Beginning with the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 thermometer here, I’m reviewing food and drink and their associated tools and paraphernalia on this site now. There’s more of it rolling through Chez Bankshot than all the food and drink clients can approve or fits into their coverage style, and it helps me expand as a food and drink writer to do so here. Plus I like saluting a job well done, and it’s good daily writing warm-up for me to not launch full-tilt into comedic nihilism.
My recommendations may come with affiliate links, because this site doesn’t use ads and likely never will. If it’s good enough to suggest you try, it’s good enough to make a nickel helping you acquire it. In the interests of my journalistic integrity, which I hope is long on integrity even if short on journalism: I don’t accept payment from brands for reviews, don’t actually like owning a lot of stuff or the hassle of getting rid of it, and probably won’t bother writing about bad products, because my life’s too short to craft 800 words on why some designers’ hard work sucks (unless it’s so egregious I need to get it off my chest). Now with the standard affiliate reliability warning of “I may get paid if you buy this” thus disclaimed, let’s look at the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 Instant Read Meat Thermometer, an absolutely banging tool that came into my possession following my Butcher Box review at Tasting Table, and which I would have been deeply grateful to own while writing that.
Summary: ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 Instant Read Meat Thermometer
I tell you quite simply this is the best thermometer I’ve ever used, to a point where it makes me realize the shortcomings of everything that had served me alright until now. This is made for pro chefs at the top level, with enough heft that you can’t ever misplace it. You can use it from almost any angle for realtime temperature, freeze the display, and set it down on the counter, where an impressive power-saving feature makes it inert until the second you pick it up. Its entire design is about efficiency and efficacy: no waiting for it to play catch-up while your food’s temperature rises. Nothing warms my heart like great design, especially when it’s warming my food accurately.
Features of the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Open the probe just shy of 90 degrees, and the X10 thermometer automatically turns on. You can extend it to 270, and it even has a sensor that will flip the screen so the display is always rightside up. Lefties will love it, although I think this is less for ambidexterity and more for reaching around odd angles in crowded ovens and grills.
Put it down, it shuts itself off, then easily awakens as long as the probe is open. It has both a magnet and an eyelet for storage. At a quarter-pound, it’s a heavy thermometer, but it’s also about half a foot long, so you were never going to forget where you put it.
It’s even IP67 waterproof-rated up to three feet for a half hour, meaning if you drop it in your stockpot, you’ve got time to fish it out unharmed, though I can’t speak to the plastic leeching out or not at simmering temperatures. Let’s just not risk it.
Does the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 work well?
Instant readout is a joy, and it’s hard to see myself ever going back. Thus far I’ve liked analog thermometers because they don’t need batteries. Get one and it’s good forever. But as I’ve gotten older, impatient, and assigned a lot more subscription meat boxes to review, I have to say even the amateur chef has an advantage in knowing the exact temperature immediately.
Like an electric toothbrush, it seems like a negligible advantage and a waste of energy until you realize how effective it is. No more waiting ten to thirty seconds for the thermometer needle to chase the escalating heat, taunted by the knowledge that your 140℉ filet had been 129 when you’d originally stuck the probe in. This is especially useful for thin cuts; after all, not everyone lives someplace where two-inch slabs of steak are common or affordable. A lot of us are eating thin filets.
Reader, I am changed in my opinions. I may now temper chocolate to prove I can do so freehand without breaking it. (But if you have a sous vide, this remains the way to go.)
Screen and batteries: ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10
In conjunction with its speed, the thermometer’s hold button is useful for roasts and other oven fare: open door, freeze the readout, and get out before you lose more than half the heat in there. You don’t need to stick your head in an oven to see where your entree stands, and with the ease of this thing, you’ll never want to.
The LCD screen is very easy to read even in full sunlight or total darkness, with light letters on a dark background. Go ahead and grill at an equatorial beach, and see if this thing can’t take a direct sunbeam. It can:
Sit around waiting for a total eclipse, and you’ll find it just as intelligible. Really, just spectacular design choices everywhere but encapsulated here: it legitimately warms my heart to see form follow function this well.
I haven’t tried to change the batteries, but they seem easily accessible with a small phillips-head screwdriver. ChefsTemp promises 3000 hours of battery life, though, so this is something you’ll only do a few times in your life.
Storing the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10
The magnet is very strong: on a proper metal door, it snaps to place. On the more elusively placed metal of modern plastic refrigerators, you may have to search for a sweet spot and expect the weight of the thermometer to sink it down the surface until it’s comfortable. If your fridge is enclosed on five sides, as so many are, you may find the Chef’s Temp Thermometer unable to stick to the front of the fridge. This isn’t the thermometer’s fault, of course, so no points deducted, but keeping it handy may prove more of a challenge if you’re not wearing an apron or chef’s whites with a few committed pockets.
Fortunately, the broad eye at the other end is wide enough to sit on even a coat hook, let alone the s-hooks of your chef’s rack or hang from your Weber…which—I haven’t tested if that’s safe—you might want to keep a close eye on it if you’re brave enough to try.
How the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 could improve
What’s to criticize? Nothing. Even suggestions for a change only yield minorly incremental improvements. It might be nice to see a rechargeable port and never have to change the battery at all, but I imagine this would require more frequent charging, and nobody wants a dead thermometer at the wrong moment.
The tension on the probe needle, while ensuring it will never swing open on its own, is maybe twice the amount of resistance level you’d expect. Opening this is a two-handed job, which is not always convenient when you’re far enough along that you’re checking everything on the stove is done and ready to serve at the same time. Perhaps a switchblade-style tension release in future versions? Again: it might make this thermometer better, but not so much better your experience changes. We’re in the 99th percentile here.
I’d be interested in a half-size travel version of this, something that doesn’t weigh half a pound. There’s not really a need for something smaller or lighter, so much as it’s notable what a mammoth this is. I think it’s meant to be hard to lose or forget, and to take a real beating if need be. A home chef version might benefit from a reduction in size, and hopefully with it, in price.
So finally: cost. Let’s be clear that $70 is a whole honkin’ lot of money for something that often comes as a free gift with other cookware, and if you just want to get within underhand throwing distance of a rare/medium rare/well-done-but-damn-your-hubris range, this probably isn’t for you. If you do any kind of cooking where precision and timing are important, though, I would strongly consider even my usual tightwad, DIY lifehack self to just shut up and get it. For the price of a restaurant meal, you can make a lifetime of them at home. This tank is built to last, and will, if not improve your cooking, certainly safeguard you against some of its mistakes while improving your cooking experience.