I’m a huge fan of ThermoWorks premium instant-read thermometer, the Thermapen ONE.
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 close to $100 on a thermometer isn’t a luxury everyone can afford. So I was excited when ThermoWorks decided to update the ThermoPop.
I’ve been testing out the new ThermoPop 2 to see how well it performs as a barbecue and grilling thermometer.
ThermoWorks sent me this probe in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I unboxed the ThermoPop 2 I was immediately impressed with the thin profile and lightweight design of the probe. The display is larger than the original ThermoPop, but the ThermoPop 2 is 20% thinner than the original model.
The probe is inserted into a protective probe sheath while not in the use and the sheath has a convenient hook so you can store the probe on your apron or coat with ease.
The head has a rubber strip around it, making the unit easy to grip and relatively non-slip and the backlight is activated with the push of a button, making this a great probe for use with one hand.
I tested out the 4.5” model, but I like that ThermoWorks offers a longer, 8.5” model as well. Depending on the application, it makes it easy to find the probe that suits your needs.
The ThermoPop 2 comes in 9 choices of color, from candy pink to classic red.
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.
My experience using the ThermoPop 2
Using the ThermoPop 2 is easy:
- Press the power button on the back of the display, and the unit will turn on. It’s lightweight and nimble enough for this to be done with one hand.
- Insert the temperature probe into your meat (or whatever you are cooking), and you will get an accurate internal temperature reading within 2 to 3 seconds (for the 4.5” model).
- Remove the probe from the meat and wipe the probe clean, then place it back in the protective sheath until you are ready to use it again. The display will automatically turn off within 10 seconds to preserve battery life.
The ThermoPop 2 is accurate down to less than 1°F and comes fully calibrated out of the box. I tested it against other instant-read probes in my arsenal and found it to maintain accuracy perfectly (which was no surprise because it’s a ThermoWorks product).
How the ThermoPop compares against the Thermapen
If you don’t want to spend more than $30 on a handheld thermometer, go buy the ThermoPop. But some of you are probably wondering 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||1 Second||3-4 seconds|
|Accuracy||±0.5°F from -4 to 248°F otherwise ±1.8°F||±1.0°F from 14 to 208°F, ±4.0°F between 392 to 572°F|
|Range||-58.0 to 572.0°F||-58 to 572°F|
|Probe storage||Folds into case||Separate probe sheath|
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.
There are a couple of other main differences to consider. The Themapen has a 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 lose 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
I think the ThermoPop 2 is a great probe at a great price. You get the quality that you expect from a brand like ThermoWorks, but a price point that fits into anyone’s budget. The display is bold and large enough to read with little effort, plus the auto-rotating display makes it easy to temp meat at any angle you want to.
I think this is a great probe for someone who wants a simple, no-fuss probe at a great price. I also appreciate the wide variety of color options that they offer. You could grab a probe for fish, chicken, and beef and keep them separate based on the color – making it an especially good option for restaurants or catering.
The best place to buy the ThemoPop is from the ThermoWorks website.