull all-nighters depending on what you're cooking. I don't have to worry about juggling a flashlight, holding the thermometer, and unwrapping the butcher paper all at once.
Things I don't love:
The price point for the Thermapen is steep in comparison to the lower-end thermometers. If you are not sold on the Thermapen, I highly recommend investing in a Thermopop thermometer (see link at bottom of page). If you love it, it is worth investing in the Thermapen, though I am positive you will love it.
.... well, that was a long list of only one thing.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. I feel this is a product every kitchen should have, when I cook at my parent's house for family gatherings, I bring my Thermapen along.
Sloth rating: A
*Links to the product are affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you purchase. Note that I have purchased these products and now recommend them because this is a product I believe in and would recommend to anybody!