ThermoPop vs Dash: Battle of the Pocket Thermometers

ThermoWorks is a company known for producing high-quality thermometers, and ThermoPop and Dash are two of the best small thermometers on the market. Known for its accuracy, speed and affordable price, ThermoPop by has been a popular instant-read thermometer for many years. Now ThermoWorks have released Dash, the latest instant-read that looks very similar to the ThermoPop, but with a few small differences. I wanted to compare the two thermometers in a head-to-head battle to see which pocket thermometer is best.

When comparing the Dash and ThermoPop side-by-side, the Dash has more features. Dash is more accurate, has a larger screen, is waterproof (rather than splash proof), and auto rotates 180° when operating at different angles. ThermoPop on the other hand is less expensive, and has a push button that allows 360° rotation.

Dash vs ThermoPop Speed

There’s no difference between the Dash, and ThermoPop in terms of read speed. The two pocket thermometers give a reading within 3- 4 seconds. Thermometers have sensors at the tip of the probe, so the sensor determines the speed. Dash and ThermoPop use the cheaper thermistor sensor, whereas the highest rated instant read thermometers such as the MK4 use the faster, more expensive thermocouple sensor. The difference however is only 1 or 2 seconds, which isn’t a deal breaker for most people. Keep in mind, when compared to the competition, the Dash and ThermoPop are super fast. Some cheaper instant-reads take 10 to 20 seconds to give a temperature reading.

Instant-Read Thermometer Speed

When smoking meat, you need to open the lid several times during the cook to perform various tasks. One such task is using an instant-read thermometer to check the internal meat temperature. When the lid of the smoker is open, a slow thermometer can waste precious seconds and cause massive temperature fluctuations once the lid goes back on. A fast thermometer will save you precious time and will keep your cooker’s temperature stable.

Waterproof vs Splash Proof Thermometer

The ThermoPop is splash proof whereas the Dash is waterproof. The international standard for a protective seal on electronic devices is called an IP rating (Ingress Protection). The Dash has an IP rating of 67, which is the highest rating on a thermometer. The ThermoPop has an IP rating of 66, which makes it splash-proof. Instant Read Thermometers really take a beating in commercial settings where they are used day in, day out.

ThermoWorks designed the Dash to withstand dirt, grease, water, etc. The ThermoPop is still suitable for commercial settings, but needs a little more care. Backyard barbeque enthusiasts really put their thermometers to the test. Ask any pitmaster how chaotic smoking can get, especially while you’re learning. Whenever you have the lid of your smoker open, every second is precious, so you have to move fast. All of this fast movement and rushing while using a thermometer causes it to get wet and dirty unless you are careful. Waterproof instant-read thermometers are just more practical for meat smoking. 

Operating Range Dash vs ThermoPop

Thermometers are exposed to extreme temperatures, so operating range is another important consideration when choosing an instant-read thermometer. Not to be confused with probe range, operating range is related to the temperature the thermometer housing can withstand. The outer casing on the Dash and ThermoPop  can withstand up to 122°F when exposed to heat and 32°F, which is comparable to the top-rated MK4 (4 to 122°F). The only difference is the MK4 can handle colder temperatures.

Dash vs ThermoPop Accuracy 

Accuracy is the most important feature when choosing a thermometer. If the thermometer is inaccurate, then what’s the point? When compared to the competition, all ThermoWorks instant-reads give highly accurate readings.

One of the most significant differences between the Dash and ThermoPop is accuracy. Dash is far more accurate than the ThermoPop. ThermoPop is accurate to ±2.0°F (±1°C) whereas the Dash is accurate to ±0.9°F (0.5°C). When comparing this to the best thermometer on the market, the MK4 Thermapen is almost twice as accurate as the ThermoPop, measuring  ±0.7°F (±0.4°C). However, that’s not to say the ThermoPop is inaccurate. The ThermoPop is still considered to be a highly accurate thermometer, especially when you compare it to its competitors. Keep in mind that we are comparing the differences between high-end thermometers. Also keep in mind the Thermapen is triple the price of the ThermoPop and Dash. 

Are Cheap Thermometers Accurate?

Cheaper thermometers can be so far off, they are dangerous. Accurate internal meat temperature readings are especially important when cooking fish and poultry because of the high levels of bacteria. The statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are frightening. Foodborne illnesses kill and hospitalized thousands of Americans every year. Uncooked meat can expose you to bacteria such as Salmonella, E-coli, Staphylococcus aureus. If you’re cooking meat with an inaccurate thermometer, you’re putting yourself and your friends and family at risk. Without a good thermometer, you’re operating in the dark.

