If you read cooking magazines or shop at kitchen stores, you may have encountered the Thermapen probe thermometer made by Thermoworks. The $99 thermometer’s superfast response rate–it takes a reading in just seconds–makes it a favorite of home cooks, chefs, and sanitarians from the Board of Health. But it’s still a just a probe thermometer, good only for sticking into a roast, pot of liquid, or Cambro container full of stuff.
What if you want to take the temperature of, say, a baking stone inside the oven? Or the surface of a skillet atop a raging hot grill? Or the interior of a chest freezer? Enter the infrared thermometer, quite possibly the most entertaining kitchen gadget I’ve purchased in several years. A quick squeeze of the trigger, and you have a near-instant surface temperature of, well, anything that will reflect IR, within a range of -76 to 932 degrees Farenheit. (Besides kitchen uses, you can gauge the temperature of the air leaving your heating ducts, the water coming out of the tap, your wintry-cold floors, the temperature of the swimming pool, or the warm belly of your housecat.)
At $99, Thermoworks’ IRK model is the same price as a Thermapen, plus a probe attachment is included, and the probe’s range is -76 to 1999 degrees F. So you get the best of both worlds–surface temps and interior temps–in one unit.