My probe thermometer has an IR scanner. It does read temperatures through a carboy fairly well (compared to the stick on strips on some of mine). It is convenient for when I can't read the sticker, but mostly I consider it a novelty. It's useless for reading temperatures most other places (mash, kettle, etc) and I wouldn't buy a stand alone version. IR thermometers work best with a dull, black surface. Shiny/non-black surfaces reflect don't work as well.