Turn Up the Heat with High-Tech Grilling
May 02, 2012
By: Rich Steeves
Can you smell it? The aroma of brats. The scent of corn on the cob. The smell of GRILLING SEASON. Whether you’ve got a multi-burner gas behemoth or a portable hibachi and a bag of charcoal, it’s time to realize that grilling has entered the 21st century with plenty of high tech wizardry available to make your life easier. Here are five hot apps and grilling gadgets to bring your barbecue beyond boring burgers.
- Be honest: do you know a t-bone from a ribeye? Can you tell a strip steak from a skirt steak? Now you can have Sam the butcher on-call with the Ask the Butcher App, available for $1.99 for the iPhone (News - Alert). It gives you the skinny on different cuts of meat from cows, pigs, lambs and calves. But the handiest feature is the barbecue cooking guide, which tells you time and cooking temperature for each cut depending on size or thickness. But sadly, it won’t tell you what accessories go with a Lady Gaga style meat dress…
- To me, Weber has been synonymous with barbecue since I got my first 22.5” kettle. But, though the company has been selling grills since 1952, it doesn’t mean Weber is stuck in the past. For $4.99 you can get the Weber On the Grill app for iPhone, iPad or Android (News - Alert) devices. It has 280 grilling recipes, plus recipes for 40 different rubs and sauces, how-to videos, interactive shopping lists and the ability to socialize your grilling experience online. In short, it’s got everything you need to host a great barbecue but the tacky “How Merlot Can You Go” apron.
- Here’s a common dilemma: you’re the host and the grill master. You want to mingle with your guests but you need to keep an eye on the meat. If only there was a Bluetooth thermometer you could get to monitor the temp for you! But how would you check it? Well, luckily, there’s an app for that. You need the iGrill Bluetooth Termometer and app, available for iPhone or iPad. You can connect your device to this dual-probe thermometer from up to 200 feet away; then download the app and it tells you when your food is done. It’s available for $80 in black or white from igrillinc.com.
- Now, if your barbecue is really rocking and/or rolling, it may go late into the night. But you don’t have to shut your grill down just because it’s dark, not with a solar powered LED grill light from Maverick. You can charge it all day for up to four hours of continuous nighttime use. It features stainless steel mounting clips, so it’s good in all weather, as well as a bendable neck for flexible placement and its four bulbs last up to 50,000 hours. You can get it for $70 at maverickhousewares.com.
- Eventually, the party comes to an end and, as much as you’d like to avoid it, you have to clean up. But you can make that job easier with Brookstone’s cordless grill cleaning brush with steam action. The brass bristled brush won’t scratch your cooking grates and it spins so you won’t have to use as much elbow grease. Plus, the steam action loosens even toughest gunk. It does needs eight AA batteries (not included) and goes for $30 at brookstone.com.
Well, all this talk of grilling has made me hungry, so I am going to throw on some potatoes and swordfish. Hope you enjoy your high-tech grilling season!
Edited by Jamie Epstein