The Thermapen One. After a few new names and models from ETI (Electronic Temperature Instruments) in the past few years, the new pinnacle of instant read thermometers was announced in 2021.
And while some of the previous models remain on sale with the names ‘Classic’ and ‘Professional’, for this review we will focus on the latest and greatest Thermapen One model.
If you speak to anyone who has been around in the BBQ world for any length of time about the kit they feel is essential, it won’t be long before someone mentions an instant read thermometer, and more than likely you will hear the recommendation of model call a Thermapen. Just as Dyson and Hoover became the household name for your vacuum, Thermapen is the name you’ll hear instead of the mouthful of ‘instant read digital thermometer’. The poster child for Cooking/BBQ thermometers and I guess for good reason. And that reason being they work and work well. And even better for us the units are British made too. So, what exactly makes them so good?
The new Thermapen One has set new levels for exactly how quick an instant read thermometer can read and display a temperature. When you have a steaming hot steak or a pork shoulder that’s been smoking for many hours, anything that you are cooking, when the BBQ lid is off, or the oven door is open, you are letting out heat. So, getting that accurate temperature reading as quickly as possible is essential, so the food can go back into the heat if needed or removed if it is ready to go. The time needed to get a reading from a unit used to be around the 3-5 seconds’ mark. Doesn’t seem too long does it? But now the Thermapen One has set the benchmark to give you an accurate reading in just 1 second. That’s incredibly quick. And it also means you can really nail down those steak temperatures too and remove that steak at the perfect temperature to hit that pink middle. Or should the steak need some more time over the fire, back on with no time and heat lost.
Let’s have a look at the headline tech specs of the new Thermapen One (taken from the Thermapen site)
- Instant, 1 second temperature readings
- Accurate to ±0.3°C (-19.9 to 119.9 °C)
- Improved 5-year guarantee and FREE traceable calibration certificate
- Waterproof for easy cleaning
- Easy to read, built-in digital, 360° self-rotating display
- The micro-thermocouple probe tip provides the highest level of accuracy
- 2,000 hour long battery life and easy to replace batteries
- Handmade in the UK
These units are all about making people more confident with their cooking, and there is no better way to up that confidence level than to know the exact temperatures of the food you are cooking and serving. Especially when it comes to cooking a BBQ for family and friends. These units are building an army of fans for good reason, they make life easier. And if you buy right the first time, this is the only instant read thermometer you’ll ever need.
Now let’s talk real life. I have been using my Thermapen One for around a year now, before that I had tried a few of the previous models, so I am pretty used to grabbing a Thermapen to check temps in food. This new model is definitely the quickest to read an accurate temperature yet, but 1 second? To read ‘a’ temperature yes, but maybe a fraction longer to hit the actual temp. But that’s still very quick. The probe tip is also very thin meaning if you love a food picture like I do, you will hardly notice the holes in any food you are snapping pics of. The screen has also seen many updates over the models but remains easy to see and read in all lights. And now comes with a blue coloured backlight that means night cooks are a breeze too. One neat update on these later models is that the screen also auto rotates to make sure the temp is always readable no matter what angle you are probing at. Handy when you are checking in multiple places across larger cuts of meat.
Size wise the units are pretty small and easy to keep in a pocket while you cook, or they aren’t going to take up much space on your cooking surface next to your BBQ. Many a cook up has led late into the night and seen me leave my Thermapen out on the side, sometimes when we have experienced the best of all the great British weathers, rain. And I have always been pleased to see that when you pull the probe out, the screen jumps into life again with no issues.
There is a small screw to access the battery compartment on the back of the unit, in here you will also find the switches to change between Centigrade and Fahrenheit on the display. This is handy for me as so many of the US based BBQ books show all their recipe temps in Fahrenheit. The battery is noted as lasting 2000 hours, but there is no way we can test this, but it’s worth noting that when the backlight is on this reduces this figure to 100 hours. But considering when you are checking temperatures you are likely to be using the unit for maybe 30 seconds at a time, that’s a lot of cooks.
The fact that the units are waterproof is also a big help when it comes to cleaning them off. Whilst I never submerge mine into water to clean them, I am never worried to sponge them off and a quick rinse under the tap. And the fact that the units are made right here in the UK is massive thing to me, you can help support a local company whilst getting the best unit of this type on the market. Add to that the units come with a 5yr guarantee you are onto a winner. Having a local company to send units back to, should you need to, is a massive help logistically when so many companies are based abroad now.
As I mentioned, I used my units a lot, this is everything from quick grilling to safely nail down the right temps on chicken, and there is a lot to be said for getting chicken off at the right temperature to know it is fully cooked, but not going so far that you start to dry it out.
Then you have that risky few seconds at the end of a steak cook where you really want to hit the right temp, and I always have mine to hand and check, check, check. Then there are the bigger BBQ cuts like brisket and pork shoulder where the probe is not only telling you the temperature, but also showing you the tenderness of the meat too with the resistance as you probe it.
Then also one of my more recent uses is for food coming out of the fryer, that coating on a chicken thigh fillet may be crispy but is the chicken inside fully cooked? The Thermpen stops the guess work. But the crowning cook for me recently was a whole pig cook in a block pit over oak coals. Checking temps across various areas on a whole animal cook is extremely important, and so having the Thermapen One to hand was a must. Everytime we lifted the tin lid on the pit the heat would escape in no time, so having a quick reading in each area was essential, and the Thermapen stepped up to the mark. Cook after cook the Thermapen performs faultlessly, I will always have one in my BBQ toolkit, and if you don’t have one then maybe it’s time to change that.
Website – https://thermapen.co.uk/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thermapen/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/thermapen_
Twitter : @ArtustBBQ
Advert. Paid promotion. Full disclosure. This review was paid for by Thermapen to cover the cost of ingredients, content creation and my own time. But I am still entitled and have given my full and honest opinion on the product above