Thermapen FAQ: Common Questions Answered

In this Thermapen FAQ, Randy answers some of the most common customer questions about the Thermapen.

Where can I buy a Thermapen?

You can buy it right here online. There are only a few authorized dealers. (Watch out for counterfeit Thermapen look-a-likes!) Also, there are a few retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada that stock the Thermapen.


Why don’t more retail outlets carry Thermapens?

Most retailers want to more than double their money. The big name chains want the most. If a product costs them $4, they want to charge you $10. The Thermapen is already priced at “Trade Pricing”, meaning this is the price we sell it to commercial food service users and health departments. We offer it to the general public at the same price. Big retail chains would have to charge you much, much more and they’d still be mad that we would take your order at a lower price. The retailers that do carry the Thermapen are not making their normal mark-up, so thank them if you buy there!


Where can I buy replacement batteries for my Thermapen?

The Classic Thermapen uses two coin cell batteries, CR2032, which are commonly found at WalMart, Target, and other stores. You can also order spare batteries for your Classic Thermapen from us.

The Thermapen Mk4 uses one 1.5 volt AAA batteries, which can be purchased anywhere batteries are sold. You can also order spare batteries for your Thermapen Mk4 from us.


How long should my Thermapen’s battery last?

The Classic Thermapen batteries are rated for 1,500 hours of use. You can enable and disable the auto-off feature in the battery department, which will extend the life of the batteries. See the owner’s manual for more details.

The Thermapen Mk4 battery typically lasts 3,000 hours typical (without backlight).


Will my Thermapen tell me when my meat is done?

Not exactly.

Instead, your Thermapen (very quickly) will tell you the actual temperature of your food and you will decide if that means it is “done”. We can give you the USDA guidelines for food safety, but you should consult your favorite cookbooks, TV shows, and recipes for advice, not only on safe temperatures, but for recommendations for the best cooking temperatures for flavor and texture. Also, remember that individual preference is very important.


Other digital cooking thermometers are cheaper. Why pay more for a Thermapen?

In use, there’s a big difference, but don’t just take our word for it. Check out the hundreds of reviews customers have added to the Classic Thermapen and Thermapen Mk4 product pages.

Here are a few examples:

An investment in deliciousness
This instant read thermometer is amazing. I had the cheaper ones offered and really didn’t trust them. After a few over cooks with them I decided to take the plunge. Worth every penny. Used it to confirm my briskets temp this weekend. Used it on filets last week. All perfectly cooked. I even opened a beer from my fridge and confirmed temp at 39 ! Seriously, if you want an accurate temp and want it fast, this is it. Stop wasting money overcooking meat. One prime rib roast and this thing has paid for itself. – Ivan P.

Best of Its Kind
Don’t waste your money on $20 knockoffs. Spend the extra money if you want immediate, accurate readings. – George B.

I’m Now A Believer!!
I purchased the Mk4 after many “hot arm” incidents. It replaced a 10yr old fork thermometer that constantly caused the hair on my arms to burn away while waiting for the temperature to read accurately. The MK4 turns on quickly, reads in seconds, and I get to keep the hair on my arms!!!! Although the MK4 is expensive for my taste, it’s now a must have for me. – Latherio

Cool Useful & Amazing Tool
Wish I would have bought this years ago. Settled for grocery/home store brands for years thinking $100 was crazy to pay for a thermometer. I love this thermometer… so much that I bought one for my son. I’m 67… so many overcooked/undercooked things that could have been avoided… I’m now a rockstar on the grill, roasting in the oven, making caramel, the list goes on… – Coco K

Just spend the money
Finally just ponied up for this and it’s so worth the extra money. Wish I would have done this sooner. – Michael P

Best instant read thermometer money can buy
I have been searching for a good instant read thermometer for backyard grilling and smoking for many years now. I always thought the Thermapen was too much money to spend for a thermometer. As a result, I bought many different cheaper so called instant read thermometers and ended up spending way more than the cost for one of these. None come close to the responsiveness of the Thermapen which in my opinion is the ONLY instant read thermometer that lives up to its name. Save yourself time, frustration, and money and just buy a Thermapen. – Jonathan Y

Cheaper thermometers are limited by the technology that they use. These can be mass-produced for just a few dollars. On the other hand, the Thermapen is hand-assembled, hand-tested, and use professional thermocouple circuit design. The superior design and quality a Thermapen includes makes it worth the investment you’ll make.


Why is the Thermapen so much faster than other cooking thermometers?

The main reason it is so fast is the professional thermocouple technology we use instead of mass-produced thermistor technology. Thermocouples are recommended by the USDA for measurement of cooked meat products and thin portions.

Go here to see what a thermocouple means in performance vs. a thermistor.

We also use a reduced-diameter needle tip on the probe. Comparable professional meters cost $140 to $300 for the electronics and a similar probe! Some recent improvements were made in the sensor manufacturing process and the probe assembly in the Thermapen which make it the fastest digital thermometer on the market.


Why don’t you have a left-handed Thermapen?

Interesting question.

My wife Suzette is left-handed and she’s always thought the opposite. She prefers to use her dominant hand to wield the roasting pan, grasp the food with tongs, stir, or whatever else she’s doing in combination with the one-handed temperature measurement. Thus, in her opinion, it’s best to hold the Thermapen in her right hand while she uses her dominant hand for the other tasks. Also, the new Thermapen Mk4 includes an auto-rotating display, so she can easily see the display no matter which hand she holds it with.

Don’t buy that? While the Thermapen isn’t quite as ambidextrously switchable as a screwdriver or a hammer, it’s pretty close. It can easily be gripped in a number of ways. I hold my Thermapen in both my left hand and right hand depending on what I’m doing. Still, I empathize with anybody who’s left-handed and wishes the Thermapen were reversed. So, if our engineers can ever figure out a no-cost way to make a left-handed Thermapen, we’ll consider doing it.

Meanwhile, switch-hit.



Want to know more about the Thermapen?

Our Customer Care team will be glad to answer all of your questions.


Phone: Toll Free: 800-393-6434 6am – 8pm M-F, 9am – 4pm Saturday, MT

LiveChat: 6am – 5pm M-F

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