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Reliable Probe Thermometers


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And about that lifetime warranty: the battery cover of my DFP450W broke a few months ago. I had bought the thing 3 or 4 years ago in another country and of course didn't keep a receipt. I contacted Cooper-Atkins head office in the US (which wasn't easy; they hide their e-mail address on their website so I resorted to fax) who put me in touch with a distributor here in Hong Kong, who delivered a replacement unit the next day; no charge, no questions. Not bad for a $35 product.

Well, my replacement DFP450W failed after fairly light use (display stopped working), so I'm now waiting for them to deliver the 2nd replacement under the lifetime warranty. This is getting tedious.

And my 3rd Cooper DFP450W died, again from the display failing, after extremely light use - like less than half a dozen times. I'm not going to bother returning it for a 4th replacement under their lifetime warranty; this time it's going into the garbage. I've ordered a Thermoworks RT301WA on sale for $19 to take its place. http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html

My apologies to anyone who bought the Cooper on my recommendation up-thread; hopefully yours lasted longer than mine.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I have several Thermoworks thermometers, including the combination Thermapen/Infrared as well as a single Thermapen.

Cook's Illustrated tested several of Thermoworks and found them all to be most accurate and best buys. Similar results with Consumers Digest.

I also have the much less expensive RT301 and the RT600C, both with 6-second response and the latter is waterproof and can even go into the dishwasher, safe to 190° F.

It is also shock-resistant because I have dropped it several times and it still works just fine.

(It was laying in the folds of a towel that I snatched off the counter and the thermometer flew across the kitchen, hit a cabinet and bounced across the floor. Now that is what I consider a sturdy item.

RT600C

RT301

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I got fed up with the cheapy Polder/Taylor thermometers that I kept on breaking so I bought a Cole Parmer Digi-Sense Type-T thermocouple reader (new but discontinued model on ebay for $15, awesome deal it was still in the box) and a type T insertion probe from thermoworks.

http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku=9110010

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/probe/tc_type_t2.html

Model: 117-173

There are a number of cheap/expensive, new/used thermocouple readers on e-bay. This combo is more accurate and more reliable then the cheap junk on amazon, although it is more expensive.

-Lyle

Professional Scientist (in training)

Amateur Cook

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  • 1 year later...

Over the years I've collected a few probe thermometers. I rely on these, especially for long low n slow cooking. The problem is, they don't agree. I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes.

I need a good reference thermometer with a probe that can survive oven environments up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll spend the money to get a good one I can use over the years.

Help?

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Is the oven's thermostat accurate? What a slippery slope that is... :wink:

That's an informative thread. I need something with a longer probe so might use that info to make a decision. Currently I have a Thermoworks superfast themapen that is as accurate and reliable as the day it arrived. NIST traceable. It can be callibrated but I've never had to do this (will occasionally check boiling vs icewater and is spot on). I use it constantly for many things including taking my 105.4 temp when I had the flu...

I did note some issues when the batteries needed changing.

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Over the years I've collected a few probe thermometers. I rely on these, especially for long low n slow cooking. The problem is, they don't agree. I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes.

I need a good reference thermometer with a probe that can survive oven environments up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll spend the money to get a good one I can use over the years.

Help?

You could calibrate them. Boiling water is 212F, Ice water is 32F.

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Over the years I've collected a few probe thermometers. I rely on these, especially for long low n slow cooking. The problem is, they don't agree. I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes.

I need a good reference thermometer with a probe that can survive oven environments up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll spend the money to get a good one I can use over the years.

Help?

You could calibrate them. Boiling water is 212F, Ice water is 32F.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/boiling-points-water-altitude-d_1344.html

Its good to have Morels

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Over the years I've collected a few probe thermometers. I rely on these, especially for long low n slow cooking. The problem is, they don't agree. I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes.

I need a good reference thermometer with a probe that can survive oven environments up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll spend the money to get a good one I can use over the years.

Help?

You could calibrate them. Boiling water is 212F, Ice water is 32F.

http://www.engineeri...ude-d_1344.html

good point

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As in one of the threads linked earlier, I've been happy with "Traceable®" units from Control3 (control3.com). They have many resellers but I usually end up ordering from Control3 or via Amazon. The site is a bit tough to navigate, but you'll only need to do it once. I prefer looking through the .pdf and eyeing the accuracy tables, then checking prices via the website.

You want something that comes with calibration results that link back to NIST. Note that some of Control3's units are only calibrated for a specific temperature, and claim very high tolerance, but you don't know what you're getting outside of that range. For example, the 4352 (http://www.control3.com/4052p.htm) is probably the only thermometer anywhere near $25 that you can find online that's within +-0.2°C, but that's only at the few tested points and it may fall within the regular +-1°C elsewhere (granted, it's likely more accurate throughout the range, but you won't know for sure).

Some of the probes can get pricey, and you ideally want to get a probe+thermocouple setup that's been calibrated together just so you don't have to worry about additional sources of error.

Omega's another good resource to explore. http://www.omega.com...rature/tsc.html They have so many options that it's usually easier just to call and speak with an engineer about what you're looking for.

Edited by doorkfood (log)
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I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes.

Help?

One of the famous navigaors, think it was Columbus, saisd something about "never have two ship's clocks, either one or three or more, but never two..."

Here's my logic on probe thermometers: About twice a week I make a big batch of caramel, big, thick, sticky liquid, I need to get it to 110 C. I have cheapo probe thermometers, a traceable one, and an alcohol one. I prefer the alcohol one. With just one probe thermomter, I can get 4 or 5 different readings just by placing it an inch over or under the area I just had the probe in. If I use two probes, they will never agree, and if I move ther around, I'll get multiple readings. The surface area of the probe is very small, and very sensitive, and because of this, flucutates wildly.

The alcohol thrmomter has a large bulb--much larger surface area, and for this reason doesn't fluctuate as much when I move the themometer around.

My conclusion? The bigger the sruface ara on the probe, the less problems you will have with fluctuating readings

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

This is for home, not for work. So it doesn't need to be anointed by the NSF. (But I wouldn't be upset if it as NSF certified.)

I have two, count 'em, TWO probe thermometers. I needed one yesterday, and they were both broken. I don't know what's wrong with them, only that they won't display the temperature from the lead.

So I'm looking for a probe thermometer that isn't a useless piece of plastic crap. Suggestions?

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I have the CDN...$16 at amazon. Works great, reads fast and accurate, cheap. Better by lots than the Taylor probes which are SLOW.

NSF likes it.

http://www.amazon.com/CDN-DTQ450X-ProAccurate-Quick-Read-Thermometer/dp/B0021AEAG2/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1375299457&sr=1-5&keywords=probe+thermometer

Edited by gfweb (log)
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ditto thermoworks for sure

Yes, no question. They do have periodic sales if one can wait. Anything else is a toy.

Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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Best of both worlds in one unit.

I actually gave away a similar unit. I much prefer separates with dead simple ergonomics. One wants to use either as a reflex gesture without thinking (frequently) and see on the display what one wants, with no input or selection required. Plug in a probe? One will use it a tenth as often.

Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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