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on March 26, 2010
I've been using this product for over 2 years and love it. I give it as wedding shower gifts, because it's one of my most useful kitchen tools. (Mine was marketed under the Sunbeam name, but it's absolutely IDENTICAL to this model TW362B, except mine has white buttons.) I've been researching these thermometers again, because I'm getting ready to buy a second one as a backup: I don't want to be without this item for even one day.

Before buying this model, I went through 2 other brands / models, and this one is best. I generally use it several times a week. For example, I insert it in my whole-wheat bread loaves after they've baked for 15 minutes; the alarm enables me to remove them from my baking stone at the perfect time, when the interior temp is 194. Keeping the probe in the loaf for a few minutes after removing the latter from the oven has enabled me to determine that residual heat causes the interior temp to rise to the desired 200 degrees. People compliment me on these loaves all the time, and I've never had a failure since I started using this tool.

My probe has been dropped numerous times, but I've never had to replace any parts and it's still working great.

I suspect the negative reviews are due to one of the following:

1) Some people appear to have been writing about the OLDER model, not the new and improved Model TW362B.

2) Maybe people have been using it at temps that are too high. Like ALL other probe-and-cable type thermometers that I've seen, this one can't be used in ovens that have been heated to high temps, and I wouldn't think it could tolerate the high heat of a grill, for instance. That may explain many of the failures people have written about!

The instructions say not to put it inside an oven that is hotter than 392 degrees (presumably because the oven heat would damage the cable and/or sensor). For a while, I was setting my oven to that temp. Then I learned elsewhere that when you set your oven to 350, it can actually spike up to 400 while it's heating. So now I try to avoid using this thermometer in any oven hotter than about 360, which is the temp I use for my bread. (I leave the probe sticking in the bread for 20 minutes at a time in a 360 oven, and so far it's worked fine.)

Having said that, I must admit that several times I've forgotten and put it in a 375 to 400-degree oven for maybe 10 minutes at a time, and no harm has come of it. Now that I've heard you can risk higher temps if you wrap the probe cord in foil, I may go up to 400 deliberately, but only after I get my back-up.

Thermoworks, are you listening? How about upgrading this model so that it can tolerate higher temps? Except for that detail, it's just about perfect, and I hope you keep carrying it!

3) Maybe people have been getting sensitive parts WET. Somewhere I read that for probe-and-cable thermometers of this type, the place where the cable attaches to the curved steel of the probe can't be made truly waterproof, so it shouldn't be submerged. I hand-wash my probe, of course, and I've been careful to keep that spot dry (as well as the other end--the part that inserts into the main body of the thermometer).

If I need to soak my probe (which rarely happens, but sometimes I leave it overnight and bread crumbs are stuck to it the next day), I stand it in a small glass of soapy warm water, which makes it easy to keep the cable-joining part high and dry. That works well; the stuck-on stuff then wipes off very easily and quickly.

4) Regarding alarms that don't go off: at one point I thought my unit had gone bad because its alarm inexplicably stopped working. Then when I finally looked at it carefully, I discovered that my daughter had turned the alarm OFF without telling me! A simple flip of the switch cured that problem. (My previous models had lacked that switch, so I hadn't paid any attention to the switch.)

I haven't ever used the magnet, because magnets on ANY product never seem to hold as they claim.

In summary, I've found this to be a great product with MANY uses.
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on April 26, 2010
I really am quite careful with my kitchen equipment so when this unit stopped working after a couple of uses, I assumed I had a defective unit, I returned it for another one. This one too died after a few uses. I read more about it on line, bought new one, and an extra probe because the manufacturer suggested it. I treated it with the most tender kid gloves and again I found after only two or three uses, it did not work. So I have given up, it is going to the electronic recycling. My last probe broke after one use. I am posting this only to help others not waste money!

Then I heard from ThermoWorks!

After posting the review above, I received an email, followed by a phone call from the company. The person who contacted me was very sincere and seemed to really believe in his product and wanted to help me figure out what I was doing to cause it to fail. He offered me a new unit for free if I would give it another try. I said no, I didn't have time to be testing it.
But he asked me some questions about how I used it and suggested what might be the problem. It seems that you have to be careful not to let the wire from the probe to the unit touch the oven rack or the roasting pan. He asked me if I had been careful to keep the wire taught to avoid this contact. I had to admit I had not, I do not remember this being part of the written instructions that came with the unit I bought, because as I said in my original post, I read and follow instructions carefully. (I wonder if such instructions now come with the unit!)

So I agreed to try again and he quickly sent me another unit with an extra probe. It was months before I finally tested it. I kept expecting a phone call to ask if I had tried it (and to ask me to revise my criticism of it) but I never heard from the company again, which really impressed me.

