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Can anybody recommend a good one? I had a Polder, and after using it only about 5 or 6 times it simply stopped working. I cannot get a temperature reading.

Maybe you got a lemon. Mine has been great, although when the battery starts to die it is worthless. Since you have only used it 5/6 times it is probably not the battery. Did you happen to get it wet?

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Maybe you got a lemon. Mine has been great, although when the battery starts to die it is worthless. Since you have only used it 5/6 times it is probably not the battery. Did you happen to get it wet?

Hmm. I got the actual probe wet in order to wash it, but I don't think the actual digital read-out part ever got wet.

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I went for the Cooks Illustrated recommended Thermapen - it ain't cheap (it was a gift for my boyfriend - he loves kitchen gadgets) but it's been wonderful.

I couldn't find it in any stores so I ordered it from the company's web site.

If we can get a group of 6 the price is only $71 verus $85 (They are also available at King Arthur Flour).

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I went for the Cooks Illustrated recommended Thermapen - it ain't cheap (it was a gift for my boyfriend - he loves kitchen gadgets) but it's been wonderful.

I couldn't find it in any stores so I ordered it from the company's web site.

Nice! I think I've seen Alton Brown use one of those.

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Another possibility is that you fried the cord. I do this more often than I would like: I probably go through one a year. They rate the cords to only 392 degrees.

I didn't know this. That seems to defeat the purpose of the "set it and forget it"-type temperature alarm that the product features. Its quite possible that the cord was in an oven or grill that was hotter than 392 degrees. Do they sell "replacement" cords?

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I kept going through Polder probes like they were water, finally I threw it away and bought a Thermapen and love it. I even left it in the rain one night (I forgot to grab it from next to the grill) and once it dried out it has been working very well.

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I kept going through Polder probes like they were water, finally I threw it away and bought a Thermapen and love it. I even left it in the rain one night (I forgot to grab it from next to the grill) and once it dried out it has been working very well.

Damn, what are you doing to them? I certainly don't treat mine carefully and it has worked fine for years.

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Damn, what are you doing to them? I certainly don't treat mine carefully and it has worked fine for years.
The first one to go out struck the counter after a fall of about four inches, it never worked again, the rest worked for about a month and then started to give wild readings. The first two might have been caused by being stuffed into a drawer, but after that I would hang them in a safe place. These only lasted about a dozen uses before they started to malfunction. I even bought another thermometer to make sure that the previous one was not what was causing the problem, nope the probes were still not reading correctly. I just could not fathom why they were so delicate.
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I didn't know this. That seems to defeat the purpose of the "set it and forget it"-type temperature alarm that the product features. Its quite possible that the cord was in an oven or grill that was hotter than 392 degrees. Do they sell "replacement" cords?
Yes. I just tried to check the price on the Polder web site, but it seems to be as fragile as the probes themselves.
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I got one from Williiams-Sonoma. It's ok, but...

http://ww1.williams-sonoma.com/cat/pip.cfm...65835&cmsrc=sch

Pay the extra money and get the one recommended by CI.

I've had several of these (but only paid for one) over the past few years. The temperature reading goes astray after a while and there is no way to calibrate it. But, Williams-Sonoma provides a lifetime guarantee, so if it malfunctions, just take it into the store for a new one.

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Having a digital thermometer you're not sure you can trust (or...fine...maybe you're not placing the probe properly) is approximately the most frustrating thing I have experienced in the last hour.

And now back to my pork loin, already in (apparently VERY rapid) progress.

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Have you ever looked closely at a standard 'candy' or 'deep fry' thermometer? Partway along the shaft is a little dimple. That dimple must be immersed in liquid to get an accurate reading. Also, no part, including the tip, should touch the pan at any time. Trouble is, rarely do I have a large enough volume of material in my pot. So the damn things are useless - or worse than useless, as the inaccurate reading can ruin a candy syrup, for example.

Actually, for candy syrup (like the cake icing I just made) I use the old-fashioned ball in water trick. But I know of no equivalent for hot oil.

Do any of you know of a thermometer that would get an accurate reading if the liquid depth is only, say, one to two inches? 'Cause if it doesn't exist, I'm going to invent one and become rich and famous.

