These may not seem like the most exciting tools on the kitchen shelf, but they're the secret to keeping turkeys and roasts nice and juicy. Pretty hot, if you ask us.

meat thermometer

1) Polder 12454 In-Oven Meat Thermometer
 (For the family that only busts out the meat thermometer on Thanksgiving)
 UPSIDE Thermometer remains in meat during cooking; easy to use; great for checking temperatures of large items like turkey.
 DOWNSIDE Leaves large holes in smaller meats.

2) CDN ProAccurate Quick Tip Thermometer (DTQ450)
 (The college student with lots of roommates)
 UPSIDE Waterproof; easy to use.
 DOWNSIDE Requires battery.

3) Comark T220A 1" Pocket Dial Thermometer
 (Coffee drinkers who prefer freshly ground beans)
 UPSIDE Inexpensive; great for checking temperatures of smaller items like chicken and cuts of pork.
 DOWNSIDE Small dial can be difficult to read; takes a few minutes for the temperature to register.

4) Taylor 1470 Classic Remote Probe Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer
 (For the master roaster who likes a play-by-play temperature reading)
 UPSIDE Reasonably priced digital probe thermometer features audible alerts and easy-to-use buttons.
 DOWNSIDE Requires battery; electronic probes can short if exposed to water or direct heat.

5) Maverick ET-72 Redi-Chek® Remote
 (For the multitasking gadget lover)
 UPSIDE Wireless-remote probe thermometer has a receiver range up to 100 feet, audible alerts, preset and programmable temperatures, and is safe for use in grills set to medium heat or lower (perfect for barbecue).
 DOWNSIDE Requires battery; electronic probes can short if exposed to water or direct heat above 410°.

*Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in November 2008.