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Grilling For Geeks

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the set-phasers-to-broil dept.

Technology 169

A lot of us are going to be standing over a grill today cooking for friends and family. Here's an article that lists some of the best gadgets to help you grill like a geek. Whether you want some high-tech tongs, thermometers you can monitor from your phone, or a complete grilling station with wi-fi, there is bound to be a tool here that will make your day easier and a lot more fun.

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Use your WoW character's cooking skills! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135051)

Do it online instead!

Re:Use your WoW character's cooking skills! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136211)

My cooking skill is only 42, you insensitive clod!

Amazing (2, Funny)

ccguy (1116865) | about 2 years ago | (#40135053)

Loved the list! There's even some iGrill apps for your iPhone. It's always a great idea to have your smartphone close to the grill when you are cooking. Why didn't I think of this before?

Re:Amazing (-1, Flamebait)

MrJamas (2649435) | about 2 years ago | (#40135085)

And why cannot you or Americans just enjoy having some nice food with your friends and family? Sit down, have a few beers and a nice chat while you're cooking. This is why I like Asia more - people can actually socialize and dinner is always done together.

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135385)

That is what 99% of Americans will do. The over-obsessed idiots here, though, are another story.

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

s2jcpete (989386) | about 2 years ago | (#40135387)

Since we are generalizing whole societies from a posting on a technology site, I can infer that asians are very judgmental?

Re:Amazing (1)

donscarletti (569232) | about 2 years ago | (#40135645)

I learned how to celebrate from my Chinese boss. Nice family dinner with wife and son, then they go home and we hit the Maotai hard with the mistress de jour and a few KTV hostesses.

Re:Amazing (1)

neonKow (1239288) | about 2 years ago | (#40135647)

We Americans also happen to be the best at exporting our culture, especially the stupid, lazy parts, so you may laugh at us now, but in 5-10 years, expect to find yourself doing the exact same thing.

Re:Amazing (4, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about 2 years ago | (#40135093)

It's always a great idea to have your smartphone close to the grill when you are cooking.

Right up until you said that, I thought you were serious, and got actually worried there was a large market for the items in the article among slashdot readers :)

Seriously, being a geek isn't about using electronic gadgets. It's about obsessing over a subject and seeking to become very knowledgeable in it, to a fault. If you're a grilling geek, you're going to be very interested in grilling, and wouldn't want to be distracted by smartphones and wi-fi.

And if you're a gadget geek who is forced to grill, the only thing you want is a gadget that will do the grilling for you, without your intervention.

Re:Amazing (2)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40135165)

It's about obsessing over a subject and seeking to become very knowledgeable in it, to a fault.

The chinese called this "Kung Fu" or "Gong Fu". A very old, and very facinating topic.

Though I'm unsure about the "to a fault" bit. Maybe I over analized but it seems to suggest that something else, that is ncecessary, is neglected. The two do not have to corelate. I tend to call it balance, I think they did too.

Re:Amazing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135477)

I think you're confusing geek and nerd. Geek's are, for example, most Apple users who love tech but couldn't tell a FET from a BJT. A nerd can tell you the reasons why PowerPC was a better CPU architecture over x86 for the Mac.

Re:Amazing (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40135659)

You don't even need to geek up the grill in order to do it right. The most complicated machine you're going to need is a timer.

Re:Amazing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135989)

Seriously, being a geek isn't about using electronic gadgets. It's about obsessing over a subject and seeking to become very knowledgeable in it, to a fault. If you're a grilling geek, you're going to be very interested in grilling, and wouldn't want to be distracted by smartphones and wi-fi.

I disagree whole heartedly. I am in many many ways a geek, in my career and in my home life.

in my home life, I _LOVE_ to grill.

But when I'm doing an 18+ hour beef brisket, I would _love_ to have a (wifi) device that I could work with to get temperatures on my linux box, and send me alerts if the temps go outside of bounds so I can fix the problem. I don't spend 18 hours staring at the temp guage, as I like to enjoy life. I would also love to be able to graph my temps with cacti, particularly my meat temps so I can learn more about the plateaus and get things just right time after time.

does it make me less geeky that I want to use automation to get rid of the tedious parts of grilling, so i can enjoy other things?

