Published January 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
Now there's a way to protect your instant-read thermometer from heat damage.
We’re big fans of Thermoworks’ Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen thermometer ($96), but this water-resistant update to the original model is not heat-resistant and will suffer some melting and cracking if left too close to a hot grill or stove for an extended period of time. As a protective measure, Thermoworks now offers a soft silicone boot ($6) that fits snugly over the thermometer. To see how much heat it can take, we placed two Thermapens—one covered with the boot and one left bare—next to the stove, half an inch from a pan radiating 550-degree heat. Ten minutes later, the surface of the unprotected Thermapen reached 175 degrees and began to show signs of damage, while the boot-clad Thermapen withstood the heat for more than twice as long as the temperature from the stove increased exponentially. That said, any damage was merely cosmetic—both Thermapens continued to work perfectly—but we think this is a small, worthwhile investment to protect our favorite instant-read thermometer.