Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Product Review: Thermoworks DOT Remote Probe Thermometer

Sometimes the best recipes are ones that are simple but well executed.  For example, a perfect steak doesn't need much other than quality beef, salt, pepper, and maybe garlic. 

Tools can be that way too.  Sometimes tools get so over-engineered that you forget what the original function was supposed to be. 

Dude #1:  Check out my new screwdriver.  It is made out of titanium, has surround sound, GPS, three USB ports, and comes with OnStar service!
Dude #2:  Cool!  How well does it drive screws?
Dude #1:  Screws?  

Just in time for the holidays, Thermoworks has come out with DOT - a well-designed remote probe thermometer with streamlined functionality.  It is simple enough that anyone can use it but it is engineered for the commercial kitchen. 

First let's look at the simple functions.  
  • It displays the current temperature.  
  • It has an alarm.  
  • It has two buttons that raise the alarm temperature up and down.  
That's it. Compare it next to my favorite remote probe thermometer, the ChefAlarm, and you can see how streamlined the functions are.

No key pad, no volumes, no timers, no data logging, no tenths of degrees, no low temp alarms, and no backlit displays.  Not that there's anything wrong with those things, I love my ChefAlarms (all three of them!).  This is just a matter of preference.  Some people are tech geeks like me and want things to fiddle with, adjust, and to entertain my ADHD brain.  Other people just want the thing to do it's damn job without having to mess with it.  The DOT is the latter. 

So if this thing is so bloody basic, why is it worth more than one you can buy at the hardware store for $20?  Although straight out of the box the DOT has all of the flare of a hockey puck, it is loaded with features that are integrated so well that they are practically invisible - a sign of exceptional engineering.  

The probe for example doesn't LOOK much different than the cheapo models but it is.  First, the cable probe on most cheap remote probe thermometers can only handle temperatures of up to 392°F which isn't very hot for a grill or oven.  This DOT probe cable can handle temperatures of up to 700°F and the probe is accurate at temperatures of -58°F to 572°F.  The probe also is ruggedized and sealed for high steam environments.  Will you notice that while cooking?  Nope, you don't notice what doesn't fail.  

The DOT has molded seals and plastic housing making it resistant to splashes, spills, and greasy hands that happen in kitchens everywhere - home or commercial. The $20 hardware store unit?  Not so much.  I've had those cheap ones get fogged up displays just from leaving them outside on a humid night.

What's in that skillet?  Oh, we got our first cold snap this weekend and I had a huge craving for a pot roast and veggies.  Yeah, this was all cooked inside in that metal box thing in the kitchen.

I tried something new and oven roasted the veggies before adding them to the pot roast for the last 30 minutes.  I will always be doing that from now on, totally worth the extra step!  Okay, back to the review.

The back view.  It has an on/off button that is easy to hit even with gloved hands.  It has magnets that make it useful for temporarily mounting on an oven or metal grill.
The DOT also comes with a rubber base and flip out kick stand so you can stand it upright and it will stay in place.  

Like it's more complex cousin, the Chef Alarm, the DOT can also use any of the Pro Series temp probes from Thermoworks, for high temps, air temperatures, sous vide, or even that wicked looking long probe.  It's for things like making candy, it's not an alien probe.  

So which one is right for you?  Either.  The ChefAlarm ($59) is that smart, philosophical, and introspective friend that intrigues you and makes you think about things a little deeper.  The DOT ($39) is the "let's just get the job done and then party" friend. 

The DOT is perfect for the home chef that only wants the bottom line or the busy commercial chef that doesn't want to be distracted with anything but results.  I think Thermoworks nailed it with their tagline - "DOT is engineered to do one thing, really well".

UPDATE January 15, 2017

I've now been using the DOT for over 2 years and just changed the batteries today.

Thermoworks DOT is a simple, accurate, and reliable remote probe thermometer.
DOT connected to an air temp probe and clip.  Shown with two cooking probes.

We have used the DOT rather heavily at home, for events, and at BBQ competitions.  Most often I use it with the air temp probe for my grills that don't have an accurate cooking temp thermometer (or if I have cold, big meats like a pork but near the temp probe for the grill).  But we also still use it for monitoring internal temps as well using the standard temp probes.

I still like the DOT, probably even more so now. It's accurate, has a small foot print in the grilling arena, and I appreciate its simplicity.  

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  Thermoworks is a product sponsor of my blog and I received the DOT to try out for free.  However, I am not an affiliate seller nor do I receive any monetary compensation from them.


  1. Thanks so your recommendations we bought a Thermapen and have been very pleased. Ours fits in your shirt pocket and isn't very fancy looking, but the important thing is that is works and is accurate. I can't say that for the last three I've bought and thrown out. Plus it's red and easy to find in the drawer. I really believe in this product line.

  2. I'm one of those "other people" you referred to and think I would love this. I'd just like to have a probe that last more than a few cooks and sounds like this one should.

  3. We use a Maverick - our BBQ area is not right by the house, so the remote feature is very helpful for us. We also like the double thermometers - one for the meat, one for the smoker temp. We started with a single remote version from Lowe's and did well with it, but we really wanted to be able to check the smoker temp without having to go out to the BBQ area over and over again.

  4. okay was hoping that it was waterproof not just splash proof. Still waiting for that as tired of bags or in a plastic case

  5. Great recommendations! I believe that when you cook, you should have an amazing device on hand too. Well, I also hope that this one is waterproof. This is going to be a perfect tool since the holiday season is fast approaching!

  6. I have a few of their products and they are, by far, the best I have used. Love them!

  7. Haha so true. I feel like most of the gadgets that come out these days can barely do the function they were intended for, but they can do twelve other things that you never knew you needed!

  8. Haha so true. I feel like most of the gadgets that come out these days can barely do the function they were intended for, but they can do twelve other things that you never knew you needed!

  9. So glad you posted about this - Monkey see/Monkey do - I went out and bought one for myself and one for my dad for Christmas - he will love it - even though he burns everything, no matter what "help" he gets! Love the tip about adding roasted veggies to the pot - going to try that soon!

  10. I too bought the thermapen on your rec, guess I need this one too. GREG

  11. Thanks Chris. I bought a new thermapen last year. Good to know if I think I must buy another.

  12. Can you use the probe that comes with the DOT to also measure the oven temp?

    1. Only a year late in answering Anonymous' question. The probe that comes with the DOT will register temps up to 572°. That's regardless of whether it's inserted into something or reading the ambient temp in your grill or oven. I don't know about you; 572° is way hotter than I ever heat my grill. Note that the cable of the DOT's probe can withstand temps up to 700°. Not planning to test that...


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.