How is this any different than me wanting to monitor my DNS server, disk array, web server for abnormal conditions, then react to them?

go be judgemental somewhere else, and stop trying to define 'geek' to fit your view of life.

iGrill? Pah! (5, Funny)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 2 years ago | (#40135081)

I grill my food using a Prescott P4 with the heatsink off.

Re:iGrill? Pah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135291)

That's a low blow.

My Thorobred A (2000+) runs way hotter than my Prescott. (Yes, they still run)

The Prescott using its stock HSF. The Athlon fried its stock fan, so I replaced it with something I thought was extreme overkill... A nice big heatsink and a 8000RPM Delta fan. Delta fans at the time were the fastest, most air-moving fans in the aftermarket. The unfortunate downside was the loud noise it generated.

The sad thing is, the Athlon still overheats.

Paid advertisement (5, Insightful)

chepati (220147) | about 2 years ago | (#40135087)

Slashdot, please have some journalistic integrity and label these advertisements for what they truly are. Don't insult our intelligence by trying to pass them off as true stories.


Re:Paid advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135135)

You must be old around here. Just about everything on Slashdot is about the money anymore.

Re:Paid advertisement (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135225)

Please have some common sense and don't sign your posts. Don't insult our intelligence by signing like a moron when your nick is already up there.

Re:Paid advertisement (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135337)

Yeah, that is really annoying.

Anonymous Coward.

Re:Paid advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135853)

Some people just need their name plastered everywhere I suppose.

Not so geeky, imo (5, Insightful)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | about 2 years ago | (#40135101)

Some iPhone apps and a couple of gimmicky products ... Where's the Arduino based TC4C with LCD readout to use programming and thermocouples to tell you when your food is done. Where's the PID controlled BBQ smoker from a couple of flower pots and electric stove heating element? These are just the things from the top of my head! I'm probably burning some karma with this post, but I'm very disappointed.

Re:Not so geeky, imo (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40135125)

I'm probably burning some karma with this post, but I'm very disappointed.

Well if you are, then I'm right there with you. Hell, I remember seeing the guy with what looked like a homemade PID controller for his cheap smokers on that BBQ "reality" show, winning competitions and so on against people with stupendously expensive equipment and thinking "I've seen code for that." Indeed, I've been thinking harder about doing some PID projects since they're so simple (once someone else has done the hard parts.)

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135113)

Gadgets officially branded geeky by someone online! Now you're a real geek, yo!

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135117)

I think what you are talking about is called a "Barbie" where I come from

And its raining right now, I think rain is attracted to BBQ events worldwide.

Re:Translation (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#40135619)

Weather is not really a factor for most serious grillers. Having spent a few years living in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, I've grilled outdoors with several feet of snow on the ground. And rain? This is the Pacific Northwest, if you don't want to grill in the rain, you might as well hang it up.

As for "geeky" grilling tools, long before high-tech met the BBQ grill, I was using one of these [fluke.com] to temp my meat. Other than that all you need is tongs...

First priciples are the best for grilling (4, Insightful)

hey (83763) | about 2 years ago | (#40135127)

Get the heaviest BBQ you can afford (and fits into you space).
Pay attention first hand - don't use an app.

Buy by the pound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135251)

Buy your grill by the pound. Good, good advice.

Re:First priciples are the best for grilling (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40135415)

As someone who fixes things for friends and family, I find the first principle for great grilling is let them cook for you to make up for some of the countless hours you've spent helping them.

Sorry but... (5, Funny)

nozzo (851371) | about 2 years ago | (#40135129)

.. there was not even one mention of an Arduino controlled grill with bluetooth temperature sensors that tweets when it's done. I want my click back.

Thermocouple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135133)

I use a type k thermocouple (food grade probe) to check the temp of meat I'm grilling.

Astroturf write our stories now? (4, Insightful)

DeeEff (2370332) | about 2 years ago | (#40135145)

Really guys? Slow news day would be one thing, but this is ridiculous.

