Customer Reviews: Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer and Timer
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on January 6, 2003
Although this is a few bucks more than some other probe thermometers, there is a nasty little secret those others usually keep hidden until you buy them and start reading the fine print in the manual: they can only be used up to temperatures of something like 375. That rules out the whole reason I want the thing--roasting, where I pretty much always have at least some period of cooking above that temperature.
In contrast, this beauty has a range up to 572, along with a much heavier, less kinky cord than my old Taylor.
Just that would be plenty to sell me on this model, but wait... there's MORE! In addition to telling you the temperature of your food, it has a separate sensor that gives a readout of the oven temperature. Since home ovens almost always run a bit off from the set temperature, this is critical. It's a real joy to get the temperature reading from the *outside* of the oven, rather than trying to read it off a grimy, unreliable dial thermometer that you probably knocked to the bottom of the oven when you put your pans in anyway.
On top of all that, it also includes a timer. No more accidentally clearing your timer when you go to use the microwave!
Because this replaced two separate thermometers in my oven, it actually works out to be the cheaper option. But even if it were more, I'd still recommend it for the convenience and because it (so far, at least) seems to be of a markedly higher quality than the competitors.
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on April 1, 2003
I purchased several of these units because they were the perfect product for smoking (aka barbecue). Based on the information provided they would allow me to monitor the internal temperature of the meat in the pit AND allow me to keep tabs on the ambient air around the meat inside the pit. What more could a serious barbecue enthusiast ask, right?
Of the ones I purchased, only one reads the correct temperature after a single cook. Just one. Did I mention that I purchased six of them? In speaking with Polder customer service I was told that this unit was not designed for the application I describe. Instead, it is designed to take an instant reading in the meat while in the oven, and then remove the probe from the oven. WHAT? Why have the additional sensor? Why not just buy a temperature fork?
Based on my experience with this product and the customer support, I cannot recommend this product. Honestly, I think the new probe units with the dual sensors might be defective.
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on January 20, 2003
I must apologize to anyone who bought this product as a result of my review.
After only having the thermometer for two or three months, the thing has taken a vacation. Now when I plug in the sensor probe, the thing goes crazy. I get oven temperature readings that climb into the three hundreds, and the food temperature does the same. This is while the thing is still at room temperature. No amount of fiddling will fix this.
I apologize again to anyone who bought one based on my reccommendation. To anyone else reading this, don't bother with it. Go to a chain store and buy a digital thermometer for a lot less money, and that way if it craps out on you, you won't mind so much.
I was taken, don't let yourself be.
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on July 22, 2003
After seeing how Alton Brown talked up the benefits of using a probe thermometer, I purchased a Polder. It did work great when roasting a chicken in the oven, and was great for a crock-pot roast, too. After about 4-5 uses, it suddenly decided to go haywire and tell me that everything was 200+ degrees, even the room air! I sent it back to Polder, and they were kind enough to return the unit with a new probe, but stated that the wire was subjected to too high a temperature and that this was a one-time courtesy replacement. Too high? I never cooked at temperatures that exceeded the stated levels. Of course, after 3-4 more uses, the replacement probe quit as well. Since retail stores do not stock replacement probes, I decided to buy the less expensive Taylor probe thermometer. That too quit working just as the Polder did.
I believe that this product has some real design/engineering problems. The concept is great, and I would pay much more for a professional-quality unit that would work consistently and accurately for more than 4-5 uses. ... much too expensive for a device that tells me the internal temperature of my chicken. For that money, I'll do it the old-fashioned way!
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on January 17, 2006
This was purchased around Christmas to replace a Williams-Sonoma probe style thermometer that was several years old and finally stopped working. After using this Polder thermo-timer for less than a month, I will be going back to Williams-Sonoma to purchase a replacement for it and will not buy Polder again.

First of all, the oven and food temp settings only go up. There are no +/- buttons, if you overshoot the temp you have to hold the button until you cycle all the way through 500+ degrees and back to where you need to be. God forbid you overshoot again, time wasted in the kitchen can cause food to burn or otherwise affect your cooking plans.

Second, the probe suddenly started registering 200+ temps while sitting on my kitchen counter after taking it out of my drawer to use. The probe and cable have been cared for as described in the manual, and in no way mistreated. Sorry, but if the ambient room temp registers incorrectly, how am I supposed to trust that it is accurately reporting my cooked food's temp? This is no minor issue, it is a complete failure of the device in less than a month of normal household use.

I've read the other reviews and similar problems have occurred for other users so I don't think this is a limited problem or an issue of my not using it correctly. This product is not reliable, and when it comes to determining if your meat is safely cooked to temperature, reliability is crucial.
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on November 18, 2002
If you grill a lot, you'll really appreciate the convenience of this thermometer! First, since it has two sensors, it will tell you the ambient temperature inside the grill AND also the temperature of the meat you've inserted the probe into. Of course, you can set alarms to tell you when the meat has reached a certain temperature, etc. Not a gadget, this will improve the quality of your grilling.
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on January 10, 2006
I purchased this for use with my smoker, right out of the box, it worked great. The controls are intuitive and well designed. Worked like a charm until the second time around when it started registering inaccurate temperatures. I was extremely careful with the probe, not getting it wet or crushing it. I've tested many thermometers and this is by far the worse. It now registers about 50-80 degrees too hot.
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on July 24, 2006
This thing worked for a while but now it is acting very strangely. I tried to get information from Polder online and found no supporting documentation. My guess is that the probe is the problem, but a replacement probe is $20 and a new complete unit is $25. I guess I will fall back on the old reliable analog manual stick-in-the-meat thermometer and trash the Polder.
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on April 30, 2003
This thermometer would be great if it actually worked as all of the chefs who recommended it suggest. As written in another review, the tech support people at Polder say it should be used as an instant read thermometer, and then removed from the food. If that is the case, why would you have an alarm that sounded when the food reached a specific temperature?
In addition, the temperature readings can be off significantly. I keep 3 extra probes on hand, in case one doesn't read properly.
On the other hand, I sent the original one back to Polder and they replaced it without question.
I don't think I would buy another one.
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on January 20, 2005
I bought mine at Bed Bath & Beyond as a gift. What a mistake, I wish I'd read the reviews here first.

It worked great the first time. The second time a couple of weeks later I plugged it in and got temperatures of 230+ degrees sitting on the counter (both oven and food temperatures). So, back to the old dial thermometer.

After leaving the proble plugged in overnight it seemed to work okay but I no confidence that this will last any time at all. My guess is the thermistors and wiring in the probe are of very poor quality.

Other problems.

1. The manual is poor. It doesn't tell you how to shut it off. Basically hold the alarm button down (reverse of startup).

2. If you set the alarm point higher than you want you can't scroll backward. You have to go all the way past 572 degrees. Sort of like the early digital clocks. Again, not a hint in the manual.

3. Polder doesn't answer their e-mail.

4. I finally got hold of a rather grumpy customer service person on the 800 number. All they could say was that I may have gotten water in somewhere during cleaning the probe....I don't think so.

5. You won't find this model on the website. (894-90). They probably don't want to claim it. The only reference is to a replacement probe. So my guess is this questionable probe is used in other Polder thermometers. You're warned

I won't buy another Polder product...thermometers, scales, etc.
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