Best digital thermometer

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dustinboyd

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I currently have the Weber one you mention above, which is the reason I'm currently reading this thread: because it's junk and I need a new reliable one. I just found out mine is 5-10 degrees off, depending on how the thermometer is feeling at any particular moment. I've had mine for under a year...I don't know if it's always been off, but I just noticed it now.

I thinking I'm going to get one of the lower cost Thermoworks mentioned in one of the earlier replies.
 

BigGoat

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Lol. That sounds great. Maybe that's why it was on the clearance rack at Walmart
 
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Are those ThermoWorks MTC on Amazon anywhere? I'm in the market for a better thermometer and have an amazon gift card. Or is their site the only place to get them?
 

sniperd

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Are those ThermoWorks MTC on Amazon anywhere? I'm in the market for a better thermometer and have an amazon gift card. Or is their site the only place to get them?
Hey I'm only a few years late to reply! I think you have to buy directly from them.
 

sniperd

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Update, 100+ batches, over 5 years later and the are still working fine. Had to change the batteries a few times but rock solid.
 

rhys333

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I've been using an analog thermometer for the longest time and recently purchased one of these from Thermoworks: https://www.thermoworks.com/RT301WA

It's a decent thermometer and I like that it can be hot/cold calibrated if the reading ever goes off. But here's the thing... I compared it with my 15 year old standard kitchen thermometer that cost me just a few dollars and it is just as accurate. Both take 3-6 seconds and both read within a fraction of a degree of each other. I suppose at least I know my old cheapy thermometer is accurate and now I have two to work with.
 

crazyjake19

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Another vote for Thermoworks Thermapen. I do a lot of grilling/smoking and cooking in the kitchen too, so it was a great investment.
 

tellyho

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I have a CDN thermometer with a wired probe that I have beat the snot out of and is still working. I've dropped it in my mash tun, spilled all sorts of crap on it. Just keeps going. Probably not as fast as the thermopen, but it's only $30ish.
 

sniperd

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I'm a little late to contribute here but I've bought one from the company that makes thermopen:

Professional Thermometers from the Temperature Experts | ThermoWorks

I didn't go with the pen because I wanted one like the cheap-o kitchen ones that I could toss a prob in. So my brewing friend and I each got:

Shopping
It's the MTC model

and then we each got the long waterproof probe with it:

Wire Type K Probes | ThermoWorks
It's the Model: 113-372/373/375-T

It's almost a little too long but I didn't want to end up too short. Not much difference in price for the long one anyways.

I called them up to ask about if this works for me in a mash tun. I asked my sales person if this was the correct thing to order for an all grain brewer with grain, 170 degree, sit in water, etc. I heard her ask the head sales guy and I could over heard him say "Yep, that is the combo the brewers use who put it into their big grain tub, no problem". The probe can be used to test the temp in a dish washer and the hand held part is mostly water proof. We've made 30 batches of beer over the last year with it, rain or shine, no problems and the battery is still fine. I suspect the handheld part into boiling water it wouldn't turn out so well but I've certainly gotten it wet. I would highly recommend it.

I got sick of using the $15 kitchen ones from walmart to have them die or be off by 10 degrees after 2 batches. This is money well spent IMO. Hopefully this helps somebody else.
Just an update 8 years later. Dropped on of them right into the mash while stirring this week. Tried to grab with bares hands OUCH. Put a rubber glove on fast, grabbed it. Still working! These things are great.
 

hotbeer

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I have several thermometers from ThermoWorks. I like the Thermapen MK4. It has AAA batteries instead of the little coin battery that some of the others use. I always have triple a's around. I also have a Dot thermometer from them. I use both for cooking and beer making.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I have a first gen Thermapen (recently re-cased) and a Mk4. I bought the first one for my BBQ needs, as well as just cooking everything perfectly, and I almost never use either for brewing - just checking starters now.

What I do use - a lot every brew day - is this: ThermoWorks RT610B-24 Long-Stem Digital Thermometers

From reading grain temp while still in the buckets, checking settled mash temp, checking hlt temp, checking kettle temp when dropping to hop whirlpool temp, this long stem digital is a great fit to my brewing needs...

Cheers!
 

jerrylotto

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I have a fluke IR thermometer that I love and it's possible to plug a type K thermocouple into it so I've got those taped all over the place with dangling connectors. There's nothing more instant than infrared!
 

Culinarytracker

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Just an update 8 years later. Dropped on of them right into the mash while stirring this week. Tried to grab with bares hands OUCH. Put a rubber glove on fast, grabbed it. Still working! These things are great.
That's awesome. I have the Therma-Waterproof with a really long handled probe (12"?) and another Wire probe made for testing commercial dishwashers. That one is what I leave in the mash, it's proven to be a great tool.

I also got the Silicone cover with the kickstand and the magnet. I use the magnet all the time, sticking it to something nearby while I take temps. I think it's a must have accessory for these thermometers.
 

NSMikeD

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I come from the competition BBQ community and very aware of the virtues of a thermapen. There are three things that make the thermapen the gold standard. For BBQ folks, the probe since at some point we ignore temperature and go with feel. The probe does that for us. So that is not a factor in brewing.

the other two are speed and accuracy. I have. A number of probe thermometers and my cheapest $16 one is dead on accurate (calibrating a calibratable thermometer is very easy with ice and water) go figure. It’s also water proof etc. so for reading temp it’s as accurate as the expensive thermapen.

So that leaves time. The real advantage of the thermapen is that it will read temperature in 1 sec (as per the manufacturer) Is that critical in brewing. For BBQ folks, an open pit is not desired. It changes increases the air flow which which drops the pit temp initially, but then the fanned embers spike up the pit temp. Thus a fast thermometer is desired. I have a Maverick which is lightening fast but it’s off by a degree. I cannot calibrate it. But, I also know one degree is useless, why....

odds are you will never know the exact temperature of water or mash. This is because the water near your hearing element will be hotter than the water near the top. In fact the Anvil Foundry uses a formula to adjust what the probe says to account for this.

Now, a thermapen is like a Porsche. Not only is it high performance and more than you will ever need, it is recognizable design that projects excellence.

Regardless, Check any thermometer you use with ice water. They will all read temp within 5 seconds, so give the water a good stir to blend it up and dip the probe and don’t sweat a degree or two.
 
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