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Stowe Boy

IR Thermometers

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I am thinking I want an IR thermometer. Then I got an email from Thermoworks, so I started looking.

 

I realize I know very little about IR thermometers, and should have more education before buying, if that is what I decide.

 

What say you? Do you have one? Likes? Dislikes? What features and specs should I look for?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have a cheapie from Amazon. I have had it for years. Seems to work fine.  

 

I wiuld think about your desiered application. 

 

Need high temps, types of batteries, and do you want the target area to spread out with distance. 

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Max temp is the biggie IMHO. Some top out around 500 wich is too low. You want one that can go to 900-1000 if you want to use it for moderate to high temp pizzas or naan. I can't think of anything I would use it for that would be hotter than that. 

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I have this one and would definitely recommend it today or any time they run a sale. For $33 it's a real bargain, and about as much of an IR gun as almost any of us would ever need for cooking purposes.  

 

Two things that I think you really need to consider... The max temp range, this one goes to 1022.... And the "optics ratio"... This one is 12/1.  What that means is your range to test a 1" spot is 12" (in this case).  For $33 (and ThermoWorks quality and reputation) those parameters are awesome.  Another good thing about this model, it runs on two AAA batteries! cheap and easy to change, etc... I use mine all the time to get a surface temp on pizza stones.  Only drawback on this one for me is that it looks like a cool alien laser shooter gun that my boys always seem to gravitate towards and "borrow".  Guess the kid in me would probably chalk that up as a positive too. ;)

 

If you are in the market for one f these at all, this one is a ton of bang for your buck.  Love it.

 

http://www.thermoworks.com/IR-Gun?utm_source=Nl-2017Feb22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=IRGun&utm_content=inbox&utm_campaign=Feb2017-IR-Sale-Ends-24HourExtension-cs

 

They've got a sweet looking pocket model that I considered getting, but the optics in it are 6/1, so you have to be within 6 inches to get a reading... And it doesn't even hit 500F.  

 

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6:1 doesn't mean you have to be 6 inches away to get a reading.  It means that the area its taking the temperature of is 1" circle and 6" away, 2" circle at 12" away and so on. 

 

All of these are basically a low res IR camera.  It takes a blurry IR picture, and integrates (adds) sum of squares all the pixels together to get a power estimate.  It looks that power estimate up in a table to get a temp. 

 

The further back you are the bigger area covered by the picture and the wider the area that is integrated for a measurement.

 

The other gotcha is that its an optical device.  If the object is "shiny" in IR you'll get an inaccurate reading b/c you are measuring "what is in the mirror" not the mirror itself.  Think of taking a picture with your phone of a mirror.  Things that are "shiny" for IR are usually but not always "shiny" for visible light.  This means you'll get an inaccurate (usually too low) result on a shiny stainless steel cookie sheet or if you aim it into a pot of (shiny) boiling water.

 

This works because hot objects emit IR light (when they get hot enough to glow they are just emitting shorter wavelength visible light).

 

If you want it for cooking 750F should be enough unless you really intend to get your stone above that temp and care precisely how much over it is (HHH means >= 750).  Hasta la vista gaskets!  There used to be some inexpensive ones (about $100) that went up to 1500C but can't find those anymore.  Everything less than $100 seems to be 1200F or below (to low to take temp of the fire).

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Timtogrill said:

I got this one on order, don't know anything about it other than good reviews. This is the new version 16/1, the older one 12/1 is cheaper and has over 3,000 reviews and still 41/2 stars.....FWIW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Thermometer-Etekcity-Lasergrip-630-Non-contact/dp/B00K5QVBCU/ref=dp_ob_title_kitchen

 

Amazon tells me that I bought one of those almost exactly one year ago.

 

It works fine. I bought that one because I like that the dual lasers five you an indication of how large a spot it is interpreting. My old Fluke IR thermo did not have those and once you get more than a few feet away it's not clear what is being read.

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I've got a Digitech - here's a couple of pics of it in action last night as I was preheating my pizza stone.

 

After I aimed at the stone with the laser, release the trigger and the last temp is held on the screen:

20170702_174157small.thumb.jpg.9c725c6d3228fc88c018d100aaf4badb.jpg

 

 

Here's the laser in action. A lot harder to aim the laser with one hand and snap a pic with the other than it may seem,.,

20170702_174250small.thumb.jpg.00fce8688c67bf0f988547c99e2eb408.jpg

 

 

The laser is highly recommended.  You can see exactly what you're measuring, which is crucial when measuring things through small holes like the top vent, or annoying the crap out of other people you live with.  If you get them angry enough, you might even be able to measure their temperature rise!!! :-D:-D

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I got a VERY inexpensive one on Amazon, and it works very well and reads to 1022 degrees. https://www.amazon.com/Thermometer-Non-Contact-Temperature-Instant-read-Emissivity/dp/B019TRGYW2/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1499187701&sr=1-1&keywords=holdpeak+laser+thermometer  

 

Really useful for reading the pizza stone through the exhaust vent.

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My go to for anything temp related is Thermoworks.  It's more expensive, but it's dadgum near bullet proof amd they really stand behind their products.  If I pay more, I expect more service.  Thermoworks has been outstanding.  When I did have one problem, they got the deal done, no questions, no delay.  

 

I heartily recommend Thermoworks.  

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