If you’ve read any posts on this site before, you’ll know I’m a huge fan ThermoWorks more expensive instant read thermometer, the Thermapen Mk4.
I reach for it constantly both for barbecue and when I’m grilling. It’s incredibly durable, has a large easy to read display that lights up automatically and most importantly, reads temperatures incredibly fast.
But spending $99 on a thermometer isn’t a luxury everyone can afford. So I was excited to do this ThermoPop review to see how the more reasonably priced thermometer compared.
Read on to see if this budget instant read thermometer can compete with it’s big brother at a fraction of the price.
Click to jump straight to each topic
The ThermoPop was designed with serious chefs and professionals in mind. It comes with a pen-like carrying case so you can easily stash it and not prick yourself when you’re not using it.
The build quality and especially the speed of reading temperatures makes this thermometer excellent for barbecue and grilling.
While it looks very simple, there are some clever features that make this thermometer easy to use. You can rotate the screen with a push of a button make reading the display convenient from any angle (a feature that’s automatic on the ThemaPen).
The screen displays temperatures in large digits and is back lit for night time use. For those of you who use freedom units you have the ability to switch between °C and °F.
You can see the ThermoPop in action in the video below.
The two most important stats for an instant read thermometer is speed and accuracy. The ThemoPop performs well for a thermometer in this price range, with a reading time of 3 to 4 seconds and a temperature range of -58 to 572°F which is plenty for low and slow or grilling.
You can find more details on the stats further on in the review.
After cooking with the ThermoPop here’s what we liked:
- The specs are excellent for a budget thermometer, the advertised read times of 3-4 seconds were accurate when we tested the ThermoPop alongside the ThermaPen.
- The adjustable display angle, ergonomic design and back lit screen for use all make the thermometer very easy to use.
- Really long battery life, and the ability to get replacement batteries.
The lithium battery (which is included) should last you around 5,000 hours and once you hit that it’s easy to replace.
The ThermoPop comes in 9 choices of color, from candy pink to classic black.
ThermoWorks have included plenty of features that make this thermometer easy to use. Most importantly you get great accuracy and fast response times at an affordable price. That’s why we included it in our best all around instant read thermometer round up.
Get the latest price from the ThermoWorks website.
What’s in the box & manufacturer specifications
The ThermoPop ships in a small ThermoWorks branded box with a clear front that allows you to see the Thermometer.
Once you open it up the packaging is very simple. You get the thermometer, plus safety housing, and a laminated card with some recommended cooking temperatures.
|Probe Range||-58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)|
|Accuracy||±2.0°F (±1°C) from -4 to 248°F (-20 to 120°C); ±4.0°F (±2°C) thereafter|
|Response Time||About 3 to 4 seconds|
|Operating Range||32 to 122°F (0 to 50°C)|
|Display||0.95 dia. inches; Digits: 0.35 H inches|
|Product Size||7 H x 1.8 W x 0.8 D inches|
The probe is 4 ½ inches in length which lets you get an accurate temperature reading inside even the largest cuts of brisket.
How the ThermoPop compares against the Thermapen
If you don’t want to spend more than $30 for a hand held thermometer, go buy the ThermoPop. But some of you are probably wandering what makes the Thermapen 3x more expensive, and is it enough difference to justify the extra cost.
Let’s break down the main differences.
|Response Time||2-3 seconds||3-4 seconds|
|Accuracy||±0.7°F from -58 to 392°F||±2.0°F from -4 to 248°F|
|Range||-58.0 to 572.0°F||-58 to 572°F|
Even though the speed difference doesn’t look like much, because of how the probes are designed there is actually quite a big difference when you use the thermometer.
The Themapen has a thermocouple sensor at the tip which makes it incredibly responsive. Once you make your initial reading, you get real time updates as the temperature changes.
The ThemoPop uses a thermistor technology, so it doesn’t respond as quickly or as accurately.
The back light and rotating displays are also automatic so you don’t need to press any buttons.
There are a couple of other main differences to consider. The Themapen has a much more sturdy housing, which houses the probe until you are ready to pull it out.
This is more convenient than the ThermoPop where you can accidentally loose the carry case.
By default the Themapen displays temperatures in 1° increments but you can set it to 0.1°F if you need extra accuracy.
The bottom line
The ThermoPop is an outstanding instant read thermometer. The accuracy, read times and build quality are all as good or better than other budget thermometers like Lavatools Javelin (which is still a decent option).
For most every day kitchen and barbecue / grilling needs, this thermometer will do a perfectly fine job.
But if you’re like me and crave the best of the best, you’ll appreciate spending the extra cash and getting the Themapen.
The best place to buy the ThemoPop is from the ThermoWorks website.