This Is How We Smoke Meat In My Century: iGrill

Fresh-smoked New Year's Ham! Yum! I smoke a lot, have about every thermometer available, but for tonight's dinner, I'm trying something different: iGrill, the iOS-enabled meat thermometer. So far it's tons better than sitting in my yard staring at the smoker.

So, I can't really tell you much about the experience yet—because my pork's only been in for an hour or so—but so far, so good. Mostly. Had some problems Bluetooth-pairing the thing with my iPhone, so I switched to my iPad, and that worked fine. It was actually a better choice, because iGrill's iPad app is much more fun than the iPhone version: more screen real-estate means a delicious BBQ dashboard you can burn hours playing with.

On the main screen, there's a kitchen timer (I'm using it to remind me to add charcoal and wood chips every 45 minutes), a real-time thermometer that tracks both of the iGrill's probes simultaneously, a temperature histogram that shows the progression of your meat-heat, and customizable alarms for each probe. The iGrill only comes with one probe, but I was able to plug in the one that came with my Polder thermometer with no problems. I'm using one to track the smoker's internal temperature, and one to measure the meat's doneness. I'm aiming for around 155-160—a perfect medium well ham. Zooomigod I am so freaking hungry.

Then, if you flip the little stainless-steel drawer-handle-looking thinger down, the app offers tips about cooking and food safety, recipes, even a Web browser so you can cruise the forums at BBQ Bretheren. But don't do that too much—the Bretheren are loyal, but they have differing opinions and can cause you to freak out and over-think your process. Or so I hear. Never happened to me, I swear.

All in all, I'm having fun. I'll update this post as the day—and my pork—progresses. Here's to hoping that all my technological fiddling doesn't distract me from the task at hand: smoking a 16-lb pork leg. [opens beer]

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