Thermopop vs Thermapen: Choose the Most Precise Meat Thermometer

From temperature reading speed to overall durability of the meat thermometer - we've picked the most important characteristics to compare Thermopop vs Thermapen
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 26, 2023
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Whether you’re roasting a turkey, smoking a brisket, or barbecuing some delicious burgers, you need a meat thermometer on hand to make sure the meat you’re serving is cooked to the perfect temperature. This not only ensures that the food you’re preparing is safe to eat but also moist and juicy instead of tough and dry.

ThermoWorks has a couple of options to choose from when it comes to thermometers, which has many people comparing the Thermopop vs Thermapen models. These two devices have some of the same features but also enough differences to have some users choosing one over the other.

Though they are both handy to have on hand, you may want to consider what each one has to offer before purchasing one of these thermometers. The following information may help you pick the perfect one for your cooking and grilling needs.

ThermoWorks brand

Thermoworks has been in business since 1997, focusing on reliable instruments and sensors for all your temperature measurement needs. Their products include budget-friendly pocket thermometers, high-speed thermometers, and even professional meters, giving their customers the right tool for any job. They have various types available, from probes to wireless meat thermometers, like the ThermoPro TP20.

The company’s headquarters is located to the south of Salt Lake City, Utah, and is run by highly-educated individuals that focus on design, operations, marketing, and technical support. This means that they are fully trained to create and deliver the best thermometers possible to their customers and have the expertise needed to deal with any questions or concerns those considering their products may have.

What is Thermapen

The Thermapen is one of the highest-rated temperature devices that this company has to offer, which has also made it so popular. It is a folding probe that uses high-end sensors and technology to make it as accurate as possible. It also has some great features that are extremely easy to use, even in low-light conditions.

How it works

The Thermapen works like many other thermometers, using the long, thin, folding probe inserted into the meat to read the internal temperature. It includes a thermocouple sensor to increase the accuracy and the range of the reading temperature and thermistor technology to slow down that reading as well. It works fast, with a wide range of temperatures, and seemingly lasts forever with only a single AAA battery for power.

What is Thermopop

The Thermopop is a more conventional-looking meat thermometer, with a bulbed head and long probe. It is easy to use, splash-proof, quick-opening, and includes both Fahrenheit and Celsius options.

How it works

This meat thermometer includes an inline thermistor probe that slowly reads the temperature of the meat it is inserted into. It also has a quick-opening feature that shows the backlit screen for easy reading, plus it includes an auto-shutoff to help preserve the battery for longer use. The display rotates, so you can read the temperature from any angle for added convenience.

Thermopop Thermapen MK4
Probe length 4.5 in 4.3 in
Temp reading speed 3-4 sec 2-3 sec
Accuracy ±2°F ±0.7°F
Battery life 1500 hrs 3000 hrs
Waterproof rate IP66 IP67
Probe range -58 to 572°F -58.0 to 572.0°F
Operating range 32 to 122°F -4 to 122°F
Sleep mode 10 min 10-180 sec
Weight 0.2 lbs 0.26 lbs


Difference between Thermapen and Thermopop

If you’re trying to compare the Thermapen vs Thermopop meat thermometers, it’s easiest to do so by looking at each of the features these models have to offer individually to see how they stack up in specific areas. The following sections break down what these thermometers have to offer.

Reading speed

The reading speed of the thermometer is one of the most important features since you usually have your oven, barbecue, or smoker wide open when checking the temperature. The slower the reading speed is, the longer you need that door open and the more heat you lose.

Luckily, the Thermapen is one of the fastest thermometers there is when it comes to the reading speed, even faster than the Kizan Digital Meat Thermometer. It only takes 2 to 3 seconds for a reading to show up, allowing you to do a quick check and get that door closed to keep the meat cooking as fast as possible.

The Thermapop is a bit slower when it comes to temperature reading speeds at 3 to 4 seconds. Both of these models use thermistor technology for their temperature readings but the Thermapen also includes the thermocouple sensor technology to speed up the process.

Body and screen

Thermopop vs Thermapen: Choose the Most Precise Meat ThermometerThe body of the Thermapop is long and thin, with a head like a balloon and a long thin probe at the other end. The LCD screen is easy to read, with buttons that allow you to turn it on and rotate the display as needed to read the numbers clearly, plus it has bright backlighting to make it visible even in the dimmest oven.

The Thermapen has a plastic body with a folding probe for protection when you’re not using it and to create a more compact device. It automatically switches on when you touch it, so you don’t need to fiddle with any buttons to see the large LCD screen.

The digits on the display also rotate automatically, depending on the position of the thermometer, which makes it easier to read the screen at all times. The backlighting is intuitive, so it adjusts as needed according to the lighting in the area you’re using it.