At least show some honesty for what this is.
P.S. in case you don't know what this is, I'll remind you that I check off the disable ads button, and use ad block. Still I read this and get upset. Wtf slash dot?

Re:Astroturf write our stories now? (5, Insightful)

twistofsin (718250) | about 2 years ago | (#40135211)

Slashdot's not responsible for you being upset. Grow some thicker skin, this is the fucking internet :P

Re:Astroturf write our stories now? (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | about 2 years ago | (#40136281)


I lived in Argentina and Uruguay, where grilling is a cultural thing. Even vegetarians know how to cook meat in a grill (yeah, I happen to know one). I've been to a lot of "asados" with geeks, and the best tools you can have are an eyeball and a tongue. Any gadget is needlessly baroque; an article on this is shameless advertising on useless gadgetry.

Hot dog! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40135149)


I had a semicylinder reflector griller perfect for one kebob or footlong hotdog at a time, 20 minutes per.

This was back in the 70's before environmentalism was "cool", and it was called ecology. >:-(

More like grilling for the gadget-obsessed (5, Informative)

The Stranger (24022) | about 2 years ago | (#40135157)

Personally, I think most of these gadgets are worthless. Yes, a thermometer is useful (but I prefer the instant-read kind like the Thermapen for quick checks in multiple locations). Otherwise, you really only need a good pair of extra-long tongs (that 3-in-1 thing in TFA looks clunky as heck) and a spatula.

If you really want to grill like a geek, check out Kenji Alt's Food Lab [seriouseats.com] posts over on Serious Eats. He's got a nice guide up right now on how to grill a steak the right way [seriouseats.com] (complete with explanations based on food science and his own experiments), and he's been doing a series on the best inexpensive steaks (at least, inexpensive compared to porterhouse and tenderloin).

Re:More like grilling for the gadget-obsessed (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40135523)

I'll second the Serious Eats recommendation. Some very good advice and presented in a very digestible (hah) way. As a grilling newb, I’ve put a lot of the info to use and actually seen results.

Roullier-White vs Gutenburg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136511)

Is it the application of brute force or the opportunity to recreate lots of experiments?

Personally, I'm a fan of knowing lots of recipes rather than trying to 'perfect' any one of them.

True Grilling for Geeks - Not an Ad (2)

Internal Modem (1281796) | about 2 years ago | (#40135171)

The submission is an ad. True geeks aren't just about gadgets, but rather they focus on being knowledgeable in a particular field.

When it comes to grilling (and real BBQ) this is the ultimate geek reference:
BBQ FAQ [eaglequest.com]

Protip (3, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40135179)

To my fellow geeks, if you've never grilled now's the time to start! If you fail, don't worry. This is how you learn, like learning how much you hate java but don't mine C#. But the secret? The secret is to find a sauce, or make a sauce that's all your own. But grilling in itself? You don't need hightech junk, you need patience and the want to learn.

My personal recipe: All done to taste,
Ketchup, yellow mustard, parmesan cheese (powder or bricked shredded), garlic powder, pepper(varieties are your friend), dried sweet red pepper, sweet dried onion. Dash of milk or cream, dash of sugar(icing, brown or white to sweeten, can also use honey), then 1/3 to 1/2c of your favorite beer or 1 to 2 shots of your favorite hard booze.

Re:Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135499)

The secret to cooking well is the secret to doing anything well. Analyze what you've done; look at what wasn't perfect and try to understand why; then use the lessons learned to do it better next time.

If you're any good at programming this mindset should be second nature.

Re:Protip (2)

mrjb (547783) | about 2 years ago | (#40135673)

Nice, but you forgot the geeky bit. Slow-cook chicken bits (legs/drumsticks/wings) for several hours at 70-75C in a marinade of water, honey, sweet soy sauce, tomato puree, pepper, garlic, ginger, chillies and onion. Pat dry, then grill on coal. Meanwhile reduce the marinade into a sauce. Use for basting and pour over the chicken after grilling. The low slow-cooking temperature is high enough to kill off bacteria, yet low enough to prevent the collagen in the chicken to contract to the point where it gets bone-dry. Result: Fall of the bone, succulent chicken with a great BBQ flavour. Perfect every time... and you'll never have to worry about chicken that's black on the outside and raw on the inside. Reducing the sauce down will intensify the flavour (and as any chicken flavour lost into the marinade is added back onto the chicken, it will be bursting with flavour).

