I’m far from being a good cook, but back in my early bachelor days I did more than just eat cereal and Mac ’n Cheese. There were actual times when I made the effort to cook real food — steaks and other meats for example. That my efforts were less than ideal was mostly my fault, but it’s no lie that the meat thermometer I used to keep track of the internal temperature had it in for me.
Flash forward to modern times and gadget-filled technologies that don’t change a whit the fact that cooking requires both patience and ability. But at least that analog meat thermometer can be given the heave-ho and replaced with the tech filled, Bluetooth-driven iDevices Kitchen Thermometer.
The Kitchen Thermometer is similar to that of its older brother, the iGrill, in that it uses attached probes to sink into the food and read its temperature. But here a clean white and sliver look is enforced since it is to be used indoors and to match the esthetics of a kitchen. The top of the unit can be pulled off for inserting the two “AA” batteries on the inside compartment, but this also enables it to be given a 180 degree spin before being placed back on the base. There is a reason for this — the base is magnetic and so can be placed on the side of a refrigerator or even the stove (requiring the Kitchen to be angled either up or down so that the LEDs can be seen). Touch sensitive controls turn it on/off and select from either of the dual probes that can be attached. These probes are made of metal, with a metallic-encased cable that plugs into the front bottom of the Kitchen. The amount of heat each probe is responding to is then seen on the LED display, which is large and green-bright (only one is seen at a time/flipping between them). Thanks to a proximity detector, the display is dimmed when no one is standing up against it, which saves on battery power. But it can also be monitored from an iPhone running the free-to-download app, and from up to 150 feet away. This makes for a great convenience, since it eliminates the absolute need for having to view the reading(s) right at the display.
Pairing the Kitchen Thermometer to an iPhone or iPad is done in the usual manner of going to the BT settings and selecting it from a menu. This will automatically bring up the Kitchen app. The app features some menus, cooking tips and a full manual to simplify its use.
I had the perfect opportunity to try out the Kitchen as I had been invited to dinner at a friend’s house and he was making a roast in the oven. I persuaded him to use the Kitchen thermometer rather than his “reliable” meat thermometer and he told me afterwards that what he most appreciated was the more accurate reading it gave him. Baked potatoes were also being made, so we tried out inserting one probe into a potato while another was in the roast — another thing that couldn’t be done before. I also told him about the preset alarms that could be set (or customized) that would go off when the probe read a specific temperature. He agreed that all of this as found on the app, combined with how the device functioned as a stand-alone device in its own right, would make having the Kitchen Thermometer worthwhile. All of this was just to soap me up to him saying I could leave it with him to “try out” for a while. Like I’ll ever see it again.
Bottom line: iDevice’s Kitchen Thermometer is designed to function in an efficient and highly usable manner whether or not you have an iOS device to connect it to.— thanks to a sensible design thought out with the kitchen in mind. Then add the Bluetooth functionality that kicks in with the app and the $79.99 that pays for everything (including the dual probes) makes this one tasty deal.
Proximity wake-up illuminated display, 200 hour battery life
White finish dirties easily
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.