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How Digital Thermometer Pans Work

Stove dials can be difficult to gauge accurately.
©iStockphoto/Petegar

­Most recipes for oven-baked goods prescribe the specific temperature at which you'll be cooking. To whip up a batch of cookies, you'll usually need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Unless you live in a high-altitude region where the air is drier and requires longer cooking times, following the recipe instructions should yield a mouthwatering pan of snickerdoodles.

When it comes to stovetop cooking, however, recipes lack that level of heat precision. Take, for instance, the HowStuffWorks recipe for a delectable vegetable omelet. To get the eggs sizzling, the recipe advises:

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"Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Beat whole eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper in large bowl until foamy. Pour egg mixture into skillet; cook over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom of omelet is set. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook 8 minutes or until top of omelet is set. Remove from heat."

But what's the difference between high, low and plain old medium heat on a stove without numeric settings? And for numeric stove dials, is medium heat a five or a six? Just what constitutes high and low? Even when you turn your dial to the appropriate setting, it takes a while for the eye to reach the desired temperature. Depending on whether you cook on a gas or electric stove, it could mean anything from a few seconds to minutes.

­Every experimental cook has experienced the pain of a fickle stove. If you try to cook before a frying pan has gotten hot enough, it will take a long time to cook. But if you allow the stove eye to heat up too long, you'll end up with a burned mess.

The makers of the Digital Thermometer Pan have heard the cries of frustration echoing from kitchens across the world. If you want a perfect pancake, omelet or crepe, fret no more. Just like a digital thermometer can tell you when you're running a fever, this thermometer-pan combination reads the frying pan's temperature to let you know exactly when it's reached the perfect heat for cooking your desired dish.

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