Thermoworks ThermoPop Review

The Thermoworks ThermoPop right out of the box.
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The ThermoPop is Thermoworks’ answer to an accurate and dependable meat thermometer at a lower price point than the best-in-class Thermapen MK4.

There are a lot of meat thermometers in the ThermoPop’s price range that don’t come close to matching its accuracy and quality. I should know, I’ve reviewed and tested all of the competitors.

Note July 2020: Thermoworks just released the DASH Super-Fast Instant-Read Thermometer. It has some upgraded features over the ThermoPop at a comparable price.

So what makes the ThermoPop such a great thermometer and how does it compare to the Thermapen by Thermoworks? I will answer these questions and more in my review of the Thermoworks ThermoPop.

Up close shot of the ThermoPop's display

 

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Thermoworks ThermoPop

If you don’t know by now, Thermoworks is a company based in Utah that makes the best thermometers in the world. Along with their partners in the United Kingdom, Electronic Temperature Instruments, LTD., Thermoworks builds the finest meat thermometer on the market, the Thermapen MK4.

Thermoworks realized that there is a need in the market for a lower-priced meat thermometer option. They nailed it with the ThermoPop.

The ThermoPop is not only fast (3 to 4 seconds), and accurate (measures close to the Thermapen), it is the first pocket meat thermometer with a rotating display.

The rotating display is nice because sometimes you need to check food temperatures at different angles.

Other than the rotating display, what are the other features of the ThermoPop?

ThermoPop on a table

Features

Here are all of the important features of the Thermoworks Thermopop

  • Rotating Display

The display rotates around when you press the top button on the back. Each time you press it the display will rotate 90 degrees.

The ThermoPop showing the temperature display upside down

  • 3 to 4-second temperature reading response time

The ThermoPop is pretty darn fast and it generally clocks in about a second after the Thermapen MK4. Its temperature monitoring is within the ballpark of the Thermapen by around a degree or two as well.

  • -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range

In addition to the ThermoPop’s wide temperature range, it is rated accurate to within +/- 2 degrees from 0 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit and +/- 4 degrees above that.

  • IP66 Waterproof rating

The ThermoPop has an IP rating of 66. This means it is rated to withstand water splashes but not full submersion in water. The buttons and seals are molded-in so it should withstand most kitchen conditions.

The ThermoPop has two buttons on the back and one in front

The ThermoPop has two buttons on the back and one in front.

  • Thin, 4.5-inch long probe

The main stem of the probe of the ThermoPop is noticeably thinner than the Thermapen. The tip of both thermometers is the same diameter. The thinness makes it great for checking thin cuts of meat.

  • Backlight

The backlight of the ThermoPop comes on automatically when turned on and stays illuminated for 10 seconds. You then need to press the button on the front every time you want to illuminate the display.

  • Auto-Off 

The ThermoPop turns itself off after 10 minutes of sitting idle.

Accuracy

The accuracy of the ThermoPop is stated to be accurate within +/- 2 degrees up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. In my testing, I find that it is usually within a degree or two of the Thermapen MK4’s temperature readings.

The ThermoPop features Thermoworks’ patented Super-Fast reduced tip for accurate readings in 3 to 4 seconds.

Durability

As I mentioned earlier, the ThermoPro has an IP66 waterproof rating, meaning it can withstand water splashes or being left out in the rain.

I wouldn’t submerge it in water and or wash it directly under a faucet. I’ve washed the display off with a wet paper towel and a little bit of soap many times with no residual problems.

The one thing that could be an issue is the probe is a little thinner than the Thermapen’s. The ThermoPop comes with a sheath for storage so this shouldn’t be a problem when storing it in your kitchen drawers.

Like all of the Thermoworks thermometers, the ThermoPop is extremely well-made and I expect it to hold up for a long time. I will let you know if any durability issues crop up the more I use it.

