When I was younger, it was an accepted fact that left-handed people don’t live as long right-handed people. The most common explanation was that the world is made for righties (scissors, knives, and other tools are hard to use left-handed), leading to a higher number of fatal accidents for lefties.
Many people still accept this as truth, though it was debunked several years ago – Probably by some ironically self-righteous left-handers.
The fact remains, however, that the Earth favors the right-hander, even at the barbecue when it comes to thermometers. But maybe things are starting to change, as shall be discussed in my Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo review, an ambidextrous, professional-level instant-read thermometer.
Read on as I explore, explain, and expound my opinions on a digital instant-read thermometer that doesn’t play favorites, being made for righties and lefties alike.
Learn all about it’s features, speed and accuracy, what I like, what might be improved, and whether it’s a recommended product.
Overview of the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Thermometer
The Javelin PRO Duo is a digital thermometer from the instant read category. That means you insert the probe into any food you want to know the internal temperature of, wait a few seconds for a reading, and then take it out again. It’s my favorite of the 3 instant read thermometers I own, and tops my recommendation list of the best instant read thermometers.
It’s not meant to be left in for the duration of a cook but instead used occasionally for a sample reading only.
The internal temperature of food, especially meat, is crucial to know as it is the only way to ascertain doneness (in meat like steak or fish) or whether it’s safe to eat (such as with pork or chicken).
To turn the PRO Duo on, just unfold the probe from the handle, and it automatically gets to work. There’s an auto shut-off feature to conserve your battery, but a little wiggle wakes it back up again.
Once on, you can use this thermometer for grilling and smoking (just remember not to leave it in), baking, making candy, or for taking liquid temperatures.
What’s in the Box?
- Javelin PRO Duo thermometer
- Owner’s manual
- 1 CR2032 button cell battery (pre-installed)
Features and Manufacturer’s Specifications
The PRO Duo boasts more features than your average instant-read thermometer. The one you’ll probably notice first is what Javelin calls the “ambidextrous display.”
What that means is the display will reorient depending on which way the thermometer is turned.
Let’s say you’re right-handed (which you probably are) – you insert the probe with your right hand, and the display is right-side up. With most thermometers, if you insert it left-handed, either the display is facing away from you, or it’s upside-down. With the PRO Duo, the figures on the display invert so you can view them properly.
On top of that, the display is viewable from almost any angle, plus moving the thermometer activates the backlight. You can also turn on the backlight with a tap of the sensor beside the LCD.
Additionally, a double-tap of the sensor will display the highest temperature reached since the thermometer was turned on. A second double-tap shows the lowest temperature reading. And you can clear those values by holding the sensor while in the MAX/MIN mode.
The final use for the sensor is the HOLD feature. Just keep your finger on the sensor and wait for the word HOLD to appear on the display. You’ll soon hear a beep, and then the current temperature will show. As long as you hold the sensor, that figure will stay in place. Let go, and the PRO Duo goes back to the current temperature.
Inside the battery compartment, you’ll find four toggle switches. These allow you to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, turn the auto sleep function on and off, turn the stabilization alert on and off, and choose whether you want readings to a tenth of a degree or not.
- Probe length: 4.5”
- Handle length: 6.25”
- Total length: 10.75”
- Width: 1.8”
- 2” anti-fog backlit LCD screen
- Temperature range: -40F to 482F (-40C to 250C)
- 4000+ hour battery life
Ease of Use
Even for a beginner, this is an easy device to master.
The single sensor makes switching between display modes a breeze, and using toggle switches to change personal preferences keeps the exterior from feeling cluttered or overwhelming.
The probe unfolds a full 180 degrees, making it truly ambidextrous, especially when combined with the rotating display. And, because the auto-wake and backlight features are motion-sensitive, you can operate the PRO Duo even if you’re wearing gloves and can’t activate the sensor.
Speed and Accuracy
The Javelin PRO Duo boasts a response time of 2-3 seconds to within 1F of the final temperature. That is very fast, which is fantastic because it means your lid is up for as little time as possible.
