I'm a murderer... of probe thermometers
March 25, 2014 4:17 AM   Subscribe

Please help me reform. I'm notorious for killing probe thermometers - you know, the ones that go into the oven and have a readout connected by wire? I go through about 4 of them a year. I'd like to stop. Does anyone have recommendations for a good, nearly indestructible, probe thermometer? I'm less concerned about accuracy - if it's off by a degree or two here or there, that's fine. Bonus points if it can be used with a gas grill as well as an oven.
posted by neilbert to Shopping (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
We have this one (not sure if it's available outside the UK though). It took us about 5 years to break the probe. I emailed the company and they sent out a new one for free.
posted by pipeski at 4:30 AM on March 25, 2014

Do the ones you've been killing have the plastic-coated wire, or the metal mesh-coated wire? If not the mesh, get the one of them. Thermoworks sells one for about $25 on Amazon. I had one with the mesh coating that lasted me well over 5 years, until I submerged the whole probe in the hot tub for a few hours (apparently a bad idea). I replaced it with one with the rubber cable coating and it lasted less than 6 months. So reordered one with mesh coating from Thermoworks (there may be other vendors, they were just the one I ended up with) and it's much, much better. Link here: http://www.thermoworks.com/products/alarm/oven_temp_timer.html
They also sell replacement probes separately.
posted by jferg at 4:48 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have used this one in my smoker and grill for the last few years. No problems.
posted by sanka at 4:49 AM on March 25, 2014

If you're willing to invest some money in this, check out these Thermoworks sets. I have the TW8060 kit, and the cables are oven-safe up to I think 480 degrees F. I use them in my charcoal grill, too, when doing low-and-slow cooking. If that's not enough for you, you can buy an "armored" probe for the handheld unit that will survive even higher temperatures.
posted by crLLC at 7:09 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another option would be an instant-read thermometer, which you can just jab into whatever you're making, and the probe is integrated so you don't have to worry about the wire fraying or whatever.
posted by anildash at 7:30 AM on March 25, 2014

Nthing thermoworks. Fabulous quality and accuracy and a great guarantee.
posted by purenitrous at 8:04 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's hard to kill the actual thermometer, but cables come in all sorts of quality. Spend money there.

If you're looking for a less-expensive option, this little buddy is only $37 bucks, and I use it on a daily basis to double-check temperatures on a commercial coffee roaster (and it's accurate up to about 400 degrees, but we don't usually take anything past that point, so I can't speak for it beyond there). It doesn't have any features like an alarm for temperature or anything…but its really cheap as far as pro thermometers go. It accepts K type probes and has survived quite well in a food production environment.

Then just invest in K-type thermocouples that are pretty burly (the ones on the previously linked on the thermoworks site look pretty fantastic, but I can't vouch for them) …if they crap out, you only need to buy the cable, not the whole unit. You can also have different probes for different uses.
posted by furnace.heart at 8:29 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Definitely Thermoworks. They have a fairly good warranty and replacement policy, so even if you do kill a thermometer as fast as you do, you can at least get a free replacement.
posted by ssg at 10:15 AM on March 25, 2014

Are you immersing them in water or otherwise getting the junction between wire and probe wet? Don't do that! Wipe the probe with a soapy sponge and carefully rinse.
posted by bink at 11:18 AM on March 25, 2014

Ditto on don't submerge.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:30 PM on March 25, 2014

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