Baking is all about temperature, both hot and cold. Realizing that not everyone wants to spend close to $100 on a thermometer, but also how indispensible an accurate thermometer is for baking, I'm so pleased to be able to recommend a member of the ThermoWorks family--the new ThermoPop. At $29 a pop in your favorite color, it is both affordable and highly functional. It has a wide temperature range of -58° to 572°F (-50° to 300°C), an accuracy of 0.7°±-F (0.4°C) at the most important temperatures of -4° to 248°F (-20° to 120°C), and a reaction speed of 3 to 4 seconds, which is almost as fast as the Thermapen at 2 to 3 seconds. You can check out all the features of all the ThermoWorks models on their site but for a short comparison of two features that may be especially of interest to you: The Thermapen MK4 uses standard AAA batteries, and stays on when in use. The sleep mode can be disabled entirely. The ThermoPop requires a 3 volt button cell battery and turns off after 10 minutes. It wakes up quickly with the touch of the button. For sugar syrups and caramel, where I find the reaction speed of a thermometer the most critical, I value the Thermapen, but for most other things 1 to 2 seconds longer is perfectly acceptable. And the ThermoPop is so quick and easy to use it has a permanent place by my grill and in my savory kitchen as well.
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