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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!

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