Put this underrated kitchen tool to work with smart double-duty ideas.

By Chris Morocco
Updated February 21, 2014
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Look for a waterproof model with a large, easy-to-read display. RSpick: Taylor waterproof digital thermometer model 9847, amazon.com.
Christopher Baker

It tells the difference between medium-rare and well-done, but this trusty gadget can do so much more. Here are four ways to put a meat thermometer to work.

  • Check the water temperature for poached eggs. (It should be 180° F for intact but runny yolks.)
  • Check homemade bread for doneness (190° to 200° F).
  • Reach the right temperature for an ice cream base. (The custard should register 175° to 180° F for 1 minute to cook the eggs without scrambling.)
  • Measure your refrigerator’s temperature. (Put the thermometer into any liquid, like milk; 32° to 40° F is a safe range.)