Re:Protip (1)

blue_teeth (83171) | about 2 years ago | (#40135753)

I believe in two simple principles in cooking - heat & proportion.

Get it right, you've got a dish.

bon apetit

Re:Protip (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | about 2 years ago | (#40136311)

You should try it without sauce, putting coarse salt on the meat before cooking. When I grill, I know people are in it for the red beauty, so I cook something pure and leave dressings for the salad or potatoes.

I guess a thermometer is a "gadget" (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#40135213)

The only "gadget" that is really necessary is a decent thermometer appropriate to the task at hand. I say it is a gadget because if you really know what you are doing a thermometer is optional. (I'm not that good so I use thermometers heavily when cooking and have a wide variety of them - the most gadgety one I have is an infrared thermometer for non-contact temp readings) A good grill, a fire extinguisher, some tongs and possibly a spatula are pretty much the only requirements. You really shouldn't be walking away from the grill while cooking for safety reasons so I don't really understand the point of remote monitoring except for really low & slow cooking like BBQ. The best "gadget" you can get is a geeky cookbook like the ones Alton Brown writes.

Re:I guess a thermometer is a "gadget" (3, Informative)

zerro (1820876) | about 2 years ago | (#40135423)

+1 I picked up Alton Brown's Good Eats: The Early Years a while back and like the TV show of its namesake, it is as informative as it is entertaining.

Re:I guess a thermometer is a "gadget" (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#40135871)

Shouldn't be walking away from the grill due to safety reasons? What kind of condition is your grill in? Do you recommend I stand there for hours while something cooks? A quality grill in good condition should be as safe as a gas stove. Even safe if you're using charcoal. While you probably shouldn't take a nap while you're grilling, I don't think it's a bad idea to go back into the kitchen while something is cooking to prepare other parts of the meal.

Yes you should monitor the fire (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#40135937)

Shouldn't be walking away from the grill due to safety reasons? What kind of condition is your grill in?

Doesn't matter. Mine is in excellent condition but I still wouldn't walk away from it for more time than it takes to grab something from my kitchen. Just like I wouldn't leave an active stove or oven unattended inside the house. I'm not saying you can't take your eyes off it for a few minutes if the situation seems reasonably secure but leaving it alone long enough for remote monitoring equipment to become useful is probably a bad idea.

Do you recommend I stand there for hours while something cooks?

In most cases yes. (It's ok if you sit down but don't go far away) Plus if you are cooking something that actually takes hours, you probably are barbequing instead of grilling. It doesn't take hours to cook a steak, or hamburger or chicken. Maybe if you are roasting a whole turkey but you probably aren't doing that on the grill anyway.

Re:Yes you should monitor the fire (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 2 years ago | (#40136195)

Maybe if you are roasting a whole turkey but you probably aren't doing that on the grill anyway.

I do a beer can turkey at least once or twice a year. ~4 hrs, indirect heat, no flareups, good grill. Start checking temps after a 2 hours or so. No reason to stand there watching it.

Beer can chicken (~2.5 hrs) at least once a month. Again, no reason to sit there watching it.

Re:Yes you should monitor the fire (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40136411)

You are probably the kind of guy who wont let his clothes dryer run when hes not home either.

Appropriate because... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135229)

...heating dead animal flesh over embers is obviously the way to commemorate dead armed forces personnel.

this is just sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135233)

Really? And you guys wonder why geeks don't get laid.

Never Use a Hamburger Press (3, Interesting)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#40135261)

Hamburgers should not be made in a press. If you're going to do that, you might as well use pre-formed patties. They should be carefully formed, with as little pressure as possible from 4 to 5 ounces of beef - 6 at the most. The center should be slightly thinner than the edges - use your thumb to make a small depression on each side. Mashing the burger together in a press will make it harder to break apart on the grill, but a little care and a CLEAN grill will make it unnecessary without sacrificing texture and juiciness. If you want to be really obsessive about it, line up the strands of ground beef vertically in a ring mold and then press them lightly together, but that can be a bit of a pain.

