Just when I thought I couldn’t love my iPhone any more, along comes iGrill. Food geeks, get ready to be amazed; iGrill is going to rock your world. It’s an instant-read remote thermometer that sends temperature updates to your iPhone in real time. Should I print that in CAPS? That’s how excited I am.
Yeah, I know, it's kind of sad, but bear with me. You plug the temperature probe (it comes with two of them) into the transmitter, download a free app on your phone (iPhone or Android), and you’re ready to go. A friend who is way ahead of me on these things says it works even better with an iPad.
The probe is at the end of a long wire, so you can prop the transmitter on a picnic table next to the grill. The transmitter links to your smartphone by Bluetooth, so you can get read-outs up to 200 feet away from the food you’re cooking. Of course, there’s no reason you couldn’t also use it for roasting meats in the oven.
It works just like one of those Polder probe thermometers I’ve been using for the last 10 to 15 years, but it connects automatically to your phone so the temperatures can be read remotely.
I tried it for the first time last weekend when I was smoking some turkey breasts on the Weber in the back yard. I set the alarm for 150 degrees and went back to work in the kitchen. I propped my iPhone up on the counter so I could check on it every 10 minutes or so as the breasts cooked … 120 degrees … 130 … 140 … the alarm buzzed and I went out to look. There were three beasts, so I gave each of them a last poke with the probe. The iGrill works well for this, too, reading back as quickly as any instant-read thermometer.
After a long rest to cool the breasts, I boned and sliced them for sandwiches – all of them perfectly done. I gave my iPhone a big greasy kiss in thanks.
Reading further into the instructions, I realized that this gadget could become the object of a new obsession (as if I needed one). Not only will it track temperatures for you and call you when your food is ready, it can also be set up to record the temperatures at one-minute intervals. And then export them in graph form via PDF or in a CSV spreadsheet. Oh, be still my heart.
I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a long hot winter.
iGrill, $79.99 from the website