Author Topic: Tools for Cooking  (Read 4847 times)

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Offline Peter Halle

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Tools for Cooking
« on: April 24, 2016, 09:04 AM »
Happy Sunday!

Now that warmer weather is on the horizon for us North of the equator, and knowing that we all need to eat, and that there are many here who like to grill, barbecue, or cook in general, I thought I would start one of my Sunday threads that are non-woodworking.

I came across this website after attending a food safety class where the instructors - all health inspectors - used one of the Thermopens:  http://www.thermoworks.com

After years of buying one digital thermometer or another and having to replace them because something happened to the probe - and not being able to get replacement probes - I bit the bullet and placed an order.  This company has a large assortment of accurate instruments and has even an assortment of different probes for different situations.  Just offering this information up for digestion.



Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Lou in DE

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 09:44 AM »
Hi Peter - we bought the Thermopen Instant thermometer several years ago after seeing it on "Americas Test Kitchen" on PBS. This is by far the most accurate and fastest reacting kitchen thermometer I have ever used. We do a lot of grilling and with the price of nicer cuts of (say) beef & lamb - not to mention whole poultry - it will save you money over time. It's a little expensive but money well spent - my only regret is that I wasn't into Festool at the time of purchase so I bought the white color  [big grin] [big grin]
In theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality, theory and reality are different - especially in woodworking!

Offline neilc

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 09:47 AM »
I've had one of their Thermopen units for years.  Best thermometer for grilling or indoor cooking.  Instant reading.   Durable.  Great battery life.  Stainless tip.


Offline atomicmike

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2016, 09:48 AM »
I love my Thermapen! I finally bought one a couple of years ago, after being frustrated with several other cheap thermometers. I still have a really cheap probe/grilling thermometer that I need to replace, and have been eyeing the ChefAlarm. The one I have now has a "neat" habit of entering power save mode randomly, so if I don't keep an eye on it, the temperature alarm will never sound.

Offline Jbmccombe

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 10:33 AM »
Best investment I have ever made after throwing away many cheaper instant read thermometers that never really worked.  They now have a backlit model which was not available when I bought mine and it is a feature I wish I had, especially grilling in the evenings. Well worth the cost.

John

Offline rvieceli

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 10:37 AM »
@atomicmike This new offering caught my eye this morning after Peter's post. Looks like it might be a winner.

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/alarm/dot.html

Offline Jesse Cloud

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 11:19 AM »
I'm a big fan of thermoworks.  I think a lot of beginning cooks make the mistake of cooking something for the time mentioned in the recipe.   No, No, No!  Cook it till its done, use a good thermometer.

Here's another useful tool.  I use it for seeing if a pan is ready to sear or sautee.  It also is great to finding cool spots on an unevenly heated pan.

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Lasergrip-774-Non-contact-Thermometer/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1461510943&sr=8-3&keywords=infrared+thermometer

Offline Tinker

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2016, 11:39 AM »
>>>I came across this website after attending a food safety class where the instructors - all health inspectors - used one of the Thermopens:<<<

When I first went into the army for my two years vacation from construction, I was at Ft. Devons up near Boston.  I think the second or third day, we were all interviewed.  They (the powers that were) asked each of the new recruits what branch of the servive we would prefer, as if we "really" had a choice. I told the interviewing officer I would prefer to go into the engineers as i had experience in construction trades.  The interview suggested I go into the food service as a food inspector.  I (we) discussed the idea for a while, all the time i was thinking I wanted nothing more to with the food service other than keeping a full tummy for the duration.  I wanted the engineers. I was being very definite.  The interviewer kept insisting that withmy background of farm life and ag college, i would be a perfect fit.  i did have to make quick decisions and he was quite certain i had shown i could do that.  "welll er ah I guess, er, ah I could maaabee handle the job."  I guess with my sudden hesitancy, the decission was cast in concrete.  Either they thought i was TOO hesitant, and they sent me elsewhere.  Or After basic training, I eventually did end up with a combat engineering company way up in around the middle of an oriental peninsula that was quite prominent in the news of the day. Perhaps i had changed my mind a bit too quickly.  They had sent me to basic training to be a medic.  Perhaps I changed gears so quickly they wanted me to be where I would need to make decisions super quick, faster even than a food inspector.  Oh well, even getting shot at was better than being a food inspector.  The other part, where I told the interviewer I was only interested in keeping my belly full;  I never missed chow call for one meal the whole two years I was vacationing.  The food wasn't always the greatest, but I managed to ALWAYS make friends with the chow sergeant EVERY time i changed locations.  That took care of many problems.  When i married, I managed to end up with an excellent chef who still manages to keep my tummy full.
 ::)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2016, 12:27 PM »
I'm a big fan of thermoworks.  I think a lot of beginning cooks make the mistake of cooking something for the time mentioned in the recipe.   No, No, No!  Cook it till its done, use a good thermometer.

Here's another useful tool.  I use it for seeing if a pan is ready to sear or sautee.  It also is great to finding cool spots on an unevenly heated pan.