When you buy a thermometer, you trust it’s accurate. It is for this reason I prefer to choose my company before I choose my thermometer. ThermoWorks and ThermoPro are two leading thermometer companies with a proven track record. The market is full of cheap competitors that appear good, but when tested, don’t stand up. 

Dash vs ThermoPop Price

The two ThermoWorks pocket thermometers are similar in price and are usually sold between $35 and $40. The Dash is usually $5 more than the ThermoPop.

Design Differences

The two thermometers look very similar except for the shape. The ThermoPop is round, and the Dash is rectangular. Both thermometers come in a variety of different colors which is a feature of the ThermoWorks instant reads.

Dash vs ThermoPop Display 

DASH has a display that automatically rotates 180° whereas the ThermoPop doesn’t have an auto rotating feature, but a manual push button that rotates 360°. The rotating display is more of a cool feature rather than a necessity. However, as I mentioned before, smoking meat can have chaotic moments, so the intuitive features can make all the difference. 

Backlight on Dash and ThermoPop

The Dash and ThermoPop both have a back light, which is very useful when operating in the dark. Meat smoking often takes us into the night, especially if you are smoking a 10-hour brisket, so a back light on a thermometer is a handy feature. The back light on the Dash and ThermoPop can be turned on by a push button, unlike the more advanced thermometers like the MK4, which have an auto back light. 

Magnet on Dash Thermometer

The Dash has a magnet attached to the back, which is a feature the ThermoPop doesn’t have. The magnetic back is a useful design feature for quick storage, although I wouldn’t attach your thermometer to a hot smoker. If your cooker has a side shelf that doesn’t get too hot, then this is the perfect place to attach the Dash. 

Dash and ThermoPop Similarities

The Dash and ThermoPop have several identical features. Common features include: 

  • 3-4 second response time
  • Auto off after 10 minutes 
  • Backlight 
  • Operating  range 32 to 122°F (for thermometer housing)  
  • 9 colors 
  • 2 year warranty 
  • lithium coin battery 3000 hours 
  • Same sized probe

What’s the difference between the Dash and the Dash Mini?

The Dash comes in two different sizes; the Dash  and the Dash Mini. The only difference between the two is the size of the probe. All the other features are the same. The Dash, Dash Mini and the ThermoPop are all classed as pocket thermometers. The Dash Mini is designed for extra convenience and is small enough to fit in your pocket. 

The Dash Mini has a smaller probe: 2.8 L x 0.12 inch diameter. Reduces to 0.08 inches in diameter. The standard sized Dash D4.5 L x 0.12 inch diameter. Reduces to 0.08 inches in diameter.

Are ThermoWorks Thermometers the Best?

ThermoWorks is a company with an excellent reputation, and a proven track record producing quality thermometers. ThermoWorks are to cooking thermometers what Apple is to technology. They have produced several award-winning thermometers that have received glowing reviews from food magazines and newspapers. The Thermapen MK4 is the king of all instant-read thermometers and for a long time, has towered over the competition.

ThermoWorks also have exceptional customer service, which can be seen if you scroll down the comments section on ThermoWorks are quick to replace faulty products and swiftly answer complaints. 

Fake ThermoWorks Thermometers

ThermoWorks have warned the public about fake Thermapen thermometers being sold on Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other reputable stores.To ensure you are getting the genuine product and all the benefits of the warranty, make sure you purchase your thermometer from the ThermoWorks website.

MK4 Thermapen vs ThermoPop and Dash

The Thermapen is the gold standard in meat thermometers and is the thermometer that all other thermometers are compared. The Thermapen is used by celebrity chefs and reviewed in leading publications. 

The Dash and ThermoPop are miniature versions of the Thermapen, with but are in a different category. First, the Thermapen uses a thermocouple sensor on the probe which makes it highly accurate and faster than the Dash and ThermoPop which use thermistor sensors. Thermocouple sensors at the tip of the probe are very responsive to temperature changes and able to measure changes faster and more accurately than thermistor sensors. Thermocouple sensors are more expensive than thermistors, which explains why the price of the Thermapen is significantly higher. 

If the Thermapen and the ThermoPop had a baby, it would probably be Dash. The Dash is a mix of the intuitive Thermapen features with the size and simplicity of the ThermoPop.The ThermoPop is missing several of the intuitive features of the Thermapen, such as the automatic rotating display, the auto back light, the automatic 360° rotating display, and the auto wake/sleep function. 