Signed, the science geek,

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The interweb doesn't seem to agree with itself on whether the Thermapen is appropriate for candy/hot oil use, but it seems to me like a logical option. Only needs to be immersed a quarter-inch or so.

Can you tack it to the side of the pan? No. But it takes a reading in seconds, so if you're not using a deep pan, I would think you could hold the thing in your hand for a couple seconds while it reads, and then remove it. Does candy go hotter than 572F?

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I have used my oven probe model (the kind with the readout unit that stays outside the oven and the probe on a wire that goes inside the oven) for deep frying with fine results. You can clip it to the outside of the pot with a paper clamp. However. it only reads up to 400 F. after which it just shows "hot." So best not to let your oil overheat--also, when that happens, it takes a while for the unit to cool down and start giving readings again.

I dont do candy, but I have seen candy/pastry makers on those Food Network contest shows doing the same thing with sugar boiling. Sometimes you'll see one busy guy with three or four readout units side-by-side next to the stove.

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Actually, for candy syrup (like the cake icing I just made) I use the old-fashioned ball in water trick. But I know of no equivalent for hot oil.
For hot oil, I just drop a bread cube in to test the temperature-- if it turns golden brown in about 30 seconds, the oil is ready for most frying applications.
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For hot oil, I just drop a bread cube in to test the temperature-- if it turns golden brown in about 30 seconds, the oil is ready for most frying applications.

The trouble with that approach is that the oil changes temp so much and so rapidly when you start to use it. It would be nearly impossible to keep track of what's going on from minute to minute, or even second to second, while you do batches of things for example. I was amazed how quickly and how much the oil temperature varies when I started using the instant-read and could track it as I went along.

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Can anyone recommend a good set-it-and-forget-it probe thermometer that parts of which are actually RATED for the temperatures it's supposed to measure?

Here's your new car, sir. It gets 30 MPG on the highway. Oh - but it'll explode if you actually get it up past 35.

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Can anyone recommend a good set-it-and-forget-it probe thermometer that parts of which are actually RATED for the temperatures it's supposed to measure?

Here's your new car, sir. It gets 30 MPG on the highway. Oh - but it'll explode if you actually get it up past 35.

See post #23 above. Granted you cannot expose the plastic base unit to excessive unless you want it to melt. Mine works worked like a charm until a hot pot was rested against it and destroyed the buttons.

What model did you kill?

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See post #23 above. Granted you cannot expose the plastic base unit to excessive unless you want it to melt. Mine works worked like a charm until a hot pot was rested against it and destroyed the buttons.

What model did you kill?

Not sure. Black with silver buttons. Sturdy LOOKING braided cord. I toss it.

No matter what was going on, when you plugged the thermometer into the unit it read "HI."

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No matter what was going on, when you plugged the thermometer into the unit it read "HI."
I had a similar experience with a thermometer of my mother's. It turned out that replacing the battery fixed it. I forget whether "HI" was the invariable reading, but it gave some useless invariable reading until I put a fresh battery in it; then it worked fine.
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I had a similar experience with a thermometer of my mother's. It turned out that replacing the battery fixed it. I forget whether "HI" was the invariable reading, but it gave some useless invariable reading until I put a fresh battery in it; then it worked fine.
I tried fresh batteries, exposing the thermometer to different temperatures... nothing.
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I tried fresh batteries, exposing the thermometer to different temperatures... nothing.
Same thing happenned to me. Everything I tried resulted in a "HI" reading. Only got two dinners out of it and almost ruined a real nice brined rack of pork on the third. Mine was Maverick brand looked just like Dan's description.
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Infrared thermometers are actually accurate for hot oil. Not to mention custards. My $60 Costco cheapy spends more time in the kitchen than in in the garage toolchest.

foodpro-series.jpg

^Maybe you need one of these Dan.
Last night I was checking the temperature of a loaf of bread I was baking using an instant read thermometer. The bread still had a few more degrees to go, but Mythbusters was on and I was engrossed; so I absentmindedly left the thermometer IN and shut the oven door.

Poor thing. Face is now frozen forever in a hideous, melty death mask. Thermometers just don't have good luck in my kitchen, whether it's melted instant reads or the time I dropped my battery-powered probe thermometer into a pot of chicken stock...

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