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Lasergrip-774-Non-contact-Thermometer/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1461510943&sr=8-3&keywords=infrared+thermometer

I can also vouch for this laser thermometer, it replaced my ~$70-ish one that died and seems to be every bit as good. Bought a second one to keep in the house it was so cheap.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline atomicmike

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2016, 03:10 PM »
I'm a big fan of thermoworks.  I think a lot of beginning cooks make the mistake of cooking something for the time mentioned in the recipe.   No, No, No!  Cook it till its done, use a good thermometer.

That's long been one of my frustrations with recipes, especially those targeted at beginning cooks. For some reason, cookbook publishers think that telling people to use things like a thermometer or scale makes the recipe too difficult or intimidating, when the reality is just the opposite. There's so much variability in ovens, measurement techniques, etc. It winds up making people think they can't cook when they're really just not being taught how to cook.

I used to have rotten luck with baked goods, especially bread, since recipes give you useless indicators of doneness. "Sounds hollow when tapped" might work when you have a ton of experience, but if you're not an experienced baker, it's meaningless. My breads were always over- or under-done. When I found a recipe that gave a target internal temperature, it came out perfect! Same thing with cakes... I'd pull them based on how the top looked, only to find out when I cut into it that I had a soggy mess. (For anyone wondering, 200-205 ┬║F is a great target internal temperature for baked goods.)

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2016, 06:08 PM »
I came across this website after attending a food safety class where the instructors - all health inspectors - used one of the Thermopens: 

Seriously? These words came from your keyboard? Someone with a sous vide is turning to health inspectors--whose standard answer for everything is 180 degrees!![scared] [scared] hehehehe   [poke]

As you already know, I've always preferred cooking by temperature, and would love one of those thermalpens. But it is pretty hard to justify the price they are asking. Not that it isn't worth it, just hard to spend that.  [sad]
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 06:54 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2016, 07:19 PM »
I came across this website after attending a food safety class where the instructors - all health inspectors - used one of the Thermopens: 

Seriously? These words came from your keyboard? Someone with a sous vide is turning to health inspectors--whose standard answer for everything is 180 degrees!![scared] [scared] hehehehe   [poke]

As you already know, I've always preferred cooking by temperature, and would love one of those thermalpens. But it is pretty hard to justify the price they are asking. Not that it isn't worth it, just hard to spend that.  [sad]

Rick,

Just like you I have many sides.  And always looking for business opportunities.  I have already learned that the phrase Sous Vide sends those who inspect restaurants into spasmodic fits and thus requires a myriad of paperwork and procedures in order to proceed.  Not doable in my state.  Science and regulatory hasn't meshed yet.

I actually got a chance to take a beautiful drive a few weeks ago and visit with Sysco - the largest purveyor of goods to the restaurant industry and spent 3 hours with their chef going over menu ideas, etc.  Kinda weird for a carpenter but fascinating for me.

You can get the accuracy with the thermometers for a much lower price, but you will wait for the results - typically 5 + seconds.

One thing I learned in the class was that for food service most of the cheaper thermometers can't be used because they have glass lenses which can shatter.  Must be plastic.  The one I got for attending the class also had a mark 2+ inches up the probe that indicated the insertion depth.  After a great talk with the supervisor of the program my decision was made.

Haven't read about new cooking episodes lately - stay well my sv buddy.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2016, 07:38 PM »

Haven't read about new cooking episodes lately - stay well my sv buddy.

Peter

Yeah, I haven't done too much new experimenting, except for that re-smoked ham a month or two ago. I don't remember if you heard about it, but it was TOO.DIE.FOR!

To recap, whole smoked hams were dirt-cheap, so I got 2 to experiment with. I did a low-temperature smoke on my horizontal smoker with an air-temp below 150 degrees. After letting them cool overnight, I injected them with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and did a 120 degree sous vide for 6 to 8 hours. (Smoked hams don't need to be cooked...this was purely to tenderize.)

They had a very smooth smoked flavor that was a little higher than store-bought, plus a nice added sweetness. But what really set them apart is that EVERYTHING had the succulent tenderness that normally only select core muscles normally have. (Kind of like turning the whole thing into a tenderloin-type meat, but for ham.) It melted in your mouth!  [tongue]

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2016, 08:42 PM »
I don't use any devices to test temp while cooking. Haven't killed anyone--------yet. [wink]

Tom

Offline luke duke

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 10:49 AM »
I have 3 Thermapens, they're great.

Offline atomicmike

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 03:44 PM »
You can get the accuracy with the thermometers for a much lower price, but you will wait for the results - typically 5 + seconds.

The other annoyance I've run into with cheaper thermometers is that they just don't last. Even in really light use around the house, I've been lucky to get a few years out of them. Some of them also have significant calibration drift, likely because the voltage regulators they use are garbage. While they're certainly cheaper than a Thermapen, the frustration of having one die (or give a wildly incorrect reading) just when you need it isn't worth it to me. I also love the simplicity of the user "interface"... no power/mode/unit buttons. Just open it up and measure!