Both the Thermapop and the Thermapen have both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings available, so you can swap them as needed for any recipe you’re using.


The accuracy is another important feature, especially when you’re cooking something that needs precise temperatures to avoid under or overcooking for safety and the perfect flavor. The Thermapop offers fairly accurate readings, though they may be +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit of the actual temperature.

The Thermapen is a little more consistent when it comes to accuracy, giving you temperature readings that are +/- 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit of the actual temperature. This is due to the thermocouple sensor on the end of the Thermapen’s probe, which helps increase its accuracy as well as its range when reading the temperature of whatever you’re cooking.

Water resistance

Though you likely don’t plan to dunk your meat thermometer in a pot of soup, there are times when it will be introduced to moisture when cooking or cleaning up afterward. Water resistance can help keep your device in perfect working order by keeping moisture out of the delicate inner workings.

The Thermapop model is splash-proof, with an IP66 rating, which means that it can handle a bit of water splashed onto the device, though immersing it in a sink full of water when cleaning it will likely destroy it, so it’s best to use it carefully.

The Thermapen has a bit more protection when it comes to waterproofing. It has an IP rating of IP67, so it can be fully submerged in water for a short time without ruining the internal mechanics of the device. It is also protected against dust, so you can use it outside without worrying about damage to the thermometer.

Probe and operating range

As we mentioned above, the Thermopop has a long, thin probe with thermistor technology for reading the temperature of the foods you’re cooking. It also has a wide range of -58 degrees F to 572 degrees F. This allows you to use it for a huge array of foods, both frozen and cooked, as well as with almost any cooking appliance, from ovens to barbecues to deep fryers. It also has an operating range of 32 to 122 degrees F.

Despite the addition of the thermocouple sensor on the Thermopen’s probe, this one doesn’t have a wider range than the Thermopop. It also reads the temperatures in the -58 degree F to 572 degree F range.

The shorter probe on this one does make it a bit harder to use in some areas, so you may want to skip the deep fryer with this one to reduce the chances of burns. It is still a handy oven or smoker thermometer, though.  The operating range is -4 to 122 degrees F, so you can use it to barbecue even when the weather turns a bit chilly.

Thermopop vs Thermapen: Choose the Most Precise Meat ThermometerWorking time

The working time is another feature worth noting when choosing a new meat thermometer since the models that don’t last very long will leave you with no way to monitor the internal temperature of the items you’re cooking.

The Thermopop uses a CR2032 lithium coin cell to power it, which lasts about 5000 hours. It also shuts off automatically after 10 minutes to help prolong the battery life as much as possible.

A single 1.5V AAA battery is used to power the Thermapen, giving it a maximum of 3000 hours of use. This device also has a sleep mode that is preset to 30 seconds, though this can be adjusted from 10 to 180 seconds as needed to help conserve the battery.

Ease of use

The easier a meat thermometer is to use, the better, especially when you’re trying to organize an entire meal and keep everything cooking at the optimal temperatures. Though the Thermopop is simple to use, it does have a few buttons to deal with to turn it on or off and rotate the screen.

The Thermapen is a bit easier to use in this area since it comes on automatically when you touch it, so you can just open it up and insert the probe into your meat. It also rotates the screen automatically, so you don’t need to do anything extra to be able to clearly read the display. This makes this a much simpler option, especially for beginners who have never had to deal with using a meat thermometer before.

Durability and warranty

Both the Thermapen and Thermopop meat thermometers are quite durable, though the waterproofing and folding probe on the Thermapen make it a bit more long-lasting. These two models are built using high-quality materials that won’t wear out after a few uses, so you should be able to use them for years.

The Thermapen and the Thermopop devices both include a 2-year warranty, which covers any defects in the components or the workmanship that was used in the making of these thermometers. If one of these models is defective, ThermoWorks will repair or replace it for free. This doesn’t include normal wear and tear or any damage caused by improper use, so it is best to treat your meat thermometer carefully to keep it running as it’s supposed to.

Final thoughts

There are a ton of different meat thermometers available, from the classic probe models to the fancy Bluetooth meat thermometers. Those looking for a quality device know that ThermoWorks is a brand you can trust, with several different options to choose from for your cooking needs.

There is no right choice for anyone when comparing the Thermopop vs Thermapen models. These two thermometers include great features and decent materials that make them well worth trying out.

The Thermopop is a bit cheaper, with a traditional look and classic features, though it still does a decent job in any kitchen or backyard. The Thermapen is easier to use with some updated functions and more accurate readings. It also has a more intuitive design, including the automatic on and backlighting features, so for professional use, this is the better choice.

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