5 On Your Side

Smart grill gadgets promise better timing, temperature for a price

Posted June 27

New gadgets promise to take the guesswork out grilling to help you get food that is just right, but there are ways to get the same results for less money.

If knowing when food on the grill is done stumps you, two grill gadgets claim to remove the mystery.

Weber's iGrill 3 is a $100 add-on feature that works with any Weber Genesis II grill. The device uses Bluetooth technology to send alerts and updates to your smartphone or tablet.

Testers said it took 10 to 15 minutes to install.

If you prefer one-stop shopping, the $800 Char-Broil SmartChef uses a Wi-Fi signal to send alerts to your device. You need a strong signal, and the grill needs to be plugged in.

Both use apps that ask similar questions, such as, "What are you cooking?" or "How do you like it cooked?" The questions give the devices they need to get the perfect temperature.

"In the end, both grills did really well in our tests, and we found their temperature probes were accurate," said Consumer Reports' Paul Hope.

But Consumer Reports says you can create your own smart grill with a good wireless meat thermometer.

Consumer Reports recommends the $40 thermometer from Oregon Scientific. It's easy to read, has a timer and also comes with preset meat temperatures.

If you want to skip all the bells and whistles, though, just buy a regular meat thermometer. The ThermoWorks for $20 was very accurate in Consumer Reports tests.

5 On Your Side's Monice Laliberte says if you need a new grill altogether, Consumer Reports recommends $270 Nexgrill from Home Depot. Testers say it's big enough to cook for a crowd and excels at keeping temperatures even.


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