Smart grills help people cook outdoors without guesswork

Bluetooth technology used to pair with wireless devices

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - There's an app for just about everything, including some new grills. New high-tech gadgets claim to take the guesswork out of grilling. But are they worth the price?

If grilling is your thing, but if you're stumped by when the food is finished, two grills claim to take out the guesswork. Consumer Reports tested them both.

Weber’s iGrill3 is a $100 add-on feature that works with any Weber Genesis 11 grill. It uses Bluetooth technology to send alerts and updates to your phone or tablet.

"Our testers said that the iGrill3 installed in about 10 to 15 minutes and that it was very straightforward,” said Paul Hope, with Consumer Reports.

If installation isn't your thing, the $800 Charbroil Smartchef comes ready to go and uses a WiFi signal to send alerts to your device. However, testers found the signal needs to be strong and to use the main grill at all, it needs to be plugged in.

Both grills use apps that ask similar questions, such as 'What are you cooking?" and “How do you like it cooked?”

For the Consumer Reports test, steak was cooked medium rare. Both grills use preset temperatures to determine when the food is done.

Testers used temperature probes to check the accuracy.

“In the end, both grills did really well in our tests, and we found their temperature probes were accurate,” Hope said.

If you want to save money, you can create your own smart grill with a good wireless meat thermometer such as the $40 Oregon Scientific meat thermometer. It is easy to read, has a timer and comes with preset meat temperatures.

If you want to skip the bells and whistles, Consumer Reports said the $20 Thermoworks regular meat thermometer is very accurate. 

Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.