Re:Never Use a Hamburger Press (1)

mrjb (547783) | about 2 years ago | (#40135691)

If you want to be really obsessive about it, line up the strands of ground beef vertically in a ring mold and then press them lightly together, but that can be a bit of a pain.

Ah, the old Blumenburger.

Really? (4, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#40135277)

Why not take a day off from hardware/software and computers, regress to your caveman days and grill some meat, take a digital sabbatical.

Re:Really? (1)

mallydobb (1785726) | about 2 years ago | (#40135793)

AMEN! Just throw a slab of meat on the grill and light it up, this type of cooking is mostly intuition anyway, no need to geek/nerd it up.

Real Geeks Hack (3, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40135341)

Real geeks hack their tech. And when it comes to cooking, you can buy something that is half as good as what you can build, for twice the price -- as this ridiculous article handily demonstrates. Food hacking (or Modernist Cuisine, if you prefer) is a very big field these days. Want a great steak? Start with sous vide immersion cooking to get the perfect medium rare, then hit it with a flamethrower for the char. Play with your food.

Immersion Cooker (about $100 all-in):
http://beach.traxel.com/img/hopped-up/whole-rig.jpg [traxel.com]

Weedburner Charring (about $35 at Harbor Freight):
http://beach.traxel.com/img/sous-vide/weedburner-char.jpg [traxel.com]

Here's some more info on building your own meat jacuzzi:
http://qandabe.com/2011/70-diy-sous-vide-universal-controller/ [qandabe.com]

Oh dear. What happened to a BBQ being simple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135361)

Sometimes I think that BBQ grill can get so hi-tech that the fun of cooking on a BBQ is totally lost. You should be losing a burger to the coals, and eating blackened sausages. It's all part of the fun. It's meant to be relaxing, so why add stressful technology gadgets to the mix?

Hot charcoal + slabs of meat (and/or selected veggies) + alcohol => WINNER.

Turn off the technology when you're outside, grilling and drinking.

And don't use petrol because you have difficulty lighting charcoal. You don't want to be grilling yourself/your other half/your friends!

Hacking by any other name (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#40135367)

Geeks should keep to hacking away at code and circuits and not hacking at the carcasses of dead critters.

Grilling steak (4, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 years ago | (#40135375)

This is low-tech, but it's yielded consistent, good results for me:

Texture and taste are best when it's medium-rare on the inside. Once I accepted this, everything fell into place and everyone now loves the results I get.

And, to get my results:

- Use high heat on the grill.

- Judge done-ness by how much resistance the steak offers when you push on it with tongs or whatever. I'm sure this could be measured, but it only takes a few steaks to developed your own judgment.

- Letting the steak rest for 5 minutes before serving really is a good idea. It's when the final internal cooking occurs (so you can avoid over-cooking the outside), and it seems to reduce how much juices leak out when you cut it.

- It's worthwhile to spend your money on a smaller cut of good steak, than a bigger cut of cheap steak. (If you're serving the steak on its own merits, as opposed to in a chili, stew, etc.)

Re:Grilling steak (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#40136635)

    For steak, I go for rare. Body temperature on the inside, lightly grilled on the surfaces. For everyone else, they usually go medium rare to medium. I cook theirs to their whims.

    As you said, go for better foods, than quantity. There's usually a happy medium. I like filet minion, but a good sirloin cooked properly tastes great also.

    The only adjustment I'd make for your instructions is to cook both sides fairly quickly.

    - cook the first side for about a minute with the top open (so you can supervise)

    - flip, and cook the second side with the lid closed (allows for better even cooking)

    - touching every few minutes with the spatula. You know what raw felt like. If it's well done, it will feel like pressing on cardboard. You're aiming for about 3 minutes less than where you want it. If one is cooking too fast, or you want it rarer than the others, move it to the top rack (assuming two racks), or to one side of the grill with the burner off (assuming multiple burners)

    - flip a third time, to finish cooking the first side. Get your clean serving plate, or individual dishes. By the time you come back out, they will be ready to collect from the grill.

