Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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color checker

Poke food and determine cookedness with this.
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This device would have a tiny heat resistant 50 pixel camera, a tiny but powerful LED light, and a tiny flipper to push meat away from the camera and light. No larger at the business end than a long chopstick it would display the redness of meat.

EDIT: fixed typo
Voice, Jun 19 2011

We'd use them here... R_2eA_2eR_2eE_2e_20S_2eT_2eE_2eA_2eK_2e
[normzone, Jun 20 2011]

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       I like this. However, wouldn't a meat thermometer do the same job? (Admittedly, you have to know that 80°C means well-done for steak or whatever, but the thermometer could be graduated in doneness instead of degrees.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 19 2011
  

       The thermometer only checks while the meat is cooking and doesn't give any clue about color
Voice, Jun 20 2011
  

       True enough, but isn't it while cooking that you want to know if the meat is done enough? Also, colour correlates pretty well with temperature, for meat. (But it does depend a bit on the type of meat, I suspect.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2011
  

       Is it temperature, or the integral of temperature wrt time?
mouseposture, Jun 20 2011
  

       The actual cooking process for meat is very fast; if you're cooking a steak, the time it takes to change colour is basically the time it takes for the heat to reach a certain depth.   

       Longer cooking will do other things (such as breaking down collagen, dehydrating and other stuff) over time, but redness basically follows temperature more or less immediately.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2011
  
      
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