Monday, November 25, 2013

Beer Can Chicken {ThermoWorks review}


Being a food blogger, I get a lot of emails with offers to sample products for review.  Like multiple emails a day.  Most of them I turn down, as in case you haven’t noticed, I pretty much strictly post recipes.  Very rarely do I agree to review products, as I just typically don’t have time, nor the passion for it.  Plus, I don’t like it when I read a blog and all they seem to talk about are the free stuff they got, free trips, etc.  But every once in a while an opportunity comes my way to review a product I’ve always been curious about.  So please know that I won’t be turning my blog into a big ol’ commercial site, I’m just going to take a rare moment and tell you about this awesome product!

I was offered the chance to review a ThermoWorks Chef Alarm Thermometer and the Pro Series Needle Probe.  Before getting the chance to use this I only had the standard meat thermometer, and a standard candy thermometer.  When cooking meat, I would pull it out of the oven, shove in the huge prong (and let so much juice ooze out) then wait and wait as the temperature needle slowly slowly climbed.  Often the temperature would indicate that it needed to cook longer, so back in it went, and I would check again in 10 minutes.  Same thing, it would read too low, back in.  Next time I checked it I might check a different area, and this would read well over the desired temp, which meant I overcooked it!  It was always so frustrating.  We have two different standard meat thermometers and I would try both and get different readings.  It always drove me nuts!

I read a lot of reviews on the ThermoWorks brand before I even accepted the offer.  I found one group of people who fanatically endorse the brand, and that is Big Green Egg users.  My friend’s dad has a Big Green Egg, and I know that’s almost like joining a cult.  They become obsessed with their Big Green Egg, and the forum I read had everyone raving over their ThermoWorks thermometer, saying if you’re going to cook with the best, you ought to use the best thermometer.  We don’t have a Big Green Egg, but we do grill with charcoal only.  Nathan is opposed to gas grilling.  We have also transitioned from standard charcoal briquettes to the natural lump charcoal.  The taste difference is noticeable, and SO MUCH better.  But there has been a little learning curve for Nathan (the grill master of the house) as far as experience with the heat retention and temperature.  It seems lump charcoal burns a little faster.  This is where the ThermoWorks thermometer has really come in handy!  Sometimes the coals aren’t hot as long as Nathan expected, so things will need to cook a little longer.  We love having instant accuracy with our ThermoWorks!  My dad, who smokes brisket and pulled pork in his smoker was even a little jealous of my ThermoWorks.  He said he has an instant read thermometer, but it’s not as good a brand as mine.  Looks like I know what to get him for Christmas now!

With my very first use of the ThermoWorks Chef Alarm I was truly amazed at how fast & accurate it was!  I used it when I was poaching a chicken breast, and I loved seeing the temperature instantly.  Another time it came in super handy is when I was cooking meatloaf.  I varied from my standard recipe as I was using ground beef (when I normally use turkey), and I misread the instructions and added an entire 8oz can of tomato sauce that was supposed to go on top as a glaze halfway through baking.  My meatloaf was extra moist, and I knew it would need to cook longer than the instructions, but I didn’t know how much longer.  The ThermoWorks thermometer was awesome because I could quickly take the temperature to determine whether or not it was safe to eat!  It took an extra 20 minutes, and I’m so glad I was able to accurately know the meatloaf was finished.

The most awesome thing though about the ThermoWorks Chef Alarm thermometer is that it can be used for more than just cooking with meat!  As the holiday season approaches, I forsee lots of use of it to replace my clunky candy thermometer.  This is where the Pro Series Needle Probe comes in handy, as it works in instances other (thicker) probes cannot.  You can use it for making:

  • candy
  • marshmallows
  • fudge
  • yogurt
  • bread

This Thanksgiving if it’s your job to cook the turkey this year and you’re a bit nervous about it, I suggest picking up one of these.  On the ThermoWorks website, the Chef Alarm is only $59 and comes with the Pro Series High Temp Cooking Probe.  The thinner Pro Series Needle Probe is an additional accessory for only $15.  And their Superfast Thermapen is $96, but they are running a promotion right now where you can get 2 for $85 each.  I was recently reading some tips in preparation of Thanksgiving on Top 10 Thanksgiving Tips Solved on and even that article recommends ThermoWorks!  Most recently we used it for Beer Can Chicken, one of Nathan’s favorite simply & easy things to put on the grill.  Click below for the recipe!


**This is not a sponsored post, as I was not compensated.  I was however provided the Chef Alarm, and the Pro Series Needle Probe for review.  As you can tell I was highly impressed with this product.  This post contains affiliate links, and I get a small referral compensation if you purchase.**


Beer Can Chicken

Yield: 1 chicken

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on heat of your grill, size of chicken

Note that the chicken does not go directly over the hot coals. It needs indirect heat to cook.


1 whole chicken, giblets removed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
seasoning of your choice, we used Weber's Kick 'N Chicken grinder
1 can beer (Nathan used Terrapin Recreation Ale)

Special tools:
beer can chicken holder (you can get one as cheap as $2.99 on Amazon right now!)


Preheat coals on one side of the grill.

Drink (or pour out) half of the beer. Place it in the center of the beer can chicken holder. Rub the chicken with oil and season as desired. Place chicken on the beer can chicken holder, with the beer going into the chicken cavity.

Transfer the beer can chicken holder onto the grill, on the opposite side of the coals. Do not place directly above the hot coals. Close the lid. After 1 hour check the temperature of the chicken, and cook until temperature registers 165 degrees.


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4 Responses to “Beer Can Chicken {ThermoWorks review}”

  1. Pingback: Top 5 List: Best Raves & Recipes for the ChefAlarm | Blog | ThermoWorks

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