Originally Posted by BullGator
I know this thread is old but I just don't get why everyone is always recommending the thermopen. The probe is only 4 inches long and you have to hold it in your hand to take a reading. I see the advantages of the quick reading and the accuracy but I do not recall needed to check temps like this. I typically need to know what the temp is doing while a lid is on or my pots are in the oven (i do BIAB and use the oven to help maintain a more constant mash temp). The other critical time for me is when cooling my wort. I have an IC and I have to stir while cooling. It's bad enough having to stir but I couldn't imagine holding a thermopen taking readings all the time with my only free hand. If I had a corded temp unit I could just drop the probe in and look at the readout unit while I stir away. My free hand is typically holding a beer anyways...
Am I missing something?
Maybe. The thermopen is a better thermometer than any of the $25
hand held digital thermometers (at least imho).
Whether or not it is worth the price is going to vary a lot among home brewers.
I think it is worth the price.
So much so that for a brewing beginner I would recommend it as a first
thermometer. Even if they give up brewing, they would still have a very
cool thermometer that is useful for grilling.
Any kind of cord on a thermometer introduces limitations. For example
don't get the cord wet, don't kink the cord, keep the cord away from flame.
It makes it difficult to recommend a corded thermometer to someone.
I agree that once you know your equipment and your process, a corded
thermometer (or two) can be much more convenient.