What's the difference...

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by gixxerfrk, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. gixxerfrk

    gixxerfrk Smoke Blower

    ...between the $70+ instant read thermometers like the Thermapen and say all the $15 - $20 instant read knock offs on Amazon? Has anyone tried any of the cheaper ones?
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have the lava tools therowand It is less then halve the price takes maybe a sec longer to read.

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The difference is Probe type and speed. Only a few seconds though. Kind of like, a Vette ZR1 or a Challenger? Both go A to B fast, one just a few seconds faster, but cost a lot more...JJ 
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've been using my Thermowand from lavatools for a year and a half now. It has performed flawlessly. It is accurate and I get the reading in 3-4 seconds. That's fast enough for me.

    I gave one to my father in law and brother in law for Father's Day. Both of there's work perfect too. Paid $24.99 w/ free shipping. Used the extra money to fill the freezer with meat for smoking.
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As usual, Ritchie and Case are right on. I have used a Thermowand for several years as well and it works great and tests accurate every time I check it. A reading is fast enough for me. Also, if you need any gauges, I use the River Country instead of the Tel Tru. Again, very accurate and much more economical.

    Good luck and keep on smokin', Joe
  7. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    I've had a Thermowand for over a year. After 6 months, the sleeve where the probe is attached cracked. I sent it back and got a prompt replacement. Having handled a Thermopen I would say that it has a better build quality than the Thermowand, but not enough for me to justify spending the extra $$ and you don't get a lifetime warranty (whatever that is worth).
  8. I can't speak about other thermometers, but my vote (albeit, biased) goes to the Thermapen Mk4! I had the Thermapen Classic for roughly four years and it served me well. I used the heck out of it and never had to change the battery. Being a southpaw, though, it was a bit of an inconvenience to have to read the temperature upside down.

    Recently, Thermoworks had their yearly "lowest price of the year" sale and I received one of their advertising e-mails. I had really never paid much attention to their upgraded model, the Mk4, because I was satisfied with the Thermapen Classic. Well.....I was very happy to read that the display on the Mk4 rotated! No more reading temperatures upside down! Not only that, but the LCD display of the Mk4 is also backlit, which is a major plus when taking temperature readings at night. The motion-sensing wake mode was just the icing on the cake, in case I ever forgot to close the wand after taking a reading. Finally, I don't know if it's a mental thing, but the Mk4 reads the temperature as soon as it goes into the meat. The Thermapen Classic that I had took a couple of seconds to give me a reading, so either my Classic was defective during the whole time in which I owned it or the Mk4 has been improved. Regardless, I'm in love with my new Thermapen all over again. LOL! [​IMG]

    Another reason to love the Thermapen is the resale value. I actually sold my Classic for more than what I originally paid, so the upgrade to the Mk4 was literally a no-brainer!

    One final point that I'd like to make before I submit my post, whatever you decide to do, do yourself a favor and purchase the fastest reading thermometer that you can get your hands on and can afford. I have long-handled tongs and a long-handled spatula for my grill and smoker for a reason; I don't want to burn my hand! The faster you can get in there, take your temperature and get out, the better. That's worth a few more dollars, in my opinion.

    Best of luck to you!
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Due to gift cards I went with the javelin px1 pro instead of the regular javelin because it  does have the back light which is nice...... what puzzles me is the cheaper therm has a lifetime warranty and the pro has a 3 year............[​IMG]
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bought a CDN knockoff that cost $60. It works great.
  11. gixxerfrk

    gixxerfrk Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all the good replies. I probably need to do a little more research to help me decide which one I want as the Thermapen is a little pricey for me right now.

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