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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-16-2011, 12:22 AM   #1
RevZiLLa
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Default Thermometers

I can't see spending big bucks for a thermometer when I can get one of these to measure internal meat temps quickly.

$5.99

http://www.harborfreight.com/instant...ter-95382.html

Or one of these to measure pit temps.

$3.59

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/tayl...abber+Campaign

$8.62

Amazon.com: King Kooker SI1 8-Inch Deep Fry Thermometer: Patio, Lawn & Garden@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416U9jW9S%2BL.@@AMEPARAM@@416U9jW9S%2BL
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Unread 08-16-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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There are always 'adequate' and 'luxurious' options. There are also some inbetween.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 12:59 AM   #3
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I can. But I make a lot of money so...
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Unread 08-16-2011, 01:34 AM   #4
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My experience is that digital thermometers are more accurate than their bi-metal counterparts. They are also easier to calibrate. finally, I like the quicker reading that you get from the digitals. Not to mention that many of the digitals will transmit temperature signal to a remote readout display. That is nice when you are standing by the pit in 100 degree plus summer weather and would like to go somewhere cool but still be able to monitor your temperature. The same can be said for smoking in sub freezing winter weather. For all of those reasons I think they are worth the extra money. That does not say the job cannot be done with an inexpensive local readout bi-metallic thermometer of the type you show.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 02:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVBBQMan View Post
My experience is that digital thermometers are more accurate than their bi-metal counterparts. They are also easier to calibrate. finally, I like the quicker reading that you get from the digitals. Not to mention that many of the digitals will transmit temperature signal to a remote readout display. That is nice when you are standing by the pit in 100 degree plus summer weather and would like to go somewhere cool but still be able to monitor your temperature. The same can be said for smoking in sub freezing winter weather. For all of those reasons I think they are worth the extra money. That does not say the job cannot be done with an inexpensive local readout bi-metallic thermometer of the type you show.
The first link for the $5.99 thermometer is a digital instant read that quickly does the job of items costing 10 times the price. Sadly, they only come in black...

The next two links are for spring operated units that measure pit temp. They are much cheaper than most non-digital pit temp thermometers (also spring operated) and they have longer probes too.

The remote thermometers are convenient and I have used mine a lot for monitoring meat temps. Now that I know my processes well, I seldom need it for monitoring the meat, but may want to stick it into a potato to monitor pit temps. It would be great if it had two probes, but I got it years ago and don't think that was an option then.

Don't get me wrong, toys are fun, but a lot of guys on here are about saving money and still getting great Q.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 02:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevZiLLa View Post
The first link for the $5.99 thermometer is a digital instant read that quickly does the job of items costing 10 times the price. Sadly, they only come in black... ...
Serious question... How quick is 'instant'?

I've bought a few of those exact same model; smallish medallion style digi-thermo claiming to be instant.

I've never had one give even 'quick' results. The last one I bought actually took 90 seconds to come up to temp when measured against another therm already @ temp.

@ that price, I'd buy 4 or 5 to keep in the kitchen and around the BBQ stuffs, but only if they were true 'quick read' and gave accurate temps within 6-10 seconds.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 02:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uproar90 View Post
Serious question... How quick is 'instant'?

I've bought a few of those exact same model; smallish medallion style digi-thermo claiming to be instant.

I've never had one give even 'quick' results. The last one I bought actually took 90 seconds to come up to temp when measured against another therm already @ temp.

@ that price, I'd buy 4 or 5 to keep in the kitchen and around the BBQ stuffs, but only if they were true 'quick read' and gave accurate temps within 6-10 seconds.
I haven't timed it, but it is less than 10 and more than 3 seconds. It reads quickest when the probe is deeper in the meat. The downsides are smaller display and you have to be careful not to immerse the head when cleaning. After 4 or 5 years, when it needs a new battery, just toss it.

On edit: I tried it in ice water and it took more like 15 seconds.
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Last edited by RevZiLLa; 08-16-2011 at 03:03 AM..
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Unread 08-16-2011, 05:58 AM   #8
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You get what you pay for. Good luck with that.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 06:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRA4Life View Post
You get what you pay for. Good luck with that.
I agree.

Side-by-side you may get accurate temps compared to high-quality models (Thermapen, Maverick, etc). When you spend hours cooking something and find out your crappy 5 dollar thermometer just gave up the ghost and you've overcooked your brisket, you'll see why many here save a little and buy quality units.

That's just me justifying paying 90 bucks for my Thermapen Rev. My wife still thinks I'm...
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Unread 08-16-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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When you have 50 pieces of chicken going and you need to give them a "quick check", that extra speed is worth the money.

If the cheaper one takes just 5 seconds longer, that is an extra 4+ minutes if you check them all.


In any case, if it suits your needs and budget, then more power to you.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 08:10 AM   #11
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I don't buy tools from HF either, you get what you pay for......... Not to mention I take pride in buying things that aren't made in China.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 08:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal Q Man View Post
I can. But I make a lot of money so...
You need to visit our store..lol Sorry I could not resist.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevZiLLa View Post
Don't get me wrong, toys are fun, but a lot of guys on here are about saving money and still getting great Q.
If that were the case, you wouldn't be spending the $6 in the first place. Save the $$$ and cook w/o the therm.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #14
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from my experince of buying every cheap Thermometer I could find, I spent more money on buying all the cheap Thermometers I could find.

That ended when I bought my ET-73, 3 years ago and it still works as the day I first used it.

What you dont realize is that you will spend more money on 5 dollars thermometers then you will on a 50+ dollar thermometer over the long run.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 09:26 AM   #15
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Academy Sports has a pretty good medium price selection of thermometers. Around 10 bucks for a 3 inch pit style. Also, if you have a kitchen type outlet store near you, they have a bunch. You can find them at propane outlets, hardware stores, wally world, and occasionally grocery stores.
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