ThermoPro is known for providing affordable and reliable temperature probes, but sometimes affordability can leave consumers feeling like they are lacking some of the bells and whistles that other like ThermoWorks deliver.
Cue the launch of the new ThermoPro Lightning.
As the name suggests, the Lighting is a “lightning fast” instant-read thermometer that boasts the ability to read temperature in less than a second. It has a number of advanced features, a sleek design, and a reasonable price tag compared to similar products on the market.
Today I’m going to be giving you my review of the ThermoPro Lightning, covering pros and cons and giving you the scoop on whether the probe lives up to its name.
ThermoPro sent me a free Lightning thermometer in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Unboxing and first impressions
The ThermoPro Lightning comes in a sleek black box with the ThermoPro logo emblazoned on the front in a bold font. The first thing I thought when opening it was that it would make a great gift box because it’s very thick and has a luxurious feel.
Another great thing about the box that it comes in is that it seems to be durable enough to act as a storage box for the future, which is a nice feature to protect your probe.
The design of the Lightning is unquestionably sleek. It has a minimalistic design, high quality anti-slip grips on the bottom, and a bright red display that makes it easy to read in any level of light.
- Temperature Read Time: <1 second
- Improved Accuracy: ± 0.5°F (± 0.3°C)
- 180° Ambidextrous Rotating Display
- Large 2” Backlight Display Screen
- Smart Sleep/Wake Mode
- IP65 Waterproof
- Hanging Mount + Built-in Magnet
- Anti-Slip Grip
- 10 Year Warranty
The battery comes included in the box, which is always nice so you don’t have to go searching around your junk drawer for a battery when you’re ready to fire it up.
After I had inserted the battery and started playing with the probe the very first thing that caught my attention was the 180° Rotating Display.
As someone who cooks on various grills and smokers, I sometimes have to squeeze into tight spaces or probe my food at different angles during the cooking process. The fact that the display flips upside down makes it easy to take temperature from multiple angles, but also makes it an ambidextrous option.
The other feature that immediately caught my attention was the Smart Sleep/Wake Mode on the unit. The probe detects motions and turns on as soon as you pick it up, but will also shut down automatically after 90 seconds of inactivity – even if the probe is still extended.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve left my probe open sitting on the grill while I’m trying to wrap a brisket or a rack of ribs, so I thought it was nice that it would shut off automatically and save battery life even if I forget to close the probe.
Finally, the Anti-Slip Grip is one of the best I’ve used on an instant-read probe. We all know that when you are cooking or grilling, your hands/gloves can end up pretty slippery at times. The grip at the bottom of the probe made it easy to hold whether my hands were perfectly clean or covered in brisket drippings, so I am confident that I don’t have to worry about the probe slipping from my grip.
What I Liked:
- Sleek Design
- Good value price for the features
- Anti-Slip Grip
- 180° Rotating Display
- Fast Response Time
- Automatic Shut Off Feature
What I Didn’t Like:
- Slightly slower response time when probing large cuts of meat
Product Testing and Accuracy
The first thing I wanted to test with the Lightning was the claim that it takes temperature in <1 second. That is an extremely fast response time, and would put it on par with the Thermapen One.
I started by testing it out in a pot of water and found that the response time was extremely quick compared to other instant-read probes I’ve used, so I would say that it passed the test in a liquid environment.
But, the important thing is whether or not it can maintain that rapid response when probing meat, right?
The next response time test I performed was during a 12-hour brisket cook. I started probing the meat around 145°F to 160°F internal and found that the response time was slightly delayed compared to the water test. It was still remarkably quick, but I was not getting a read in less than a second. This could be due to variations in the temperature of the brisket due to the size of the cut of meat.
Final Thoughts: Should You Buy a ThermoPro Lightning?
I assume that this probe is ThermoPro’s response to the popularity of the ThermoWorks ThermaPen ONE amongst chefs and pitmasters alike.
Since both thermometer’s names highlight the fast read times.
Getting a similar read time on a thermometer that’s only 2/3 the price of the Thermapen is impressive. I think the build quality on the Thermapen is still better, and I prefer the cleaner design.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think the ThermoPro Lightning is one of the best instant-read options on the market, especially for the price.