How to turn your smartphone into the ultimate grill master’s tool
Ahh, the warm, beautiful days of summer are here. Well, almost. And for many Canadians, that means breaking out the barbecue. And believe it or not, a smartphone can be a valuable tool in this process, whether you’re looking to improve your grilling game, keep track of your cooking times, find some stellar recipes, or just get a better view of the food.
Here are just a few ways a mobile device can help:
1. Easy access to awesome recipes
Just as you might experiment in the kitchen, you can experiment with different recipes on the barbeque. StoryQue (iOS, Android) is a monthly digital magazine that provides a host of recipes and tips, particularly aimed at barbequing beginners. The app itself is free, but to get to the best content you’ll need to pay $2.99 for a single issue, or $29.99 for a yearly subscription. Thankfully, there’s a 7-day free trial that lets you sample what’s behind the pay wall before you commit to paying for it.
But if you’re looking to maximize storage space on your device, you may not need a barbeque-specific app. Allrecipes is one of my favourite sources for home cooked recipes, ranked by popularity, overall rating, and detailed reviews that suggest modifications to improve the result. Their Dinner Spinner app (iOS, Android; free) offers recipes for all types of cooking methods, and lets you choose dishes based on the type (e.g. main dish), the main ingredient (e.g. beef), and the amount of time to cook (e.g. 20 minutes.) Then, sort through the succulent results. Or, just run a basic search for “BBQ” and find recipes for everything from BBQ turkey to brisket.
2. Help with keeping your recipes organized
Paprika (iOS, Android; $5.79, $5.65) is great for keeping your favourite barbeque recipes organized. It can detect and pull recipe data from any site you visit and automatically load it into the app, formatting the information accordingly. You can then set a dinner menu for the week or month, select ingredients from the recipes to add to a virtual grocery list, and, of course, save all of your favourite recipes in one spot. Have your own killer secret family recipe for pulled pork? You can manually add your own recipes as well, complete with an uploaded photo.
3. The advice you need to ensure your meal is cooked to perfection
For those who can never seem to get the timing of the cook right on a big hunk of beef, the SteakMate app (iOS, Android; free) is a great companion. Punch in the cut of beef you have and its thickness, the method of cooking, and the desired doneness, and it will tell you exactly how to cook it, right down to prompts when you should flip, and when you should remove it from the grill and let it rest. If you’re grilling up a storm for a backyard party, no worries – it will let you add people to the queue to cook each person’s cut of beef to perfection.
4. A tool to keep track of your cooking times
I can’t live without a timer in the kitchen to remind me not to forget the roast in the oven, or the pot of boiling water on the stove. And the same goes for outside. If you’re worried about overcooking, do some research to figure out proper cooking times, then use the smartphone’s timer to keep track.
The bottom line
Your smartphone can play an important part in your barbecuing tool kit, helping ensure that your grilled meats (and veggies) are cooked to perfection.
What’s your favourite barbecuing app? Let us know in the comments section.