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ThermoPop Vs. Thermapen - is it worth it?

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  • JPGators17
    Charter Member
    • Jan 2015
    • 449
    • Orlando, FL

    ThermoPop Vs. Thermapen - is it worth it?

    Is the Thermapen really worth an extra $80 over the ThermoPop? Call me ignorant, but the ThermoPop was given a gold rating here, so to me that means it gives accurate temp readings. What could be more important that that? What could be worth $80 more than that? If yall wouldn't mind schooling me on what I'm missing, I'd appreciate it.
  • Huskee
    Administrator
    • May 2014
    • 15131
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      Thermometers
      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
      • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      Accessories
      • Instant Pot 6qt
      • Anova Bluetooth SV
      • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
      • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
      • BBQ Dragon
      • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
      • Weber grill topper
      • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    It is and it isn't. I used just the T-pop for a couple years. Then I decided to buy the pen. Honestly, I reach for the pen now that I have it, it's quicker and a little handier. Is it worth the extra price? That's a personal choice I guess. The Mark4 T-pen has some nice features like auto-rotating screen, and auto backlight. That's a nice perk I will admit. The T-pop has those features, just not auto.

    Comment

    • Darchie03
      Club Member
      • Feb 2016
      • 226
      • In the desert of southern AZ. about 8 miles from a small town.
      • From the old troll, Dave

      #3
      JPGators17, I use the T-pop as I could not afford the price difference I also have 2 of their DOT units & all 3 read within a degree of each other. Thermapen seems nice but I can't justify the price.

      Comment

      • pittkappasig
        Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 98
        • Pittsburgh PA

        #4
        I give out Thermopop's to clients as a gift, they love it. most backyarders use feel or cut into meat to judge temp... they dont know what they are missing and the Pop changes their lives!

        if you want to look like the guys on HGTV or whatever channel plays cooking shows, spend the extra money for the Pen, but if its not in your budget, the Pop is a perfectly fine, excellent model for backyard use.

        Disclosure: I do have the Pen as well. only because they ran an open box sale on their old units before they launched the new one and i got it for pennies on the dollar. watch the Pit for someone to post an open box sale and pick one up then!

        Comment

        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9786
          • East Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
            Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
            Weber Smokey Joe Gold
            Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
            Vortex
            Maverick ET-732 White
            Maverick ET-732 Copper
            2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
            Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
            Thermoworks Timestick
            Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
            B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
            B & B Pellets

          #5
          I'm partial to the RT600C-N myself, indoors.

          My Thermapen was a gift. It stays by the pits b/c the automatic backlight is a must on night cooks.

          Comment


          • Powersmoke_80
            Powersmoke_80 commented
            Editing a comment
            Dang you sure get a lot of nice gifts.
        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 0

          #6
          JPGators17 ... When I joined the Pit I had a Taylor meat thermometer that I had used for a couple of years. You can buy them at Lowes for about $20. They are slower than the Thermapen products but it worked for me. After joining the Pit I got a case of the MCS affliction that's permeated many Pit members and I had to upgrade to the Thermapen. You might be getting MCS too. Gadget buying is the first symptom. Next it will be cookers.😉

          Comment


          • JPGators17
            JPGators17 commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't know what MCS stands for, but it sounds like I'm definitely coming down with it. Thanks.

          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            JPGators17 MCS- More Cooker Syndrome, that also leeches itself onto More Accessories as well.
        • Ribber
          Former Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 161
          • Central Florida

          #7
          I have the T-pop and am very pleased with it. I do not have a Pen. I guess the Pop reads a second or two slower and maybe slightly less accurate. I cannot wear a mitten when using the Pop. It's too clumsy. If I'm checking the temp of a steak when it is directly over the coals, the bare hands can get quite hot. the So just move the steak. The Pen may be a little longer so you are not quite so close to the heat. Personally I'm glad I did not spend the extra bucks.