So, it’s fast, but is it accurate? Yes. Yes, it is.
Since cooking to temperature is everything, you’ll be glad to know the PRO duo is accurate to +/- 0.9F between -4 and 302F (-20 to 150C).
In my tests of placing it into iced water and boiling water, it showed within a single degree fahrenheit of 32 for freezing water, and 212 for boiling water. So for me, it’s highly accurate and I’m willing to put my trust in it. In fact I do, because I use it all the time, both for outdoor cooking and in my kitchen.
Design and Build Quality
Let’s get the most obvious design aspect of the Javelin PRO Duo – side on, it looks like a lightcycle from TRON.
If that’s not reason enough to love it, it’s also robust and ergonomically shaped, fitting nicely into your hand for easy use. And, you can choose from eight different colors to match your décor.
A couple of other notable design features include the “lanyard hole” that no one will use with a lanyard, but many will use to hang it from a hook or nail, and the integrated magnet. I especially like the magnet because I can just stick the whole thing to anything metal nearby.
The housing is IP65 plastic. What does that mean? It means it’s sealed up tight as a bank safe; it’s dust-proof and essentially rainproof, too, though it’s not suitable for total immersion. As for the probe, it’s made from 18/8 stainless steel for enhanced resistance to corrosion.
Something else it’s resistant to is microbes. We’re seeing more and more products advertised as having an ‘antimicrobial’ coating of some description.
Lavatools has used a silver-based additive that’s right in the plastic to help reduce the risk of your thermometer becoming a hotel for nasty little food-borne bugs. Apparently, it’s better than 99% effective, too. (I still recommend wiping it off with a damp cloth after use.)
One final bit of design ingenuity – when folded up, the lanyard-hole end of the plastic body neatly protects the tip of the temperature probe. That’s excellent, because you really don’t want to damage the probe by dropping it or when it’s tossed in a drawer.
Warranty and Support
You get a 3-year limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects on this thermometer.
To file a claim, just fill out the form on their website, and they’ll let you know where to ship it for repair or replacement. If there’s nothing wrong with your Javelin PRO Duo, but you simply don’t like it, you’ve got 30 days to return it for a refund.
If you want to stay connected with Lavatools, you can sign up for email alerts, but don’t expect to get “social” with them. They have Instagram and Facebook accounts, but both are virtually empty. That seems unusual in this day and age, but maybe there’s just not a lot to be said about a thermometer?
So, just like the 0.06” tapered tip on the probe, it’s time to get to the point – is the Javelin PRO Duo ambidextrous thermometer “right” for you, or should it be “left” alone?
What We Like
The main selling feature of this thermometer, in my mind, is the LCD screen that rotates the display to suit its orientation. Not only is it great for lefties, but it also means anyone can read it no matter how it’s inserted.
Thanks to the inclusion of toggle switches inside the battery bay, you can’t accidentally switch scales or mess up a variety of other options by pushing the wrong button.
Lots of thermometers are small and insubstantial. Not this one; it’s solidly built, though lightweight, and feels like a tool, not a toy in your hand.
What Could Be Improved
Left-handers might wish the probe could unfold 270 degrees to allow for true left-handed top-down readings. I’d hardly call that a deal-breaker, though!
Will I Get Value for My Money?
If your idea of “value” is spending the least amount of money possible, then this is not your thermometer.
The Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo is an upgrade from cheap, short-lived instant reads. You get better performance, better workmanship and materials, and enhanced features. For all that, I still think the price is reasonable.
Bottom line: it’s well worth the money.
Is this a Recommended Product?
A high-quality instant-read thermometer should be a must-have for any serious griller or even casual users who simply want better, more consistent results.
There are a lot of options, but only a few really good ones. The Javelin PRO Duo is one of the best. It gets a thumbs up from me, and I know you’ll love it.
That about wraps up my Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo review. Do you have any questions, comments or anything to add? If so, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below, I will make sure to answer all.
Here’s to more ‘measured’ grilling!