I like using my BBQ grill – a Weber, in case you’re curious! – because the food comes off the grill tasting delicious and it’s basically zero cleanup, which is way better than facing a messy kitchen. Last night I had a group of friends over and everyone had something different to cook, so we had salmon, steak, hot dogs, veggie burgers and five ears of corn on the grill simultaneously.
The challenge is that not everything cooks at the same speed nor is it obvious when things are done. For the corn and the hot dogs it’s easy to guess and no real danger if they’re overcooked a bit, but the steak? And the fish? Those aren’t so easy and I definitely find chicken difficult to cook properly without overcooking and drying it out.
Enter the iGrill Mini, the cute little follow-on to the original iGrill product. I started out a few years ago with the iGrill, a bluetooth cooking thermometer with a base unit and (wired) temp probe that pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone. Brilliant. But the new iGrill Mini, at a mere $39, is actually easier to work with and is tiny, literally just a bit bigger than a stack of quarters, as you can see.
Here’s an action shot from last night, the iGrill Mini monitoring the steak and my phone adjacent for the readout:
You can see that the colored ring on the iGrill Mini is green. Turns out that even without the phone handy you can monitor the state of the food: green is start, yellow is getting close, orange is almost done and red? Red means it’s time to eat!
Of course, it works way better with the app, because that’s how you specify what you’re cooking and how well you want it cooked. For the steak we wanted it “medium rare”, which means that the internal temperature of the meat needed to get to 130F. As you can see in the photo above, we hadn’t warmed it up much from the fridge yet at 65F.
I have the phone adjacent to the device but it turns out to have an impressive 150-foot range with its bluetooth connection so you can quite easily rejoin the party and wait until the app tells you that the meat’s done:
Truth be told, however, I like monitoring the temperature over time, and my guests do too: it’s always a source of conversation about technology and smart applications of simple tech both.
The temp over time also shows you baseline temperatures too: you can see in the pic below, for example, when we inserted the probe into the meat that had been sitting on the counter, post-fridge, for a bit, and put it on the grill:
Whether you’re the big honcho of the grill and have an apron that says “kiss the griller” , whether you’re an occasional BBQ user, or whether you do other types of cooking and still want a smart thermometer (remember, it’ll work with your oven too), the iGrill Mini is rather a no-brainer at $39. It’s smart, fun, and really cool to see how temperature increases over time. Check it out: iGrill Mini, from iDevices, Inc.
Disclaimer: iDevices Inc sent along the iGrill Mini for us to review. Which works out great for us!