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 04:24 PM »
Mike,

I wasn't clear in my post.  i was referring to the less expensive thermometers from Thermoworks.  I still have a Weber two probe bluetooth one that I will be cross checking.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 07:02 PM »
I have never sprung for a Thermapen but I did pick up a simple one at a restaurant supply for around $6. Response time is minimal (never actually measured but guessing is <2 seconds) and as far as I can tell temp is okay. It lives in my under-deck material shed & so far it has lasted 2 seasons outside.

I don't doubt the Thermapen is a great product, but it does seem pricey compared to some options out there.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline luke duke

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 10:42 PM »
I don't doubt the Thermapen is a great product, but it does seem pricey compared to some options out there.

Just like Festool.

Offline RockstarRemodel

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2016, 03:09 PM »
My C15 is used as the motor for my manual burr grinder for coffee every morning.
Keep Rocking

Brendan with RockstarRemodel.com

Offline rvieceli

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2016, 03:53 PM »
I'm sorry but shouldn't you be looking for a burr grinder with a centrotec fitting on the top?  [big grin]

Offline RockstarRemodel

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2016, 07:40 PM »
I'm sorry but shouldn't you be looking for a burr grinder with a centrotec fitting on the top?  [big grin]

@rvieceli Instabuy! Link please.  ;)
Keep Rocking

Brendan with RockstarRemodel.com

Offline JonSchuck

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2016, 08:01 PM »
Happy Sunday!

Now that warmer weather is on the horizon for us North of the equator, and knowing that we all need to eat, and that there are many here who like to grill, barbecue, or cook in general, I thought I would start one of my Sunday threads that are non-woodworking.

I came across this website after attending a food safety class where the instructors - all health inspectors - used one of the Thermopens:  http://www.thermoworks.com

After years of buying one digital thermometer or another and having to replace them because something happened to the probe - and not being able to get replacement probes - I bit the bullet and placed an order.  This company has a large assortment of accurate instruments and has even an assortment of different probes for different situations.  Just offering this information up for digestion.

(Attachment Link)

Peter
Warning - Do not buy these from Amazon.  Amazon is not a thermopen dealer and the people selling them on Amazon are either selling cheap imitations or selling real thermopens at as much as $100 over retail while claiming that they are discounted.    If you click on Peter's link to thermoworks, there is a yellow strip across across the top of the page that says warning. Click on "more info". After reading that click on "extended info".

Offline Holmz

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2016, 02:52 AM »
My C15 is used as the motor for my manual burr grinder for coffee every morning.

@RockstarRemodel Where did you get the grinder from? Which model?
(Looks good for camping if I can manually work it without a cordless drill)

Offline Upscale

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2016, 10:17 AM »
Thermopens: 

Yup, bought one of their Thermopens a few years back. Also very useful, I bought one of their big and loud timers. Large LCD characters, loudness configuration and very functional timer. The timer gets quite bit of usage.
DF 500 Q Domino, CT22, Carvex PSBC 420 Jigsaw, 7 systainers and several accessories. I'm just a rank Festool beginner, but I'm trying hard. :) Oh yeah, now that I own a FOG hat 2011 edition, I guess I'm not such a beginner anymore.

Offline RockstarRemodel

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2016, 06:04 PM »
My C15 is used as the motor for my manual burr grinder for coffee every morning.

@RockstarRemodel Where did you get the grinder from? Which model?
(Looks good for camping if I can manually work it without a cordless drill)

 @Holmz
Here's the Porlex mini hand grinder. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0044ZA066/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471212112&sr=8-2&pi=SX200_QL40&keywords=Porlex&dpPl=1&dpID=31jvPh%2B7klL&ref=plSrch

I love it, in both manual and automatic modes ; )
Keep Rocking

Brendan with RockstarRemodel.com

Offline Tinker

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2016, 10:14 AM »
My C15 is used as the motor for my manual burr grinder for coffee every morning.

@RockstarRemodel, you are either a coffee fanatic or you have drank too much koolaid [poke]
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RockstarRemodel

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2016, 10:33 AM »
My C15 is used as the motor for my manual burr grinder for coffee every morning.

@RockstarRemodel, you are either a coffee fanatic or you have drank too much koolaid [poke]
Tinker

Both!
Keep Rocking

Brendan with RockstarRemodel.com

Offline Rusty Miller

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2016, 12:55 PM »
I also have a Thermoworks Chef Alarm.  Great thermometer, what I like about it is you can use it on the grill with a probe in the meat or in the grill area.  You can also use it in the house in your oven with a probe either in the meat or keeping track of the temp in the oven its self.  I don't have a thermopen yet but I do have their "ThermoPop".  Not quite as fast as the thermopen but pretty close (3-5 seconds).  The main thing about the Thermoworks stuff is it is very accurate.

Rusty
Rusty Miller
I'd rather be woodworking!

Offline Cheese

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Re: Tools for Cooking
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2016, 02:20 PM »
FWIW...there is a new ThermoPop┬« that has just been released, the original had a read time of 5-7 seconds while the new one has a read time of 3-4 seconds with the original $29 price tag.  [cool]