We Tested the New ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2—Here’s What We Found Out

The small improvements on the ThermoPop 2 make our longtime favorite budget-friendly thermometer even better.

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thermopop 2

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

Straight to the Point

We’ve recommended the original ThermoPop for years, and the new ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2 is just as fast and accurate—and is even easier to use. It also fixes user complaints from the previous model, like having to press a button to change the display direction. It remains an accurate and budget-friendly thermometer.

We’ve been smitten with the inexpensive ThermoWorks ThermoPop ever since Kenji reviewed it in 2014 (and we’ve also raved about its pricier but still truly great sibling, the Thermapen ONE). So when we heard that ThermoWorks released a new, upgraded version of their wallet-friendly thermometer, we immediately got one for testing.

Thermoworks ThermoPop Probe Thermometer

What’s different about it? The ThermoPop 2 promises to cut down the temperature-reading time, with results in two to three seconds (the original ThermoPop is rated for three to four seconds). It also offers improved user functionality, particularly with the display screen, which auto-rotates the temperature reading depending on which way you hold the thermometer; the old version had a button that changed the display direction. It also features a backlight and larger screen. We set out to see if this new-and-improved version of our favorite inexpensive thermometer was as great as its predecessor.

The Tests

  • Cooking Tests: We used the ThermoPop 2 for more than two months, using it to temperature-check meat, poultry, pies, and more. 
  • Ice Water Test: We used the ThermoPop 2 to take the temperature of ice water, repeating this five times. We also took the temperature of the ice water with the Thermapen ONE to compare response time and accuracy. 
  • Boiling Water Test: We used the ThermoPop 2 to take the temperature of boiling water, repeating this five times. Like with the ice water test, we took the the temperature of the boiling water with the Thermapen ONE to compare response time and accuracy. 
  • Usability Tests: Throughout testing, we evaluated how easy the ThermoPop 2 was to use.

What We Learned

The ThermoPop 2 Was, Indeed, Fast

taking the temperature of ice water with thermopop 2

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

We used the ThermoPop 2 to temperature-check chicken breasts, legs, and thighs, as well as steaks, sausages, burgers, and even pies. We also ran it through some more traditional thermometer tests, including taking the temperature of boiling and ice water. For boiling water, the ThermoPop’s average response time was 3.7 seconds. We found the ThermoPop a bit slower when taking the temperature of ice water, with the average time being 4.6 seconds (though this is true of many thermometers when it comes to taking cold temps). 

But while these response time averages were a little slower than the brand’s claimed two to three seconds, we still found it more than sufficiently fast for everyday use. It’s also worth noting that the Thermapen ONE is slower than the stated 1-second response time in many instances, too (though it’s still incredibly fast). 

And while the Thermapen ONE beat the ThermoPop in all of our tests, with average response times of .9 seconds for boiling water and 1.93 seconds for ice water, unless you’re a candy maker and an extra second really matters, the ThermoPop 2 will do most cooks just fine.

It Was Quite Accurate

During testing, we compared the ThermoPop 2’s results to that of the ONE (our winning thermometer) and found differences (if there were any) negligible. They were usually within 1-degree of each other.

The Rotating, Larger Screen Was a Nice Added Feature

hand holding thermopop showing direction change of display

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

With the original ThermoPop, some users complained about the need to press a button to manually change the direction of the screen's view. To address this, the ThermoPop 2 offers a screen that automatically rotates the display. We found this new feature quite useful, since it made reading the temperature that much easier. It also has a new backlight, which It was particularly helpful when cooking in dark, cavernous oven or if you're just having trouble reading the screen. Additionally, the ThermoPop 2 features a substantially larger screen (and numbers) then the original version, which we found much easier to read.

The Verdict

Thermoworks ThermoPop Probe Thermometer

The ThermoPop 2, like its predecessor, is a great, affordable thermometer that will get the job done well during everyday kitchen use. While its response time didn’t improve that much, it’s very fast for an inexpensive thermometer, and the improvements to user functionality make it an even better tool than its original version. If you're looking for near-instant and even more accurate readings and don't mind spending more, consider investing in the Thermapen ONE

Price at time of publish: $35.

Key Specs

  • Features: Backlight display, rotating screen
  • Accuracy: Within ±1°F (±0.5°C)
  • Probe Length: 4.5 inches
  • Probe range: -58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)
  • Response time: Full reading in 2-3 seconds (0.4 seconds per time constant)
  • Waterproof: IP67
  • Warranty: 2 years
thermopop with bowl of ice behind it

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

FAQs

How fast is the ThermoPop 2?

The brand claims the ThermoPop 2 has a response time of between two and three seconds, though we found it took slightly longer. 

Is the ThermoPop 2 a good thermometer?

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly thermometer, the ThermoPop 2 is a great choice that provides quick and reliable results. 

Is the ThermoPop 2 waterproof?

Yes, the ThermoPop 2 has an IP67 rating. Let’s break it down: the 6 is the highest rating in the category of “total protection against solid ingress,” which means it’s dust-tight. The 7 is the third highest rating against water ingress, and ensures protection against 30 minutes of submersion at a depth of 1 meter. 

How can I check to see if an instant-read thermometer is accurate?

The simplest way to test the accuracy of an instant-read thermometer is either with ice or boiling water (or both). To run a cold test, fill a glass with ice and cold water, then top with even more ice—do this in a bowl or in the sink to manage overflow. Insert the thermometer and check the display, which should read 32°F or 0°C, or very close to that (one degree above or below is forgivable). To heat test your instant-read thermometer, bring a pot of water to the boil, insert the probe, and check the display. Ideally, you’ll see a number within a degree or two of 212°F or 100°C.

Can an instant-read thermometer be recalibrated?

Some instant-read thermometers have a dial or a button that will allow for recalibration—follow the instruction manual to ensure proper procedure. Many budget thermometers, however, cannot be recalibrated. In this case, it’s up to you to decide if you’d rather remain mindful of the temperature discrepancy, or replace your thermometer with a new, more accurate model. 

How do you clean an instant-read thermometer’s probe?

As with many kitchen tools, the best time to clean your instant-read thermometer is immediately after use. Wiping the probe with a paper towel or soft cloth is probably sufficient if you’ve measured the temperature of water or a dry ingredient such as flour, but you’ll want to use dish soap and hot water to clean the probe after inserting it into anything oily, doughy, or potentially harboring bacteria.