I went down to the local Tuesday Morning store and bought some of them $9 cooking thermators. I too was curious about how they could be so cheap when Poldars cost $30 or more. [p]The first difference is the battery. Poldars have a fancier battery. Also the poldars have a preset menu function. This is probably useful for folks who drink when they que and forget stuff like cooking temps. For folks who can remember cooking temps, these cheap babies should do the trick.