I had read about the importance of an oven thermometer years ago, and purchased one for my apartment oven. The difference wasn't much, but it was great to know what was really going on in there. However, when I moved, I forgot the little thing and left it hanging on the middle rack.
And then I forgot about oven thermometers. That is, until I baked a pie.
My new apartment kitchen was finally set up and I decided to make an apple pie - the same pie I've made more times than I can remember - as a house warming gift. The pie looked great and I proudly presented it at my friend's dinner party. Once the meal ended and we sliced into the pie, I was mortified! The once crisp apple slices, delicately coated with sugar and cinnamon, were reduced to apple sauce. Everyone smiled through dessert, but I knew something was wrong. When I finally bought another oven thermometer I found the reason: my new oven was a full 75 degrees hotter than the settings would indicate.
Do you have a favorite oven thermometer?
Related: How Do I Calibrate My Oven?
(Images: Flickr member PetroleumJelliffe licensed under Creative Commons)