I have used it, about five times now, and following the new precautions about the wire, I have been successful. I still double check the temp with a second thermometer because I'm still nervous from all my previous raw roasts, but the unit does work as stated.
I have changed my rating to 4 stars. I can't give 5 since it is too touchy and it is expensive to replace the probe. But I would give the company 5 stars for their honest concern about their product and customer satisfaction.
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on November 1, 2010
I brought one of these oven thermometers/timers with me when I spent a year at the South African research station in Antarctica (SANAE IV). Although designed to be inserted into a piece of meat that is cooking in the oven, we have used it for many other things as well, namely: making yoghurt, baking bread and deep frying (though it's maximum temperature is only 200°C/392°F). My 9 team mates were so impressed by it, they each ended up buying (at least) one for themselves.

I would recommend buying a replacement probe as well. For under $10 it is your best insurance against an inaccurate probe - especially when you're stuck at the bottom of the planet. My probe was spot on for both the ice water and boiling water (corrected for altitude) tests.

One thing which the thermometer does not have (and would have been nice for our purposes) is the ability to sound the alarm when the temperature drops to a certain set temperature. The alarm only sounds when the temperature rises to a specific temperature from below (i.e. heats up). A cool down alarm would be especially nice to warn us when our warm milk had cooled to the correct temperature to add the yoghurt starter. Though I can understand that this is missing, as this is not the intended use for the thermometer.

All in all, I am very happy with this thermometer and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
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on June 15, 2008
I use the Thermapen thermometer made by this same company and I wanted another one that I could set to beep at a certain temperature in the oven when it hits a certain degree. I even used it on the grill to cook steaks. I just closed the lid on the wire and found that lots easier than just probing the meat all the time. It works fine and I'm very happy with it.I will be buying another one for a friend.
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on October 11, 2008
I bought this based on a recommendation for thermometers on Cooks Illustrated website. They have a test kitchen and tested many different products. I have not been disappointed at all in this item. I use it all the time for baking, roasting and cooking of all sorts. Can be used outside when grilling, and provides dual function. Once inserted into your food, you can rest assured the alarm will sound when your food reaches the desired temperature inside the oven, no more guesswork. At the same time, you are able to set the timer for other items you're working on that require a certain amount of time for cooking. I would recommend this timer for cooks of any experience.
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on April 2, 2010
I bought this product based on the reviews from America's Test Kitchen.
Got the product wiped the probe off with a damp sponge; I did not submerge the probe or get the upper end wet. I connected the probe to the thermometer and got room temperature reading, all was good.
Inserted the probe in a roast put the roast in the oven and when I went back 10 minutes later the temperature read "Hi".
I removed the probe from the roast and let it cool and it still read "Hi".

Connected different manufacturer probe to the thermometer and got a temperature reading. Connected the ThermoWorks probe to another thermometer and got a "Hi" reading. Obviously the probe is shorted or open. It did not last even 10 minutes, not sure it is worth the effort to contact ThermoWorks and have them tell me it was my fault.
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on December 14, 2009
I purchased this item from Amazon and used it a few times. The probe stopped working and Thermoworks sent a replacement. The replacement also stopped working after just a few months. Thermoworks will not honor the 6 month guarantee that comes with the probe, telling me that "damage" is not covered by the warranty. I used this item exactly as the instructions tell you to use it, it just stopped working one day. Don't waste your money on this product.
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on June 30, 2009
Purchased this item after reading a cooksillustrated review of internal meat thermometers. It's an excellent product. There have been no flying batteries or cord twisting or inaccurate readings- just well cooked meat with an easy to set up alarm and easy to hear alarm, which is great because I can't rely on cooking times with my "vintage" oven.
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on December 29, 2009
Bought this unit last year, on the recommendation of Cooks Country, used it once. Been attached to the stove for some months, go to use it and find all controls don't work.
Unit turns on and displays zero timer and a set temp of 122. Insert the probe and the probe temp displays fine, but the timer reset, Hr, Min, Up, Down buttons do nothing. So, it still functions as a temp probe, but all its usefull features are dead.


Discovered I was still under warrantee, and since I had purchased directly from Thermoworks (recommended), I sent them an email. They promply sent a replacement, with a prepaid return label. Even included a small package of Jelly Belly's ! Nice touch.

Sometimes you have to have a product failure to really discover the value of a company. Customer service is 10 points, well done Thermoworks !

I've changed my rating to 5 stars, with customer service this good you can live with a glitch.
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on June 8, 2008
Actually, Cooks Illustrated recommended this thermometer "with reservations." Here's what they have to say:

"The best of the bunch-an easy-to-use thermometer from ThermoWorks ($19)-was great when it worked but has probes that even its manufacturer admits are sometimes defective. Until a better meat probe comes on the market, we recommend this one-with reservations. Check the probe's accuracy by boiling water and taking a reading before trying it with a roast. If the probe doesn't read very close to 212 degrees, ask for a replacement."

I also have a question about this item: the picture on AMAZON of the ThermoWorks Original Cooking Thermometer appears to be identical to the picture of the Poulder Original Cooking Timer and Thermometer. I wonder if they are the same . . .
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