One of my favorite gadgets is my Super Fast Thermapen Digital Thermometer. Yes, it's expensive, but it's so worth it. I get an accurate reading in seconds, so no losing heat from the oven or food cooling down while I'm waiting for that stupid little dial on old school food thermometers to creep around. Wondering what you might use it for?
- don't get sick from your meat
- don't curdle your custard (180F and it turns into scrambled eggs)
- ensure your ice cream base is cold enough (40F) so it will freeze in the ice cream maker
- boil your candy to the proper consistency: soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack, etc
don't kill your yeast (100F is usually best, but definitely nothing over 120F)
maintain deep-frying oil at optimum temperature (360F), so your food doesn't soak in too much oil (too cold) or burn (too hot, duh)
know when bread is done by the internal temperature (195F-205F depending on the recipe)
Yes, I am a gadget geek and also have an infrared model so I can test surface temperature. This is great for pancakes which cook the best at exactly 350F.