  - If seasoning or BBQ sauce is desired, reapply it to the top surface after each time you flip it. Applying to the bottom only lets it fall off or burn.

  For hamburgers, I never cook them rare. Simply enough, the outside of the meat, where there could be contamination from handling is inside, so you want to cook it the whole way through. It will still have a slightly soft feel.

    For chicken, the same applies. You'll be looking for a slightly soft feeling.

    The same flip and seasoning applies to hamburgers and chicken.

    I cook vegetables, and shellfish on the grill too.

    Corn on the cob, I put a lot of butter on it, and wrap it tightly in foil. You want it to seal, so the moisture doesn't escape. The butter will soak into the corn while it cooks. Give at least 20 minutes on the cooler part of the grill (top rack, or on the side with one burner on low). You're going for baking, not direct heat. They can safely stay on longer.

    Baked potatoes get butter in the foil like the corn. Give those at least 30 to 45 minutes.

    Crab legs get wrapped in foil, but nothing additional inside. Be careful, they'll poke through the foil pretty easily.

    For foil wrapped things, rotate 1/4 turn or flip (as applicable) every 5 minutes to 10 minutes, which can be properly timed by every time you need another beer. :)

    I don't see the need for technology to assist, other than maybe a working clock, and a generic thermometer on the lid. The thermometer is just useful to glance at to make sure the grill is warmed up before cooking, and to verify you haven't run out of propane.

    I do have a pyrometer, but I only use it to check temperatures for automotive work, such as finding hot spots on engines (or avoiding burning your hands), and verifying A/C recharging was done properly (check the pressures, then check the outlet air temperature). I've used cooking thermometers for the later also, if they read down to 40F. A/C output is suppose to be 40F to 48F, depending on the charge and the condition of the equipment.

Thermometers are helpful tech (1)

bobbutts (927504) | about 2 years ago | (#40135393)

I use an infrared thermometer to check the temp when slow cooking. Every other item I use has been available for at least 50 years.

Re:Thermometers are helpful tech (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 years ago | (#40135573)

Can someone explain to me why an IR thermometer even works?

The two reasons I would expect them to not work are:

- I would expect different materials to emit different amounts of IR light for a given temperature. So you couldn't just look at the intensity of IR light to gauge even surface temperature, without specifying the substance.

- When cooking meats, what you're mostly looking for is the internal temperature, not the surface temperature. And I would expect an IR thermometer to only be able to measure surface temperature.

Miami is going to be Black from Dawn 'till Dusk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135441)

Do these humans have any (fill-in-your-own) manners? From what I see from Delano Hotel's windows... Not.

Better geek grilling (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135447)

These are some pretty piss poor "Geek grilling gadgets"

  Those that get their geek on grilling want the best information gathering for the experience. How about this top 5?
1.) A good IR thermometer. I use this for everything from candy, to my grill, to my pizza oven, to my forge, to my fire pit: http://www.amazon.com/Fluke-62-Mini-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B000MX5Y9C
2.)A meat grinder. I personally prefer a manual one, as I had two electric models burn out on me. I know there are plenty of good electrical ones out there, but I now have a bit of a prejudice... Want the most juicy and tender burger? Grind your meat into a line on saran wrap, and roll it tight, protecting the grain of the grind as one long line. Then slice into patties. No cross grain in these patties, so they are a bit structurally weaker, but it is a fantastic burger grind... That and you can experiment with sausages, fish burgers, mini nut roasts for vegetarians... http://www.amazon.com/Weston-Heavy-Manual-Tinned-Grinder/dp/B000T3ONH4
3.) Build or buy a Sous Vide immersion circulator - Nothing more geeky than this perfection, and it can tie in to some really magical finishing on the grill. http://seattlefoodgeek.com/2010/02/diy-sous-vide-heating-immersion-circulator-for-about-75/
4.) I found this years ago, after watching the smoking episode on Good Eats, and this trashcan build is my smoker of choice since. Though I've since modified it with an entrance hatch so I could change the wood more frequently, and a wrapping of water heater insulation. http://cruftbox.com/cruft/docs/elecsmoker.html . But this leads to more interest in temp. Want a lower temp smoking for magnificent smoked ham this holiday? Lower and slower.... I found a couple refrigerator boxes stacked in the winter could really do some great things.
5.) Last one, not grilling per-say, though the others were not so much as well. This space I would geek out about my knife, but I think the Sodastream (or other similar ideas... I just got an adapter valve so I could refill my CO2 canisters from a standard tank. Super cheap... Playing with CO2 makes BBQing fun for all. Ever carbonate slices of fruit, so it is effervescent on the tongue? Carbonated spirits? Making your own soda syrups?
  Well, this is my 2 cents. I'm sure everyone else has an equally passionate top 5 every geek should look into who wants to geek out over the grill.

