A meat thermometer might sound unnecessary, but ask any home cook or chef and they’ll tell you it’s one of the most important kitchen tools. There’s nothing worse than slicing into a marvelously marbled cut of meat or hefty bird, or diving into a baked potato only to find that it’s partially cooked through.
A good meat thermometer provides assurance that you’re hitting the right temperatures every time you cook, no matter what you’re cooking. You can trust your gut and senses for a lot of things, but gauging temperatures in roasts and grills without cutting into them is no place for that sort of guesswork. Cooking to proper internal temperatures is also important for food safety (if you’re curious, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides this helpful chart).