Pros: your cheap turkey can have a pop-up timer just like the ones that cost $1.29/pound!
Cons: comes without instructions
Every Thanksgiving, local groceries compete fiercely to see who can drop the prices of loss-leader frozen turkeys lowest. Buy $20 of groceries and get a ButterBall for 67 cents/pound! Buy a spiral-sliced ham (at $26) and get a 12-pound turkey free! The ads simply scream at you - not that I mind: Thanksgiving isn't the only time of year we cook a turkey, so it's a great way to pick up an extra for the freezer. The downside on store brands is that most lack the pop-up timers found on "premium" brands. If you don't have a meat thermometer (or can't find it), then cooking time often ends up being guesswork. The nice people at Ekco, however, have a solution: Ekco Pop-Up Turkey Timers! Yep, for about fifty cents, you can buy your own disposable "timer" - actually a crude thermometer - that automatically pops its top when the bird is done. Just like the ones already "installed" in some turkey brands, these are little white tubes with a red button that extends when the turkey is done.
Ekco packs these two to a card (stock number 1046057), at a list price of ninety-nine cents. They have a "no questions asked" limited warranty, which only means Ekco will replace a timer if it doesn't work. They come without usage instructions: a cook is supposed to know to stick it into the breast and make certain it doesn't touch bone. Even when I'm (yes, I cook the turkey at our house; don't ask about the gravy) using the pop-up, I make it a point to confirm doneness with a meat thermometer - this is just a handy tool that prevents having to open the oven and poke the poor bird every fifteen minutes. I've had two or three pair of these over the years, and none has popped prematurely.
If you dread having an overcooked, dry turkey - or even worse, one that's still a little pink around the bone - then these are just what the doctor ordered. The doctor of kitchens, that is!
Thanks, Larry, for adding this item. I take full responsibility for forgetting to request addition until Thanksgiving morning!