What It Is: The Thermapen Instant-Read Thermometer is the Mercedes of cooking instant-reads. Yes, it is pricey compared to other models. But once you use it, you will understand why chefs and other food professional swear by it. It’s the only cooking thermometer you will ever need, and a prized gift for your at-home chef or chefs.

Why We Like It: Superb speed and precision are the top reasons this battery-operated thermometer stands out in the crowd. Once inserted into your food, the thermometer reads the temperature in an amazing three seconds, with accuracy of +/-.7 degree, even thin foods such as burgers, steaks, and fish fillets. Yet there are many other pluses. Its wide temperatue range (-58.0 to 572.0 degrees F. ) means you can use this thermometer for all your cooking needs, including candy making and deep-fat frying. Operation is extremely simple. When you open the foldable probe, it turns on; snap back in , and it turns off. There is also an auto shut-off if you forget to fold the probe. With 15 body colors to choose from, you can make your own fashion statement. One caveat: for southpaws, use your right hand to hold the thermometer; otherwise the digital screen will be upside down.

Details: The ThermoWorks Thermapen digital panel reads whole or tenth degrees in a temperature range of -58.0 to 572.0 degrees F. (-49.9 to 299.9 degrees C). The slender, fold-up metal probe is 4.5 inches long and is attached to a 2x6x3/4-inch plastic meter body. Operates up to 1500 hours using 2 coin batteries (CR3032 lithium). Water resistant. Handmade in England. Available in 15 colors for $96 at or

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