Grill Grates (1)

davegravy (1019182) | about 2 years ago | (#40135451)

Not at all geeky, and admittedly contributing to the shameful advertising nature of this story, but of all the grilling gadgets I've bought Grill Grates have hands down been the best investment:

http://grillgrate.com/ [grillgrate.com]

The marketing seems more or less accurate, though I haven't personally done a controlled scientific comparison.

Re:Grill Grates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135595)

I thought that was "Bill Grates" for a second there...

Re:Grill Grates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135863)

Seconded on the grill grates, the perforated plate keeps flames from touching your food and channels the heat into the rails so the food only chars where it actually touches the grate. The juiceness and flavor claims are BS though.

Not barbecue weather (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40135487)

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's summer. It's far too hot and sunny to have a barbecue.

I mean really, who in their right mind wants to go and stand outside on a hot day, cooking hot food on a pile of hot burning charcoal? It's stupid.

Have your barbecue in the winter, when you can stand round a big hot pile of burning charcoal eating hot things and there are no annoying midgies or mosquitos.

Re:Not barbecue weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135601)

lol! +5 funny?

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135537)

flyp...don'T fear

Great Timing!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40135583)

If I order RIGHT NOW I can get it just in time for...ok...maybe the 4th of July...good thing I'm in the US

Geez! Why did you wait UNTIL THE DAY? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#40135611)

Good grief. Why did you wait UNTIL THE DAY they should be used to actually post about useful gadgets that require time to purchase, set up, and check out before use?

Now any of us who would have liked to obtain and use one of these gets to fret about how much BETTER the holiday could have been, rather than actually having the gadget operating and ENJOYING it.

TFA was updated two days ago so it obviously had been up for at least that long. A week or two lead would have been ideal.

This is right up there with not mentioning eclipses, meteor showers, and the like until the day of, or the day before, rather than at least a week back, so people who had forgotten about them have no time to arrange their schedules for a watch-it excursion. B-b

Gatgets are useless, get good info instead (1)

Madman (84403) | about 2 years ago | (#40135643)

You've got to be kidding! The way to make grilling fun is to get good results, and that means understanding what you're doing. I use an app called BB Meat Master which has an odd name and looks basic but the info on it is absolute gold and I haven't grilled a steak wrong since. You can spend $100 on a wireless something or other or you can spend $1 on an app. Your choice!

Two fire extinguishers, one to put out the fire... (1)

j-stroy (640921) | about 2 years ago | (#40135693)

Having had a near disaster barbecue propane incident occur at a friends house, I highly suggest at least one fire extinguisher. Nothing boosts geek cred like swearing at fire department telephone dispatch while calmly knocking down a 12 foot pillar of roaring flame from an openly venting propane tank.

Discharge the extinguisher at the base of the flames, and using a glove, turn off the tank valve.. it will be freezing cold and the tank will be covered in ice. First aid for flash burns is to immerse in cool water, no ice. And actually I suggest 2 extinguishers.. One to put out the fire and one to put out the fires started by the fire.

