We Test 1,000+ Products a Year, and This Is the Tool Our Lab Director Calls a Complete Necessity

The Thermoworks Classic Thermapen has yet to be beat.

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Classic Super-Fast Thermapen Tout

Food & Wine / Tyler Roeland

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what chefs, bakers, baristas, and other industry pros use at home. Not the fresh produce and the high-quality proteins, but the pots, pans, and gadgets that make their home kitchens run smoothly. In our ‘Try This at Home’ series, we asked Meredith Butcher — the Associate Director of Food Product Testing for Dotdash Meredith — about the one kitchen product they think every home cook should own. 

Meredith Butcher, our associate director of food product testing, has held positions with food publications for over 20 years. Now, with a team that tests dozens of products a day — over 1,000 products in the last year alone — every day is seemingly different. But it begs the question: What’s the most impactful product she has ever tried?

“Kitchen equipment is the backbone of your kitchen,” Butcher says, “You can have all the skills and great expectations to create beautiful meals, but if you don’t have the right or well-constructed pieces of equipment, it all falls apart.” For her, there’s one thing that’s more impactful than a pan or a knife: a Thermoworks thermometer

Classic Super-Fast Thermapen


To buy: Thermoworks Classic Thermapen, $85 at thermoworks.com

“It is so important to have an accurate and fast thermometer while cooking,” Butcher says, adding that she uses it daily (and not just for meat). “I mainly use it while cooking/grilling proteins, but also for egg-based sauces, such as custards. And if I happen to be cooking something that was frozen (Don’t tell anyone!) I’ll use it to take the temperature in the middle of the dish to make sure it’s ready for my family.”

This model gets top marks all around from her. It is slim, simple in design, and easy to use. “When cooking really time-sensitive foods, it is even more crucial to have a thermometer that takes temperature at lightning speed,” Butcher says. She doesn’t have to worry with this thermometer, since it’s one of the fastest on the market, reading in under 3 seconds. There are no on or off buttons either, you just fold the probe back in when you’re done. 

The thermometer also has a backlit design with a large display with big numbers, so you can read the temperature quickly and accurately, even if you’re grilling outside in the dark. It’s also water-resistant, and can read temperatures over 550℉.  

Butcher says this tool is a complete necessity to have in your kitchen. “Accurate thermometers take the guesswork out of cooking,” she says. “I envy chefs who can press on a grilled steak and know when it’s ready, but that’s not me and I am OK with that. I would rather be 100% certain that my chicken breast is exactly 165°.” 

Butcher aptly calls this tool her “insurance policy,” in the kitchen. For just $85, that’s a small price to pay for perfectly cooked food every single time.

At the time of publishing, the price was $85. 

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