Essentials: Thermapen MK4
I wrote an article recently about 4 pieces of equipment I felt are necessary when you BBQ. One of those is an instant-read thermometer and I don’t think you will find one much better than the Thermapen. I own the MK4 version and this review is on that particular model. You can still find the earlier models and they are obviously a little cheaper.
Why Do You Need One?
I never use to BBQ without a thermometer, which is something I can’t imagine doing now – it is a total essential. It not only tells you that your food is ready to eat but it also helps cook food exactly how you like it. Without one how do you accurately gauge if that steak is cooked well done, medium rare or rare?
The Thermapen is an instant-read thermometer which basically means when you insert it into your meat it will give you an accurate temperature reading almost immediately. This is critical when trying to cook your meat at that perfect temperature.
This is not only a BBQ accessory but one that you can use for ‘indoor’ cooking. You will see these being used in many cooking programmes on TV now, so are a tool used by both the amateur and professional.
The Thermapen comes in a variety of colours and is fully configured out of the box and is usable immediately. The temperature probe is on a rotating hub which when unfolded activates the read-out. When you fold it away the temperature read-out turns off.
There are also some configurable options, so you can set it up exactly how you want it:
- Temperature Display in either °C or °F
- Screen Rotation which can be set at 360° (4-way rotation) or 180° (2-way rotation) or it can be fixed
- Auto-off / Sleep mode to help preserve battery life
- Intelligent back-light which will come on when in low-light conditions
- Waterproof which can be useful. I have left mine outside (accidentally) for the evening in a storm and it survived with no problems
All these customisable settings can be reached by removing the battery cover.
The build quality of the Thermapen is excellent. It feels very sturdy and a quality built product. With the customisations you can make I don’t think you could get a better instant-read thermometer. It may seem quite expensive but this gets used for nearly every cook I do and I am yet to hear or meet anyone who is not happy with this product.
It is accurate, quick and helps you make sure your food is cooked to your liking every time.