ThermoPop vs Thermapen MK4

Let’s be clear, although the ThermoPop is a great meat thermometer it isn’t a best-in-class Thermapen MK4. Why is this and what are the differences between the two?

Classic Super Fast Thermapen on top, ThermoPop in the middle, and the Thermapen MK4 on the bottom.

Classic Super-Fast Thermapen on top, ThermoPop in the middle, and the Thermapen MK4 on the bottom.

  • Thermistor vs Thermocouple Thermometer Technology

For starters, the ThermoPop is a thermistor thermometer while the Thermapen is a thermocouple thermometer. Thermistor thermometers are good at measuring temperature but don’t have the precise accuracy that thermocouples do.

The Thermapen MK4 is incredibly precise. Each thermometer has its own certificate of calibration. The Thermapen is also made by hand in the United Kingdom.

The ThermoPop is designed in Utah and assembled in China.

  • Buttons vs No Buttons

The ThermoPop has three buttons to operate its functioning, the Thermapen MK4 has no buttons. The Thermapen turns on when you extend the probe. It also will “wake up” by simply moving if it goes into sleep mode from not being used.

The backlight on the Thermapen is activated automatically by low-light settings while you need to press the backlight button on the ThermoPop.

  • Splash Proof vs Water-Resistant

The ThermoPop is rated IP66 and can withstand jets of water while the Thermapen MK4 is rated IP67 and can withstand being submerged in water.

  • Non-Repairable vs Repairable

If something goes wrong with the ThermoPop it can’t be repaired. Although there is a very tiny chance that something would go wrong with your Thermapen you can send it in for repair.

ThermoPop vs the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo Meat Thermometer

Why am I comparing the ThermoPop to the Javelin Pro Duo from Lavatools?

This might be more of a fair fight than the ThermoPop versus the ThermaPen. Both the ThermoPop and the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo meat thermometers utilize thermistor technology.

The Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo and the Thermoworks ThermoPop

So, how does the ThermoPop measure up to one of the top non-Thermoworks thermometers on the market?

  • The ThermoPop is $20 less than the Javelin Pro Duo.

In fact, Thermoworks runs specials throughout the year and you might be able to snag a ThermoPop for less than its usual retail price, making it even less than the Javelin Pro.

  • The ThermoPop is rated IP66 to the IP65 rating of the Javelin Pro.

The difference between an IP66 and an IP65 rating is basically the ability to protect the device from high-pressure jets of water to low-pressure jets. This is splitting hairs unless you love spraying your devices with a garden hose.

  • Stated Response Time of 3-4 seconds vs 3-4 seconds on the Javelin Pro Duo.

This is the one area where the Javelin PRO Duo wins out. In my tests, the Javelin PRO Duo is a little faster than its stated response time. It’s a little bit faster than the ThermoPop.

  • The ThermoPop’s display rotates around 360 degrees to the Javelin’s 180 degrees.

The ThermoPop’s display can rotate in every direction whereas the Javelin Pro’s display will only go upside-down. However, the Javelin will rotate on its own while you need to press the button on the ThermoPop for each rotation.

  • The ThermoPop has no calibration button, the Javelin Pro does.

According to Thermoworks, the ThermoPop comes already calibrated and will not need to be calibrated, ever. Ok, we’ll see. The Javelin PRO offers a calibration button inside the battery compartment.

Final Thoughts

The ThermoPop offers a lot of nice features at its price point. It is better than the standard houseware thermometers you’ll find in its price range.

It isn’t in the same class as the Thermapen, but most thermometers aren’t. I do rate the ThermoPop a better value than the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo at a lower price.

Thermoworks recently released the DASH Super-Fast Instant-Read thermometer, which is a bit more accurate with a larger, brighter display. It also comes with a NIST-traceable certificate of calibration. All of that for a few bucks more.

I am rating the ThermoPop right below the DASH in my rankings and recommend it over the other non-Thermoworks instant-read thermometers.

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