Dash Thermometer Specs

  • Temperature Range: -40 to 572°F
  • Read Speed: 3-4 Seconds
  • Accuracy: ±0.9°F between 14 to 212°F and ±4.5° between 392 to 572°F
  • Automatic screen rotation 180° 
  • Screen size: 0.7 H x 1.3 W inches
  • Waterproof IP67 
  • Automatically switches off after 10 minutes 
  • Backlight
  • Thermometer housing can operate between 32 to 122°F 
  • Magnetic back
  • 2-Year warranty
  • Calibration certificate
  • CR2032 (3V) lithium coin cell battery
  • Probe Dimensions of the DASH: D 4.5 L x 0.12 inch diameter.
  • Probe dimensions of the DASH Mini: 2.8 L x 0.12 inch diameter.

ThermoPop Specs

  • Temperature Range:-58 to 572°F
  • Read Speed: 3-4 Seconds
  • Accuracy: ±2.0°F from -4 to 248°F; ±4.0°F upwards. 
  • Push-button rotating screen 360°
  • Screen size: 0.95 diameter inches
  • Sleeps after 10 minutes 
  • IP66 splash-proof
  • Backlight
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • CR2032 (3V) lithium coin cell battery
  • Probe Dimensions 4.5 L x 0.12 inch diameter.

ThermoPop and Dash Verses The Rest: How Do They Compare?

How do the ThermoWorks thermometers compare to the rest? So how do the ThermoPop and the Dash compare to the rest of the competition? There are some other instant-read thermometers in the same price range that are worth mentioning. 

Javelin Pro vs ThermoPop and Dash

I have done countless hours of research and found the Javelin Pro is a popular choice and one of the highest-rated instant-reads on Amazon. If you research instant-read thermometers, the Javelin Pro always makes the top-five lists. Often the Javelin wins the silver medal to the Thermapen in most conversations. Like the Dash and ThermoPop, the Javelin is 1-2 seconds slower than the almighty Thermapen, but the Javelin matches the Thermapen for accuracy and several other features. 

The Javelin has an auto-sleep function, rotating display, a large probe, back light that turns on when you shake the thermometer. The Javelin is slightly more expensive than the ThermoPop and Dash, and is usually sold for around the $50 price point. 

The Javelin Pro is often seen as a cheap alternative to the expensive Thermapen, but it is a step up from the pocket-sized ThermoPop and Dash. The Javelin matches the two pocket ThermoWorks thermometers in speed, accuracy and some other features, but is significantly larger. 

The ThermoPop and Dash are small, which is a positive or negative depending on your preference. Some people want something small that can easily slip in and out of their pocket while others prefer a larger thermometer with a firm grip. Pocket thermometers can only be used by gripping with two fingers, which isn’t ideal.

TP19 vs ThermoPop and Dash

The TP19 is my personal thermometer of choice in this price category. ThermoPro is a company that makes quality thermometers and has produced some of the most well-received wireless thermometers on the market, such as the TP20. 

When ThermoWorks released the TP19, the company boasted the thermometer would have all the features and performance to compete with the best thermometers on the market, but for a fraction of the price. ThermoPro claimed other companies worked on a 90% profit margin with the $100 thermometers. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious ThermoPro was referring to the Thermapen. 

The TP19 is the only $30, which is a fraction of the cost of a Thermapen and has the same functions and performance. The ThermoPro TP19 gives fast 2-3 second readings and, like the Thermapen, uses a thermocouple sensor. The ThermoPop and Dash use thermistor technology, which is slower and less accurate than the thermocouple. 

Other features of the TP19 include a 360° rotating display, motion sensing sleep/wake mode, back lit display and waterproof. 

Unlike the Dash and ThermoPop, the TP19 feels very solid, like a well-built thermometer and has a large handle and display. The TP19 is simple to use. Like the Thermapen, to operate flick open the probe and the thermometer turns on.


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Dash vs ThermoPop Probe Range

One of the most significant differences between the Dash and ThermoPop is accuracy. Dash is far more accurate than the ThermoPop. ThermoPop is accurate to ±2.0°F (±1°C) whereas the Dash is accurate to ±0.9°F (0.5°C). When comparing this to the best thermometer on the market, the MK4 Thermapen is almost twice as accurate as the ThermoPop, measuring  ±0.7°F (±0.4°C). However, that’s not to say the ThermoPop is inaccurate. The ThermoPop is still considered to be a highly accurate thermometer, especially when you compare it to its competitors. Keep in mind that we are comparing the differences between high-end thermometers. Also keep in mind the Thermapen is triple the price of the ThermoPop and Dash. 

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Author and founder at Meat Smoking HQ

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