/ I'm serious

Bummer, Thermometer is NOT as described! (1)

Technosaur (2611565) | about 2 years ago | (#40135879)

The article preview states: "thermometers you can monitor from your phone". Perhaps HE/SHE can monitor it from THEIR phone... How presumptive... SO, everyone has an iPhone??? NOT! I hate to break it to you, but you and the iPhone are not the center of the universe. If you are interested in the thermometer and do NOT have an iPhone, just keep walkin'. To be fair, there are other items which may be of interest that do not require an iPhone, so it may be worth reading anyway... I'm bothered when told I can do something with my "phone", only to find out it's proprietary iPhone/iTunes. Tell the truth folks :) You *should* say you allow access from your iPhone... NOT "smartphone" or "phone". (gee, can I get that on my flip phone???)

Re:Bummer, Thermometer is NOT as described! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40136479)

I hate to break it to you, but iPhone is the new MS windows in terms of ubiquity. It carries BY FAR the biggest inertia and is almost always targeted first in mobile dev. You can decry the state of affairs all you want, but the the fact remains iOS is the current de facto standard.

American thing? (1)

bourdux (1609219) | about 2 years ago | (#40135921)

Pardon my ignorance, bu why exactly should today be a grill day? Is it a US thing? I'm just asking because I never heard of a specific day for grilling. P.S. I live in Japan.

Re:American thing? (1)

Technosaur (2611565) | about 2 years ago | (#40136059)

There is not really a specific "grilling day" that I know of, but... I think we Americans like any excuse to grill. This holiday, our Memorial Day, has some traditions associated with it that are not a part of the reason for the holiday. Since it occurs at the beginning of summer, is near the end of school, AND the first "long weekend" of the summer, certain activities are "claimed" as a part of the celebration. Our independence day is similarly accompanied by images of outdoor activities including grilling. I guess there is a cliche image of Memorial Day (also Independence Day and Labor Day) in many American heads. Outdoor activities, grilling included, falls in that category. IMHO

Grilling: cancer for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136077)

Cyclic Amides are generated on the meat when cooked on high heat over flame (especially where charring is present). This stuff is highly carcinogenic.

"Research has shown that heterocyclic amine formation in meat occurs at high cooking temperatures. For example, heterocyclic amines are the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl, and fish. HCAs form when amino acids and creatine (a chemical found in muscles) react at high cooking temperatures. Researchers have identified 17 different HCAs resulting from the cooking of muscle meats that may pose human cancer risk.[1][2] NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics found a link between individuals with stomach cancer and the consumption of cooked meat, and other studies for colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats. People who eat medium-well or well done beef were more than three times as likely to suffer stomach cancer as those who ate rare or medium-rare beef.[3] Other sources of protein (milk, eggs, tofu, and organ meats such as liver) have very little or no HCA content naturally or when cooked."

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136119)

Nothing like creating an overly complicated solutions for a problems that don't exist and then saying they are 'for geeks' and slapping it on /.

Always amusing (1)

MsWhich (2640815) | about 2 years ago | (#40136309)

when there's a misspelling right in the URL of the article. It's sort of like going to work and forgetting to put on your pants. Might as well put a sign on your forehead saying "Hi, I'm a total incompetent."

Anyway, all of the grill nerds I've ever met have been all about know-how and technique, as opposed to ridiculously overpriced and unnecessary gadgets. In fact, the most helpful "gadget" I know of is a simple chimney to get the fire going without needing lighter fluid. You can make one out of a coffee can, or you can spend all of $10 to buy one at Target.

If you need your smartphone for grilling, you're doing it wrong.

Wireless Thermometer overkill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136453)

Slow indirect heat with charcoal and wood chips. My tech is a discount $15.00 wireless thermometer with temp alarm.
When it is too smoky I have a surplus WW II gas mask.

You really need the Extech Tach+IR too (1)

almondo (145555) | about 2 years ago | (#40136667)

I use the Extech Tach+IR's laser temperature sensor to check and deliver precise meat temperatures.

You can make a test cut and in one second of laser thermal analysis you know the meat temperature to 1/10 of a degree. It is much more accurate than analog

You could also use the tach function to precisely set the rotisserie RPM but I tend to avoid dizzy meat options.

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