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A meat thermometer doesn't cost much, but it can save hundreds of dollars in medical bills by ensuring that food is cooked enough to kill disease-causing salmonella, E. coli, and other bugs. We tested several meat thermometers that you can either leave in food as it cooks, or poke in and read instantly.
If you're picturing a dial-topped metal skewer, you should know that many meat thermometers have grown far fancier: Many are wired probes that connect to digital displays. Some speak to you ("lamb, medium"), then automatically set the correct temperature, beep when they reach a required temperature, retain a reading so you don't need to wrestle a roast from the oven in 1 second flat, and even track temperatures on two different foods. One meat thermometer has a wireless probe that lets you check the temperature of a food from 300 feet away. (There's a remote component that you can clip to a belt.)