Top positive review
902 of 908 people found this helpful
Excellent, but please see update
on November 16, 2005
I've had the Polder 362-90 for about 5 years. I purchased it after seeing Alton Brown using one on the Food Channel show "Good Eats". Now, I'd be lost without it. It takes all the guesswork out of roasting chicken or turkey or a roast beef or whatever else you care to cook in your oven.
You insert the metal probe into whatever you're cooking, set the target temperature and start roasting. When your roast reaches the desired temperature, the Polder will beep to let you know. Perfectly cooked. No wiggling Mrs. Chicken's legs, no pressing on the roast, no "Gee, is it done? I'm not sure." It couldn't be easier.
It has a countdown timer (but not a clock) as well. The back of the main unit has 2 strong magnets which allow it to be attached to any metallic surface, vertical or horizontal. The LCD pivots, so no matter where you put the unit, you can tilt the LCD to make it easy to read. A slide switch on the back allows you to change between Farenheit and Centigrade.
When you wash the probe, you *must* be careful. The probe is a metal tube that contains a temperature sensor. At the point where the cable from the main unit enters this tube, it is sealed merely by crimping the tube. It isn't waterproof. So during washing, if you allow water around this area, it will find its way into the tube and kill the sensor. This is the basis, I believe, for many of the complaints regarding the probe's fragility.
I wrap my hand tightly around the top of the probe when I wash it to prevent this from happening, and I'm still using the original. I use it at least twice a month, so that means it has been used at least 100 times and washed 100 times and it works fine. As far as complaints that the sensor is inaccurate, I've got 100+ perfectly cooked chickens, turkeys and roast beefs that contradict that assertion.
If I have a complaint its that the thing has no on/off switch! Its always running and, therefore, draining the AAA battery. This is not a big deal. The first battery lasted about 3 years and the one in it now has about 2 years of use and is still going strong. When the temperature reads "LO", that is the indicator that the battery needs replacement.
The Polder 362-90 allows you to know when your roast is done instead of guessing at it. I find it essential and I recommend it. Just be careful when you wash it.
***UPDATE 6/2010: After 10+ years of faithful service, my Polder finally quit working. I immediately ordered another. The new one worked accurately twice and then began to underreport temperature by about 30 to 40 degrees F. I tried a backup probe and a new battery with the same result so it would appear to be a problem with the main unit and not the probe. I see that many of the most recent reviews for this product complain of a similar issue. I think Polder may have a manufacturing problem. I would defer purchasing this product until the reviews turn positive again.