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Can you buy a reasonably-priced thermometer and expect it to perform as well as one that’s twice the price?
Well, until recently, you couldn’t.
ThermoPro has changed the game with the release of the impressive Thermopro TP-19 meat thermometer. The TP-19 boasts a lot of features that until now were only available in thermometers double and triple the price.
I put the TP-19 model to the test and compared its performance side by side with thermometers of all price ranges to see if it’s worth your time and money. I won’t beat around the bush, it is worth it and I continue to be impressed by this thermometer.
So, why is the TP-19 so great? When I review a thermometer I look at four major areas. I look at a thermometer’s features, its usability, its durability, and its price relative to the other thermometers on the market. Let’s just say the TP-19 is a top performer in all of those areas.
Ok, enough thermometer fanboy talk, let’s see why the ThermoPro TP-19 has changed the playing field for the other thermometer manufacturers out there.
The Features of the ThermoPro TP-19 Meat Thermometer
I will first list all of the pertinent features of the TP-19 model and then discuss the most important ones in more detail.
The features of ThermoPro TP-19 Meat Thermometer include:
- A fast and accurate thermocouple sensor
- Waterproof body rated IP 65
- 180-degree auto-rotating display
- A motion sensor that will turn it on when touched (when the probe is deployed)
- Lock function that locks the current temperature for 5 seconds
- Calibration function
- A large luminous display with easy to see numbers
- 4.5″ Stainless Steel Probe
- Magnetic back
- Antimicrobial coated body to inhibit bacteria growth
- Fahrenheit/Celsius selector button on the back
The most important feature of any thermometer is how accurately it measures temperatures. The TP-19 is accurate as well as fast at reading temperatures.
I tested it in a sous-vide bath set at 135 degrees Fahrenheit along with a few other thermometers.
The much more expensive Thermoworks classic Thermapen had the fastest response time as expected. I would put the TP-19 behind it in second place, but not by much.
It responded faster than the twice-the-price Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo as well as the Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer, which costs a little less.
The Thermopro TP-19 also sports a durable waterproof body. It checked in at 3 oz weight compared to 2.8 oz for the Lavatools Javelin Pro DUO, 2.5 oz for the Kizen thermometer and 3.4 oz for the classic Thermapen.
Now I know the weight of a thermometer isn’t the only factor in rating its durability but when you hold the different thermometers in your hand you will understand. Some are just a little more solidly built than others. The TP-19 model was the closest to the classic Thermapen in having a durable body able to withstand some drops. I’ve already accidentally dropped the Kizen thermometer off a 3 foot counter and it hasn’t been the same since.
What stands out to me about the TP-19 is the waterproof body. The back battery compartment is screwed down onto a gasket that seals it from water, I like that feature. The body is also very similar to the classic Thermapen when you view them from the side.
The body of the TP-19 model is also sturdier than the ThermoPro TP18 meat thermometer, another thermocouple thermometer by ThermoPro.
Rotating Large Luminous Display
One of the newer developments in digital thermometers is a display that will rotate around when the thermometer itself is rotated. The ThermoPro TP-19 has this ability as does the Lavatools Javelin Pro DUO. This is a good feature if you’re left-handed or are checking the temperature of something at a difficult angle.
At first, I was unsure about the alarm clock-type red digital display, but the more I use it, the more I think it’s genius. A lot of other thermometers you have to press a button to illuminate the display and then they only stay lit for a certain amount of time. This is annoying. The ThermoPro TP-19’s display is easy to read in low-light situations. The display will shut itself off after 90 seconds and all you need to do is touch it to turn it back on, the other thermometers tested don’t do this.
A thermometer’s ability to be calibrated is a valuable feature to have, and the ThermoPro Tp-19 has this capability. Although the TP-19 thermometer was precisely calibrated by ThermoPro, if it ever becomes inaccurate, you can find the calibration button under the battery compartment cover and set it properly. Just perform the ice water calibration test and press and hold the calibration button for 5 seconds to recalibrate it.
The Usability of the ThermoPro TP-19 Meat Thermometer
The TP-19 is pretty simple to use. With its large rotating digital readout, it is easy to read even at night outside on the patio. There is no need to press a light button and if the thermometer is sleeping with the probe unfolded, it will turn back on when picked up or moved.
The thermometer also comes with a lock function so you can hold the temperature for 5 seconds.
Another nice feature of the TP-19 that helps with its ease of use is its antimicrobial coating. This just means that when the plastic polymer body was created, a silver-based antimicrobial mixture was added to it. When you are cooking raw meat it is always good to have things that inhibit bacteria growth. Now I’m not saying you can slather your thermometer with raw chicken and be fine, it just makes it an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
And the waterproof body makes cleaning the TP-19 easier than most thermometers in that you don’t have to be ultra-careful around water. According to the instruction manual, it has a waterproof rating of IP 65. This basically means it is protected from low-pressure jets of water directed at it. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the IP rating system.
The body itself has a magnet so it won’t fall off the side shelf of a bbq grill and you can keep it on the side of your refrigerator if that’s your thing.
As mentioned earlier, the TP-19 has a rotating 180-degree digital display, which is helpful if you’re left-handed.
One of the features that I am loving the more I use this thermometer is the illuminated red numbers of the digital display. Most thermometers have a backlit display that turns off after 10 to 15 seconds. This is annoying if you’re grilling outside after work in the low light of late evening. With a spatula and tongs in one hand, you have to put them down to touch the light button on these thermometers. Not needed with the TP-19, its red display is clearly visible at night.
The Durability of ThermoPro TP-19
One of the most glaring issues you run into when you compare meat thermometers of varying prices is the quality of the thermometer body itself. Sure, a lot of reasonably priced thermometers in the $10 to $20 range tout their waterproof capabilities, but it is a moot point if the body itself is made of cheap plastic.
You shouldn’t have to replace a thermometer after an accidental 3-foot drop from your counter like I experienced.
The body of the TP-19 is solidly built with a sturdier body than the other meat thermometers in the aforementioned price range. It also has the waterproof body as we’ve discussed.
With the sturdy waterproof body, coupled with ThermoPro’s three-year extended warranty, you are covered for most catastrophic events a meat thermometer would encounter.
The Price of the ThermoPro TP-19 in Relation to the Competition
The ThermoPro TP-19 simply has the best combination of features and durability across all the price ranges. I am declaring the TP-19 the best meat thermometer for your money outside of spending a lot more for the Thermapen MK4, currently the big dog of instant-read meat thermometers.
An Alternative to the ThermoPro TP-19
I am hesitant to recommend an alternative, but if you only have a budget of between $10-15, you might be able to purchase some of the other thermometers tested at a discount at certain times by stores online. My thoughts are why not spend a couple more dollars and have a long-lasting thermometer for your kitchen? The Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo was my previous runner-up to the best-in-class Thermoworks Thermapen MK4, but it is twice the price of the TP-19.
My Final Verdict
I have tested quite a few thermometers and I can tell you this, don’t mess around with any of the other thermometers under $30. None of them come close to this one in terms of features and durability. Add on ThermoPro’s extended three-year warranty and this is a no-brainer. I am curious to see if Lavatools lowers the price of their Javelin PRO Duo because the TP-19 has pretty much surpassed its value at a much lower price. I am giving the ThermoPro TP-19 my highest recommendation because of its performance and value for the price.