all igrill

Published on August 30th, 2011 | by Greg


iGrill: Wonderfully Unessential

Noth­ing, it seems, can stem the tide of iProd­ucts. With the suc­cess of each gen­er­a­tion of phones, more and more com­pa­nies hop on the band­wag­on. Not ev­ery­thing has been tried yet- we haven't seen a iPhone don­gle that ages your wine for ex­am­ple- but en­trepreneurs seem to de­light in mak­ing a va­ri­ety of gad­gets and giz­mos to fill nich­es that Ap­ple nev­er dreamed of. For ev­ery de­cent dock we've seen- and we've seen plen­ty of them- there are quite a few un­nec­es­sary and bare­ly use­ful mod­els. Sure, there are back­up bat­ter­ies, and fit­ness ac­ces­sories, but there are al­so docks that in­clude, for no ap­par­ent rea­son, a kitchen scale.

With this his­to­ry in mind, we were ex­cit­ed to try out the iGrill, for no oth­er rea­son than we spent a fair bit of time over the grill dur­ing the last few weeks. Al­so, it must be con­fessed that we want­ed to see just how well a cook­ing ther­mome­ter would work when used with an iOS de­vice. Note: you can use your iPad or iPod Touch with the iGrill as well; we pri­mar­i­ly test­ed on the iPhone 4, us­ing the lat­est firmware and ver­sion of the app.

There are ac­tu­al­ly two free apps! They ap­pear to do lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly oth­er than dis­play the in­for­ma­tion in slight­ly dif­fer­ent ways. We had no re­al trou­ble con­nect­ing the de­vice- we just had to turn Blue­tooth on, hit the but­ton on the iGrill, and choose the de­vice from our phone. Our phones were kept safe­ly away from the heat, and the nifti­est thing is that the iGrill us­es a long-range Blue­tooth con­nec­tion to en­able trans­mis­sion of da­ta up to 200 feet. We were able to walk around our of­fices, down­stairs from our pa­tio area and grill, while still keep­ing a vir­tu­al eye on our steaks and veg­eta­bles. The dis­play alone is quite nice- vis­i­ble even in day­light, we set it up next to the grill and it was handy even with­out us­ing the iPhone- there sim­ply aren't that many the­mome­ters with a nice big LCD read­out.

We on­ly test­ed the iGrill us­ing a sin­gle probe (as in­clud­ed in the box)- but you can pur­chase an­oth­er sep­a­rate­ly and use both si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly. The app al­so al­lows you to set alarms that in­di­cate when your choice of item is done (or se­lect a spe­cif­ic tem­per­a­ture to reach). The cord is long enough on the probe, but we were an­noyed by the lack of a sleeve or pro­tec­tive por­tion- it's all bare met­al, and can be dif­fi­cult to pull out of the heat. One oth­er down­side- the unit can on­ly han­dle tem­per­a­tures up to 400 de­grees. For most meat lovers, you'll want to get far be­yond that, to 500 or more. Of course, for many peo­ple, grilling doesn't in­volve you stray­ing far from the food- like a wok, the trick is to be ev­er-pre­sent and hov­er­ing usu­al­ly. But for roasts, grilling big­ger items like turkey, or do­ing ro­tis­serie, the iGrill can be handy in­deed.

Bot­tom line: it's a bit pricey for a ther­mome­ter, but quite rea­son­able for a nifty gad­get. If you grill a lot- or cook any­thing at low­er tem­per­a­tures for quite some time- then the iGrill is a great way to pre­pare your food and be able to walk away. You can even watch some nifty charts. Tem­per­a­tures were ac­cu­rate to with­in a cou­ple of de­grees, in our tests, and we liked the stand/hang­ing op­tions- a mag­net­ic back would've been a great bonus though. It stores neat­ly, bat­ter­ies last a long time (no changes need­ed in our tests), and is avail­able on­line for about $100.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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