          Comment

          • Histrix
            Club Member
            • May 2016
            • 459
            • 757

            #8
            I hate my Thermopop and never use it anymore. Thermapens are great (I have a couple of the older models) but I also have a few Lavatools Javelins and a Javelin Pro and I think they are just as good. The Lavatools Javelin sells for a few bucks less than a Thermopop. Anyone thinking about getting a Thermopop or Thermapen should take a look at the Lavatools thermos.

            Comment


            • EPH
              EPH commented
              Editing a comment
              Curious, Histrix -- what didn't you like about the T-Pop? I've had good success with mine, but I realize that mileage varies, etc...
          • Tim E
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
            • 146
            • Western Washington, Sea Level
            • EQUIPMENT:
              Pit Barrel Cooker V2
              Weber Jumbo Joe
              Weber Performer (blue) with SNS
              Broil King Baron 4-burner LP
              Anova Precision WIFI Sous Vide
              Auber PID

              GrillGrates: (5) 17.375 sections
              Grill Grate/Mav ET-732 Thermometer
              ThermoPop Thermometer
              Thermapen

              Grill Beast BBQ Grilling Cooking Gloves
              Kingsford Original

              BEER: Reds, Scotch Ale
              WINE: Most, prefer Cab's
              WHISKEY: With 1 ice cube

            #9
            I have both and always reach for the thermopen. The cost difference is a bit much for the benefits but I also have MCS so I could'nt help myself. I do like the rotating display, backlight, and quicker readings.

            Comment

            • BBQCentralShow
              Greg Rempe
              • Jul 2014
              • 365

              #10
              I have 2 thermapens...worth every penny! Seems like a lot when you pull the trigger, but, that fades after you see the true difference when compared to other "instant reads".

              Comment

              • CeramicChef
                Former Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 1184
                • OKC, OK

                #11
                I've never used the ThermoPop. I do, however have a ThermaPen and I wouldn't trade for it. As for the price differential versus features and benefits, only you can make that determination.

                Comment

                • Huskee
                  Administrator
                  • May 2014
                  • 15131
                  • central MI, USA
                  • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

                    Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

                    Smokers / Grills
                    • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
                    • PBC
                    • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
                    • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
                    • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
                    • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
                    • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
                    • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
                    • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
                    • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

                    Thermometers
                    • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
                    • (7) Maverick ET-732s
                    • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
                    • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
                    • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
                    • Thermapen MkII, orange
                    • ThermoPop, yellow
                    • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
                    • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
                    • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
                    • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

                    Accessories
                    • Instant Pot 6qt
                    • Anova Bluetooth SV
                    • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
                    • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
                    • BBQ Dragon
                    • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
                    • Weber grill topper
                    • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
                    • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
                    • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

                    Beverages
                    • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
                    • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
                    • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
                    • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
                    • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
                    • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
                    • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

                    About me
                    Real name: Aaron
                    Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                    Occupation:
                    • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

                  #12
                  I should mention the Thermapen Mk4's auto-rotating screen is helpful if you're a lefty. The classic T-pen will be upside down if you're a lefty, unless you finagle it awkwardly.

                  Comment

                  • surfdog
                    Club Member
                    • Mar 2016
                    • 1123
                    • Sunny SoCal
                    • Cooking gadgets
                      Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center
                      Weber Summit Platinum D6
                      Blue Rhino Razor
                      Dyna-Glo XL Premium Dual Chamber
                      Camp Chef Somerset IV along with their Artisan Pizza Oven 90
                      Anova WiFi

                      Thermometers
                      Thermapen Mk4 - ThermaQ High Temp Kit - ThermaQ Meathead Kit - ThermaQ WiFi - ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S - ThermoWorks Signals & Billows - ThermoPop -ThermoWorks ProNeedle - ThermoWorks TimeStick Trio x2 - and a Christopher Kimball timer - NO, I do not work for ThermoWorks...I just like their products.

