I am looking for a thermometer that can be inserted in a bread and let me know quickly what is the internal temperature. Tempted to buy the one nearing $100 US, but there are plenty at around $15. Any thoughts?
I've been using a very inexpensive digital thermometer for years. It works. It's advantage is its price. It's disadvantage is in the cheap construction of the piece that holds the battery. There's no doubt that after some few number of battery replacements it was fall apart. When that happens I'm going to start hunting for a much better device.
I've been using a Thermoworks, RT301WA Super-Fast™ Pocket Thermometer, for a year or more and have been happy with the results. I think they're usually around $20 US.Regards,
PS I Believe this (http://www.thermoworks.com/) is the same company that makes the Thermapen (and Thermoworks Pocket Thermometer), a product that does appear to justify it's price from comments and reviews I've heard and seen. However, I am adding this comment to say that the Pocket version I have takes between 6 and 10 seconds to stabilize when testing bread.
If I need one, I use cheap ones I buy at Target for about $10. They works great! In my kitchen they usually last at least 4-5 years before needing to be replaced.
FWIW, I had an urgent errand to run this weekend just after I had put my bread in the oven. It was a new recipe so I wasn't sure how long it would take to bake, so I asked my wife (who has never made bread and was very nervous) to check it after 35 min but not to remove it until the temp was at least 195'. She checked at 35 and it wasn't ready; ended up going for 55 min, but came out perfect.
I've been using a Super-Fast Thermapen 5 for the last seven years. That's the expensive one, but I bake professionally. It is indeed very fast, both measuring up and returning to ambient, and extremely accurate. This thermometer reads via thermocouple; that is, two wires of dissimilar metals are joined at the tip and a micro-chip compares and converts the two readings into temperatures. Hence the price. I've put exactly one replacement battery in it. This is the same thermocouple technology I use for masonry temps in my wood-fired oven. The cheapo versions are slower and not as accurate, and they use a single wire thermistor to take readings. Hence the price. Your choice.
Thermapen is a UK company with a large N Am dealer in Utah. I have no connection with them. It might be an idea to visit their website and subscribe to their newsletter. They do have sales from time to time. I've been using their digital thermometers (not expensive) for my cooler and freezer for some time now, and they're very good and accurate when tested. You can download free software for converting temps from F to C and back, plus just about anything else you'll run into.
Thank you. I appreciate the very helpful responses. Will probably start out with a less expensive (maybe $20) thermometer, but first will wait a while to see if one of the expensive thermapen thermometers goes on sale. With this bread obsession, trying not to spend all of my time and money on bread, dough, books and accoutrements.
Totally off topic: Did take a lovely photograph a few days ago of the oven at Pepe's Pizza in New Haven, Conn. If you are ever there, the oven is beautiful and the pizza is sublime. And I know pizza. I grew up in Brooklyn.
I've been using a CDN model DTQ450X for some time. It's a digital probe device which can easily measure the temperature at the centre of a loaf.
It's good for -40C to 230C (-40F to 450F). I bought mine in a UK cook shop, but it's stocked by Amazon both in UK and US and marketed by CDN who are in Portland OR.
The only downside is that you can't leave it in the oven, as I found out to my cost for the first one I owned!
Nothing new to add. Over the last 9 years I've used a host of thermometers for BBQing and Baking Breads. Most of these have been the less expensive ones which I have to replace about annually. I was given a themopen at Christmas and really like it. I keep it out of the kitchen "junk" drawers and I'm sure that technique would benefit thermometers in any price range.
I have been using my Polder Meat Thermometer for dough, ever since I got my proofer, as I can tell the temp outside of the box, and it has an "alarm", that can be set so if the dough goes over a certain temp it will go off, which is not always necessary, but it has helped. Originally for sticking in a pieces of meat while roasting, so you can tell the temp outside of the oven, it works great for dough, too. There are other brands of them, and even one for using outside, that are wireless, but the reviews on those are mixed, regarding how far away you can be with it.