ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2 Review
Chances are that if you think of instant-read thermometers associated with grilling and barbecuing, the first name that comes to mind is ThermoWorks. Whether it’s their tried-and-true Classic Thermapen or the top-of-the-line Thermapen ONE, we here at Angry BBQ are big ThermoWorks fans. Recently, the fine folks over at ThermoWorks sent me the new ThermoPop 2 to give it a spin. I’ve gotten to…
Chances are that if you think of instant-read thermometers associated with grilling and barbecuing, the first name that comes to mind is ThermoWorks. Whether it’s their tried-and-true Classic Thermapen or the top-of-the-line Thermapen ONE, we here at Angry BBQ are big ThermoWorks fans.
Recently, the fine folks over at ThermoWorks sent me the new ThermoPop 2 to give it a spin. I’ve gotten to use it for a few different applications, and I’ve gotten a good understanding of where it fits in ThermoWorks’ lineup, as well as where it fits in the kitchen or around the grill.
|ThermoPop 2 4.5"||CHECK PRICE|
|ThermoPop 2 8"||CHECK PRICE|
Why An Instant-Read Thermometer?
Regardless if you’re an at-home chef, pitmaster, or grill master, you need to make sure you’re cooking food to the correct temperature. Heck, if you’re making homemade pizza, you even need to make sure your water is at the correct temperature for the yeast.
Why do we care about temperature so much when it comes to cooking, smoking, and grilling? Cooking food to the proper temperature can ensure that it’s safe to eat so we don’t give ourselves or others food poisoning. The correct temperature can also keep us from overcooking our food, too. With the proper tools, we can make dried-out poultry a thing of the past. Also, the wrong temperature of the water can either kill your yeast or not activate it for baking purposes.
Who Is ThermoWorks?
ThermoWorks is based in Utah in the United States. The company’s goal is to provide the best methods of reading temperatures across multiple industries. Their products show up in food processing plants, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) capacities, different applications in the pharmaceutical industry, and in manufacturing.
However, here at AngryBBQ, we’re focused on ThermoWorks’ products that are geared toward personal use in the kitchen and around the grill. ThermoWorks has taken its expertise in major applications and turned that towards hand-held, fast, reliable, and accurate thermometers.
ThermoPop 2 Review
So let’s take a look at the ThermoPop 2, its specifications, performance, features, fit and finish, what changed from the original ThermoPop digital thermometer, and my overall experience with it. Just and FYI, we included the ThermoPop 2 in our best instant read thermometer list.
ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2 Specifications
|Operating Temperature Range||32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)|
|Dimensions||4.5-inch probe: 7H x 1.8W x 0.7D in inches (128H x 45.4W x 17.5D in mm)8-inch probe: 10.5H x 1.8W x 0.7D in inches(268H x 45.4W x 17.5D in mm)|
|Battery||1 CR2032 (3V) button battery, 4,000 hours|
|Display Settings||0.1°F from -19.9 to 99.9, otherwise 1°, Fahrenheit or Celsius, 360° auto-rotating screen|
|Measurement Speed||4.5-inch probe: 2-3 seconds8-inch probe – 3-4 seconds|
|Temperature Reading Range||-52° to 572°F (-50° to 300°C)|
|Temperature Reading Accuracy||1°F (0.5°C)|
|Backlight||10-second backlight triggered by power button|
|Colors||White, yellow, green, red, blue, black, orange, pink, and purple|
|Display Size||1.26 in diameter (32 mm)|
|Water Resistance Rating||IP67 – protected against temporary immersion in water between 15cm and 1m for 30 minutes|
|Included||Thermometer, sheath, NIST calibration certificate, instructions|
ThermoPop 2 Performance
There are two versions of the ThermoPop 2 for different applications. The first is the 4.5-inch probe for regular uses on the stove or around the grill. ThermoWorks also uses an 8-inch probe that is useful for liquid-based home applications like brewing, wine making, and deep frying when clipped safely to the pot. Basically any uses where you’ll be taking temps of liquids in a big container.
The 4.5-inch model that I was sent has a 2-3 second speed for taking measurements, equal to the Classic Thermapen. The 8.5-inch model takes longer at 3-4 seconds due to the length of the probe. Having used both the Classic Thermapen and the ThermoPop 2, that 2-3 second time frame is accurate. It works well for taking the temperature for just about every regular home use from temping chicken to burgers to even hot water.
The ThermoPop 2 is accurate to 1°F and has an included NIST-traceable calibration certificate that verifies the calibration out of the box. Whether you’re temping steaks off the grill or chicken coming out of the oven, you can trust the temps being displayed on the ThermoPop 2.
The temperature is displayed on a 1.26-in-diameter display at the top of the probe. The thermometer’s default readout is set to Fahrenheit and in increments of 1°F at temperatures above 100° and by 0.1° at temperatures 99.9°F and below. The display is also auto-rotating so no matter what you’re checking and where you’re checking it, you can see the digits. It also has a backlight triggered by the power button for working in low-light conditions.
Why Should We Care About The Calibration Of Our Thermometers?
Sure, a degree or two might not matter in most situations when we’re grilling or smoking. However, ThermoWorks has a lot of experience in situations where having that level of certainty is needed, so the company takes pride in making sure every thermometer is calibrated properly. That involves meeting the standards set forward by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
That certificate ensures that the specific ThermoPop 2 has gone through the process and its calibrations have been independently certified.
ThermoPop 2 Accuracy – Real World
Mike Haas taking over here. We have done these tests with every instant read thermometer here at Angry BBQ. We conduct an ice water temperature test and a boiling water temperature test. Let’s see how the ThermoPop 2 performs alongside the ThermaPen One.
