The single most important tool a cook can own is a reliable instant read thermometer. The ThermoWorks Thermapen has long been considered the gold standard of digital instant read thermometers, and for good reason.
The ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 (pronounced “Mark 4”) was the latest version of the super-fast Thermapen classic — at the time this review was originally published. This review is still accurate and the Mk4 is still an amazing thermometer. That said, there’s an even better thermometer available now, though slightly more expensive. Our review of the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE describes the differences; you can’t go wrong with either one.
The easy-to-read display of the Themapen Mk4 is equipped with an intelligent backlight. A light sensor monitors the ambient light levels and will automatically turn the backlight on. The light sensor can also be covered with your finger to engage the backlight if you need it. The display automatically rotates so you will always be seeing the readout in an upright position without cocking your head to read temperatures.
The Mk4 is also waterproof with an IP rating of IP 66/67. Please note that while the Mk4 is washable with a damp cloth it is not dishwasher safe.
There are also several changeable configurations in the Mk4 so you have some flexibility to set it up exactly how you want:
- Temperature in °F or °C
- Display Resolution in 1° or 0.1°
- Screen Rotation to 360° for full four way rotation or the 180° two way rotation
- Auto Sleep Time Adjust to control the lapse time before the Mk4 goes into sleep mode
The Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 operates on 1 AAA 1.5v battery and uses a micro thermocouple type of probe with a read time of 2-3 seconds. We are often asked if the speed of a thermometer is really all that important? Our answer is “Yes!” A slow reading thermometer is certainly better than no thermometer, but having an instant thermometer that combines speed and accuracy is very convenient.
Thermapen Mk4 is available in ten colors so you can be sure to get something that fits your style. These colors are also important to the food industry as many professionals use color coding as a safety measure to prevent cross contamination—using only a certain color tool on a certain type of food.
Every Thermapen Mk4 is tested before shipping and comes with a NIST-Traceable calibration certificate to insure accurate temperature readings. If you’d like to learn more about ThermoWorks calibration methods you can check them out here.
- Temperature Range: –58.0°F to 572.0°F (–49.9°C to 299.9°C)
- Accuracy: ±0.7°F (±0.4°C) from -58°F to 392°F (–49.9°C to 199.9°C) otherwise ±1.8°F (±1.0°C)
- Response Time: 3 seconds (reads to within 1°F of final temperature of an ice bath in 3 seconds)
- Resolution: Factory set to 1° (user reconfigurable to 0.1°)
- Units: °C/°F switchable (user reconfigurable)
- Probe: 4.3 L inches, High Performance Type K Thermocouple
- Battery: 1.5 volt AAA, Battery Life 3,000 hours typical (without backlight)
- Sleep Mode: 10 to 180 seconds, user selectable (user reconfigurable to disable)
- Water Resistance: IP 66/67 Waterproof
- Display: 1 H x 1.54 W inches (25 H x 39 W mm) LCD, rotates 360°, w/ Intelligent Backlight
- Calibration: Includes NIST-traceable calibration certificate
- Warranty: 2 years, this does not apply to the probe. The probe is covered for 6 months
- Certification: NIST-Traceable calibration certificate with test data
Information taken from Thermoworks.com
What We Loved
There’s so much to love about the Thermapen Mk4. The AAA batteries used are easier to locate than the coin type battery used in the classic Thermapen. The fast and accurate read time of 2-3 seconds is amazing. The easy to read auto rotating display with intelligent backlight is a must have feature.
The waterproof feature is certainly a plus, but remember the unit is not dishwasher safe. The 2-year warranty on the body and the 6-month warranty on the probe is hard to beat. ThermoWorks has one of the best service departments in the business so there’s a good chance even if your Themapen Mk4 is out of warranty, it is repairable at a minimal cost.
What Could Be Improved
It’s rare that we say this, but we’re hard pressed to find anything for improvement with the Thermapen Mk4. Many reviewers point to the cost as an area of fault, we just don’t see that. The Mk4 is not an overpriced product for what you get. The bottom line, we cannot find an area of the Thermoworks Thermapen Mk 4 that needs improving.
Who It’s For
The Thermapen Mk4 is for anyone who cooks. Whether you’re a griller, cook, baker, candy maker – this is the tool for you. All cooks need a good instant read thermometer and the Thermapen Mk4 is the top of its class.
When it comes to instant read thermometers you will be hard pressed to find a better option than the Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4. This instant meat thermometer is a great value. It’s repairable, it’s going to last for years and is backed by a ThermoWorks warranty.
Want your own digital meat thermometer for free? Thermoworks gives away a Mk4 every Monday, be sure you subscribe to the Thermoworks newsletter to be entered to win. They also keep you informed of all their sales so it’s worth the subscription. To ensure you’re getting the best price, buy the Thermapen directly from the ThermoWorks website. Amazon, eBay, etc. are not authorized dealers.
If you’re interested in ThermoWorks cooking thermometers or other ThermoWorks thermometer reviews be sure to check out our equipment review section.