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Flavors and quality ingredients can only get you so far. If your chicken is dry and your beef is raw more than rare, it doesn’t matter how inspired your seasonings are. When you’re looking to serve steak that’s a cut above the ordinary, knowledge about exactly what’s going on in your oven, grill, or smoker is critical. Skip hard-to-read dials and try one of these excellent digital thermometers, some with smart features built right in.

The porterhouse of cooking gadgets. Amazon

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If you’ve got guests coming over and side dishes to prep, this wireless smart thermometer allows you to check on the lamb chops on your backyard grill without leaving the kitchen. Keep an eye on your meat’s cooking progress using Bluetooth and the Meater app for Android or iOS, or connect to Wi-Fi and ask Alexa how much longer before your chops reach medium rare. The app allows you to choose just how well done you’d like your beef, pork, poultry, lamb, or fish—and calculates how long that will take based on real-time data from the internal temperature of your meat and the external temperature in your cooker. Notification options help prevent busy multi-taskers from charred catastrophes.

Exceed expectations. Amazon

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If you don’t mind compromising your wireless aesthetic, this smart thermometer offers you remote monitoring of your dinner for an affordable price. Stick the metal sensor probe into your meat and pull the corded wire outside your cooking device to attach the magnetized display to the surface. The display lights up with different colored halos to indicate status. For digital readings of internal and ambient temperature, suggestions for a range of meats, and notifications of remaining cooking time, you’ll need to use Bluetooth with the Carbon app. With a clear sight line from your Bluetooth device to your smoker or rotisserie, you can stay informed up to 115 feet away.

Vegetarian-friendly. Amazon

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Yes, it’s a great meat thermometer—but a digital thermometer is also essential if you want to try your hand at making yogurt, peanut brittle, or kombucha, too. This battery-powered choice is simple and straightforward. Stick the probe into your dish, and get an internal read of the temperature on an LCD display. The 7-inch probe measures heat from 58 degrees to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you prefer you can set the display to Celsius.

Don’t lose heat every time you check on your dish. Amazon

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For some cooks, flitting about the kitchen to taste things and peek at your creations is part of the fun. With this digital thermometer, you can make sure everything is going smoothly without opening your oven and bringing the temperature down. Insert the 6.5-inch probe in your roasting chicken or other dish, and attach its 40-inch stainless steel cable to the LCD display wherever it’s most convenient for you to observe. Presets for everything from veal to ham make it easy to know what’s safe and most delicious, and you can also customize your own settings to achieve medium-medium-rare or super-extra-well-done particulars. Use the timer option to count down (or up!) the minutes and ensure your mashed potatoes are ready at the same time as your pot roast.

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