Smart cooking and smart kitchen equipment is a major trend this year with white goods vendors trying to add smart features to everything from the refrigerator to the faucet. While some of these products cost thousands of dollars, there are plenty of gadgets priced for the rest of us.
The iGrill 2 from iDevice is one such example. A multi probe thermometer you can check the temperature of any cooking process from below freezing to well above that of most conventional ovens. With a neat timer and Bluetooth connection to most recent smartphones, the iGrill 2 provides an easy way to monitor the progress of any cook.
As we add more smart tech to our homes, little gadgets like this could have a more beneficial impact when it comes to health, safety and comfort than something much larger or more expensive.
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Key Features of the New iGrill 2
The iGrill 2 (check latest pricing) comes with a magnetic reading unit and two temperature sensing probes that can read between -22 degrees and 572 degrees fahrenheit. You can pick up another pair of probes if you like to cook huge meals and want to be extra-sure that your meat is cooked through evenly.
- Built in Bluetooth: With Bluetooth built in, the sensor can tell you via your phone how the food is doing, and there’s an app that can help monitor your roast, smoke or other concoction for perfect tenderness. The probes connect to the sensor by wires, the box is powered by 2xAA batteries, and should last for a good few months of cooking, maybe dented by the light-up screen if you keep it in a shady spot.
- Safe and Simple: The magnetic base means you can put it somewhere safe and easy to read, while the probes do their work.
- Remote Monitoring on Your Phone: Step out of the kitchen and you can keep an eye on things on your smartphone, which is more practical for those long roasts.
- Advanced App Alert Management: With the app, you can manage minimum and maximum temperature alarms to prevent your food getting crisped or served cold. There are also preset and custom alarms if you need to keep an eye on a meal at certain points. It works on Bluetooth 4.0 or higher enabled smartphones or tablets, including most recent Android and iOS models. The well-rated iDevices app also controls the company’s other smart home gear if you happen to be a loyal fan.
- App Can Support Multiple iGrill’s: If you run a big kitchen the app can monitor multiple iGrill 2s, and there’s also easy ways to share your culinary exploits on social media, with additional recipes to try out.
- Manual Overrides (if needed): If you don’t have your phone to hand, the readout unit has two buttons so you can see the temperatures of the other probes. A long press of the power button is needed to turn it on and off again.
Pros of the iGrill 2
- Pro – Easy to Use Out of the Box: Out of the box, there is very little to stop you cooking right away, with simple setup and near instant pairing of the device to the phone.
- Pro – Different Sensors for Different Purposes: One of the supplied probes is designed to measure the temperature at the core of your meat, while the other can measure the ambient temperature of your oven or smoker.
- Pro – Intuitive Clips: These probes come with clips so you can install them at a sensible location within the oven or BBQ. As a final touch, they are color coordinated, both on the device and in the app, so you always know which one is where.
- Pro – 150 Foot Bluetooth: The instant advantage of the iGrill 2 is that the chef doesn’t need to be locked in the kitchen, or kept hanging around the BBQ or smoke house. With a 150 foot Bluetooth range, the chef can enjoy the party or do other things while the meat takes care of itself.
- Pro – App Monitors Each Individual Probe: The app can monitor each probe independently, so if you have an oven with a dead spot, you can figure out what’s the best way to turn your meat around for an even result. Using the app, you can take a final photo of the resulting delicious meal and share it on social media and the app’s own iGrill globe community.
Cons of the iGrill 2
- Cons – Probes Can Cause Problems: The key weakness of this product is that the probes are sometimes being reported faulty by users shortly after purchase. While we didn’t have any problems, faulty probes seem to be a common problem, and while replacements are cheap enough, this shouldn’t be happening on a consumer product. If you notice obviously not right readings from the sensors, then get the replaced under warranty or contact customer support.
- Bluetooth Struggles with Multi-floors: Another issue some users may have is that the Bluetooth radio doesn’t seem to be that strong, especially when used outside. It can lose signal if the user goes into another room or a different floor, although that may be down to your property.
- Not for Deep Dryer Use: There are also a few limitations, that the probes shouldn’t be immersed, so you can’t use it in a deep fryer and the probe cables are only 48-inches long, that should be enough for most users, but there are bound to be a few people expecting miles of wire with any product.
Final Recommendation – Is the iGrill 2 Really Useful?
There are a few similarly priced temperature solutions on the market, but the ability to link the iGrill 2 readouts to your phone makes it a cunning product. While the social media and recipe side of the app aren’t that innovative (surely most people who buy this already have pretty ambitious cooking plans), it does help add to the user experience.
When it comes to cooking speciality meats, large roasts or other fare, timing and heating needs to be spot on and the iGrill will certainly help in those endeavors, just make sure your probes are working okay, before relying on them for some expensive culinary experiment, that could go badly wrong if you rely on bad data.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!