Hands On Review: ThermoWorks RT600C Super Fast Thermometer – Accuracy and Response Time Tests

I’ve owned and used ThermoWorks’ Super Fast RT600C as a homebrewing thermometer since 2011.  It’s very accurate, has a super fast response time and has a great set of features.  Because of my work on Homebrew Finds, I have a large number of thermometers.  I propose that, considering it’s price point, the RT600C is one of the best thermometers available for homebrewing.

The Thermometer along with the included Pocket Clip.

The RT600C has a good sized probe (4.9″) but only 1/4″ needs to be submerged to get a reading.

Close up of the face.  You can see the NSF certification along with power and min/max buttons.

Back of the thermometer disassembled.  The left panel includes both a deg C/deg F mode button and a reset button.

The battery door includes and o-ring

The RT600C is waterproof.  Not just splash proof or “kind of waterproof”, it’s waterproof.  IP65 rated to be exact.  That means you can put this in a dishwasher – up to 190 deg F.  To illustrate I’ve submerged it in my trusty Rubbermaid Commercial Brew Day Pitcher [Review]

Close up of the submerged RT600C


Testing with ice water in my Lifeline Vacuum Insulated Stainless Growler [Review].  The RT600C reads a perfect… 32 deg F.

Still 32 deg F, side by side with my ThermoWorks Thermapen [Review]

I’ve experienced different boiling temperature on different days using the same equipment and testing methods.  Boiling temperature is a moving target.  It is based on elevation and atmospheric conditions.  The day of this test, boiling point was a consistent 211.8 deg F as read by my highly accurate Thermapen.

The RT600C reads 211.5 deg F.  It’s reading to .3 deg F low.  Well within it’s stated accuracy of +- .9 deg F.

Response Time:

This video shows a response time test using the RT600C.  I’m counting the start of the test as right when the metal basket hits the water. The probe of the thermometer is submerged at 1 second into the video. It levels out at 139.6 deg F at 7.85 seconds. That’s a response time of 6.85 seconds. For .1 deg F resolution, that’s a great response time. For comparison, I’ve tested the Thermapen and gotten a response time of 5.4 seconds (at 130.4 deg F).  The Thermapen is an amazing thermometer, but it’s also about 5 times the cost.

In Action:

Checking the grain bill temp of More Beer’s Citra Pale Ale.  This recipe features Rahr 2 Row, White Wheat, Carapils, Crystal 15 and of course… Citra.

Checking the mash temp of More Beer’s Citra Pale Ale

Auto Shut Off (now included)…
In the original version of this review I noted that the RT600C does not have an auto off feature.  Not a huge deal if your version (like mine) doesn’t have auto off.  What you can do is… shut it off :).  If you do forget, the batteries are relatively inexpensive.  Update: ThermoWorks has changed the design.  The RT600C now includes and auto-off feature.  If for some reason you wanted a version that has no auto off, that’s found in the RT600B.  That one stays on like the RT600C used to.  Not very helpful for homebrewers.  I think that’s generally used by food service professionals trying to test dishwasher temperatures and such.

Some of the RT600C’s features:

  • Waterproof.  In fact it is dishwasher safe up to 190 degrees F.
  • Has a super fast read time- 5-6 seconds.  IP65 rating.
  • Accuracy to ±0.9°F (±0.5°C)
  • C/°F switchable
  • Only requires 1/4″ of the probe to be submerged to get a reading
  • Has a .1 degree resolution
  • Records Minimum and Maximum Temperatures.  You can use this to monitor serving and fermentation temps.
  • Long Battery Life – up to 5,000 hours of continuous use
  • NSF Certified
  • Tough Commercial Design
  • Manufactured by Thermoworks.  Warranty – The RT600C comes with a one-year coverage on material and workmanship including any failure in the thermometer circuit. Includes online, email and phone access to the ThermoWorks technical service group.

I purchased my RT600C back in October of 2011.  As of this update (September 2015) the same unit continues to be an amazing thermometer.

With years of practical use in homebrewing and beyond, I can recommend the RT600C as a great homebrewing thermometer.  Considering the features, performance and cost, this is arguably one of the best values for your money.


Note: This thermometers specifications have changed since it was reviewed. Check product page for current price, specs and availability.

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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. tag:tpr review:rt600c

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