                      Other useful bits...
                      KitchenAid 7-qt Pro Line stand mixer
                      A Black & Decker food processor that I can't seem to murder
                      A couple of immersion blenders, one a "consumer" model & the other a "high end" Italian thing. Yes, the Italian one is a bit better, but only marginally
                      Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8-qt + accessories like egg-bite & egg holders
                      All-Clad pots & pans, along with some cast iron...everything from 7" Skookie pans to 8.5qt Dutch ovens
                      Weber GBS griddle, pizza stone, and wok
                      Knives range from Mercer to F. Dick to "You spent how much for one knife? One knife?!" LOL

                    #13
                    Well...a few things come to mind. The speed is amazing (~2-3 sec vs ~5-6 for the Pop)...a real boon if checking lots of things. And it's a bit more accurate. (±0.7° vs ±1.8° at food temps)

                    The display is huge for a handheld, so easier/faster to read regardless of the light. Auto backlight is great.

                    Even better IMO, auto-shutoff! Set it down, it goes to sleep...pick up and it's ready.
                    It's also waterproof so cleanup is a breeze. (Though the Pop is splashproof.)

                    ​When I was a working chef I always carried a thermometer in a sleeve pocket. The Pen would NEVER fit there...but I don't wear my coats anymore (unless I'm goofing around) so that's a non-issue. But it IS significantly larger & heavier than the Pop. But with no buttons...it's also simple to use when wearing gloves.

                    Is all that worth four times the price..? IDK...
                    For ME, it was and I don't regret spending for the Pen AT ALL. I've given away the Pops and those getting them have been happy. Part of that comes from them never having used a "real" thermometer I'm sure. LOL

                    Either one would serve you well.
                    Last edited by surfdog; July 7, 2016, 02:26 PM. Reason: Corrected non-issue from none issue. mmm autocorrect.

                    Comment


                    • surfdog
                      surfdog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oh...and I only provided those numbers because I had some ThermoWorks propaganda on my desk. LOL I don't work for them, with them, or have any connection to them whatsoever...other than I have several of their products.
                      Last edited by surfdog; July 7, 2016, 02:15 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling on ThermoWorks. derp
                  • PaulstheRibList
                    Founding Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 1585
                    • Lake Charles, LA
                    • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                      1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
                      2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
                      3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
                      4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
                      5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
                      6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
                      7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
                      8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
                      9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
                      10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
                      11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
                      12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
                      12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

                      Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                      I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                      I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                    #14
                    The Pop is great. I keep several around and give them away as gifts.

                    I LOVE THE Mk4 ThermaPen. I loved my original Thermapen, but the auto rotate, auto backlit, and auto shutoff/turn on are FABULOUS!

                    Also, get the glow in the dark neoprene sheath with the magnets!!!!

                    Now, I have a pair of glorious Red Thermapen Mk4's on my fridge at all times...well, except when they are outside by the cookers, or magneticaly on the microwave right above the stovetop when I'm cooking indoors.

                    Thermapens are a game-changer for me. I haven't overcooked a steak in a while (about 2 years)!

                    If you want to save the extra $60, then get the Pop and put the Pen on your Christmas list.

                    Enjoy!

                    Comment


                    • surfdog
                      surfdog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah, forgot to mention that magnetic glow-in-the-dark cover! Excellent accessory!
                      I also have the leather case...but it mostly just sits there unloved. LOL (I can't remember that last time the Pen was in it.)
                  • JPGators17
                    Charter Member
                    • Jan 2015
                    • 449
                    • Orlando, FL

                    #15
                    Thanks for all of the input. You have succeeded in making me completely confident in the ThermoPop's ability, and in making me REALLY want the Thermapen, but without justifying the price. haha!

                    How often do open box sales occur? How and where do I keep an eye out for them?

                    Comment


                    • surfdog
                      surfdog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      As pittkappasig said, the Trio is worth it. Excellent little tool. You might want to add that to the growing list of toys.

                    • vandy
                      vandy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The termopen MK4 is 20 percent of right now if the sale is still going on. It was one of those 48 hour sales so it might be over but you might want to check it out to find out if you can get the deal.

                    • JPGators17
                      JPGators17 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I saw the 20% sale, but fought the urge since I just got my ThermoPop. I'm going to stick with just that for now and add a Thermapen to the collection probably by the time the next sale rolls around.

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