ThermoPop 2 Boiling Water Test
I live in the prairies of Canada and my current elevation is 2004′. For every 500 feet above sea level, the boiling point decreases by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Sea Level boiling point is 212F, so my areas boiling point should be 208F. The pic below shows how accurate the ThermoPop 2 is.
ThermoPop 2 Ice Water Temperature Test
This test is more simple. I fill a glass full of ice and cold water and wait several minutes. I use my Thermapen One thermometer as a comparison for accuracy. Again you will see the ThermoPop 2 is no slouch when it comes to temperature accuracy, regardless of hot or cold temps. Within 0.8 degrees of the Thermapen One.
ThermoPop 2 Features
The ThermoPop 2 isn’t the most technologically-advanced thermometer in ThermoWorks’ lineups, but the company did pack a surprising amount of features in the small package. It actually has more features than the Classic Thermapen. The ThermoPop 2 has an auto-rotating display for easy viewing no matter the angle and a backlight as well. The display will turn off after 10 minutes by default to help preserve the battery life.
The ThermoPop 2 is also NSF certified, meaning it meets standards set forward for protecting the public’s health. That means this thermometer can be used by professionals without worry.
Other than that, it’s an instant-read thermometer. You put the sharp tip of the probe into what you need to know the temperature of and it displays on the screen.
|ThermoPop 2 4.5"||CHECK PRICE|
|ThermoPop 2 8"||CHECK PRICE|
If you’re looking for more features, like Wi-Fi connectivity, alarms, and multiple probe readings, check out Michael Haas’ review of the ThermoWorks Signals. If you want an independent multi-probe unit without having to manage an app or a WiFi connection, check out our review of the ThermoWorks Smoke X4.
Overall Fit And Finish
The ThermoPop 2 has a large circular body that has the probe extending from the bottom. The display is large and the numbers are easy to read while the backlit display is bright and does the job well. ThermoWorks has a thin rubber strip on multiple thermometers in their lineup for extra grip, and the ThermoPop 2 is no different. The thermometer is small, light, and easy to use. It also can handle liquid spills and be splashed as well as survive short periods of time submerged due to its IP67 rating.
It also comes with a sheath with a pocket clip. The sheath will protect the probe when its being stored in a drawer or protect you when you’ve got it in your pocket. This is one of ThermoWorks’ pocket thermometers, designed to be easily carried with you wherever you need to go.
How To Use The ThermoPop 2
- Press the power button on the back of the thermometer assembly to turn the unit on.
- The tip of the probe is where the ThermoPop 2 measures the temperature, so make sure you get the probe tip into the middle of what you are checking.
- Within 2-3 seconds, you will get an accurate reading of the internal temperature.
- Remove the probe and wipe it clean. If you’re concerned, you can use hot water and soap to wash the probe as well.
- Once dry, put the probe in the sheath to make sure no one gets accidentally poked.
How Not To Use Your ThermoPop 2
- Do not use your ThermoPop as a Fork or Flipper. These are only designed to test food temperature and not flip your steak or pork chops. It is tempting to do this when your checking food temps, but you will damage the device, most likely bending the probe.
- Just use a wet cloth for cleaning the probe. I do not recommend throwing your ThermoPop 2 in the sink and allowing it to soak in water. It is submersion rated, but why chance it.
How To Change Display Settings
On the ThermoPop 2, the only display setting you can change is switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius. You don’t have to open the battery compartment. Instead, press and hold the power button for three seconds when you turn it on to switch.
You can also disable the auto-off by pressing the power button six times. To enable again, do the same.
What Are The Differences Between The Original ThermoPop and the ThermoPop 2?
ThermoWorks looked back at the ThermoPop and said that it could be better. They gave the ThermoPop 2 a larger screen (a full third larger) while making the numbers themselves 20% taller, improving readability. Even though the display is larger, the ThermoPop 2 is a fifth thinner so it’s smaller and takes up less pocket or drawer space. The original only comes in one probe length, 4.5 inches.
ThermoWorks also upgraded the accuracy and how quickly the ThermoPop 2 gets readings. The original ThermoPop had a deviation of 2°F (1°C) versus 1°F (0.5°C) for the ThermoPop 2 while the 2 will have a full reading in 2-3 seconds versus 3-4 seconds.
The ThermoPop 2 has a IP67 waterproof rating for handling submersion in water while the original was only splash-proof. Also, the original was not NIST-traceable in terms of its calibration.
Customer Care And Warranty
ThermoWorks has a customer service team that will process any issues in five business days. Each ThermoPop 2 comes with a full manual so you can familiarize yourself with the thermometer as well. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
Would We Recommend The ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2?
The ThermoPop 2 is a low-cost instant-read thermometer that offers greater features than the Classic Thermapen at a lower price point. However, it is not as quick or as accurate as the Thermapen ONE, one of our favorite instant-read thermometers on the market.
What We Like…
- Large display packed with features like auto-rotation and backlight
- Easy to use with only one button
- Storage sheath ensures you (or anyone else) won’t get stabbed when reaching into a storage drawer
What Makes Us Angry…
- Not as accurate or as quick as higher-end thermometers, but at this price point, we really can’t complain
If you’ve ever contemplated getting an instant-read thermometer from ThermoWorks because of the company’s commitment to quality and reliability but were nervous about prices, the ThermoPop 2 is a great entry-level and inexpensive thermometer. It is reliable and has a surprising amount of features that elevate it above similarly-priced thermometers and even some more expensive ones. It will still deliver accurate temperature readings at prices that can fit every kitchen budget.
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