Part of cooking is precision. You generally need to ensure that your food hits, or stays below, a certain temperature in order to get the proper effect, especially if you’re baking. There’s a reason Alton Brown recommends just buying cake mix instead of making from scratch. But, if you’re fussy in the kitchen, or just like having lots of gadgets in your kitchen, the Range Smart Thermometer will ensure you always know exactly how hot your chicken is getting.
It’s actually fairly straightforward, as a product. The Range itself is just your standard heat probe, better known to many as a meat thermometer, that anybody in the kitchen will be familiar with. You can place it on the meat or jab it. The real trick is that it’s plugged into your iPhone, so you can, for example, have an alert set for when the meat has hit the ideal internal temperature while you do something else.
Also useful is the app’s graphic function; you’ll be able to see over time how, precisely, the product you’re cooking or cooling heats or freezes, thus giving you a better idea of how to cook in the future. It comes in either Aqua, for more general uses such as beer brewing and candy making, and Ember, which is designed more for meats.
The only downside we can forsee is that at $59, and already requiring you to own an iPhone, which isn’t cheap either, you’ve got to wonder if what Range offers in terms of apps is good enough that you won’t just buy an infrared thermometer instead. In fact if you’re fussy about your phone, it seems less than ideal to have it near bubbling pots of stuff.
But for iPhone cooks, it’ll be a handy tool, and it’s on the verge of crossing its next stretch goal. You’ll find it on Kickstarter for $59 a pop, currently iOS only.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.