Comments: This is so cool, we almost can't get over it. Our first thought (and yes, we apologize for it) is that this is such a great guy thing. Imagine a guy measuring the temperature of everything on his grill! But the women in the office were attracted to it every bit as much. Everyone has been using this infrared thermometer to measure the external temperature of just about everything – mostly food, but even the neighbor's cat.
The company that makes it says it is ideal in a food-service setting, where you may need to continuously monitor the temperature of a food – for example, on a buffet line. An obvious benefit of an infrared thermometer is that doesn't touch the food being measured, so there is no need for constant cleaning and therefore no danger of cross contamination. (This does not absolve you, however, of the need for a thermometer that lets you measure the internal temperature of meats and other foods, and which does need thorough and regular cleaning to prevent cross contamination.)
This thermometer can measure temperatures from -67°F to +428°F (-55 to +220°C). That might be a little lower than some kitchen temperatures you may work with, but will cover any food and almost anything else in the kitchen. It is accurate to within a degree. It works on a 1:1 "distance to spot" ratio, meaning it will measure the temperature of an area 5-inches around if you hold it 5 inches from the thing being measured, and so on. Of course it will measure in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
The thermometer can be set to give you the minimum temperature in the area being measured, the maximum temperature, and can be set to lock on something for up to 60 minutes (otherwise it will turn itself off to save the battery). The manufacturer promises a battery life of 40 hours, and it takes a special battery, which is not expensive and not hard to find, but you will want to have a spare or two on hand.
It has a little pouch with a belt loop, so you can hang it next to your cell phone and look as geeky as anyone ever has. The thermometer also has a little rope handle you can attach, to put around your wrist and keep it from falling into the soup – or to keep it from falling into the hands of your greedy colleagues….