iPad, iPod or iPhone, some of the hottest tech tools on the market today, can also be your biggest allys this time of the year. From digital cookbooks and grilling demos to an actual gadget called iGrill that lets you cook perfect burgers from across the backyard, here are a few simple high-tech tools to get your summer cook-outs off to a sizzling start. Oh, and don’t forget to keep your gadget safe from spills, drips, dips and drops – tips for that, too!
Cookbooks Go Digital
Cookbooks have come a long way since the old ear-marked, yellowing, cake spattered days of your mom’s kitchen. Today’s digital cookbooks are physically beautiful with gorgeous full-page spreads and they allow today’s modern cook to get engaged with a recipe with enhanced audio and video. Here a few top picks:
• BOBBY’S BOLD FLAVORS by Bobby Flay – Food Network superstar, restaurateur extraordinaire, and grilling expert, Bobby Flay offers 25 free full recipes.
• WILLIAMS-SONOMA GRILL MASTER: – Over 100 back-to-basics recipes including steaks, chops, ribs, prawns, and more. Filled with beautiful, full-color photographs and videos showcase grilling philosophy and tips & tricks for making the perfect steak or chicken.
• GRILLING Collection on the iBookstore – 30 books about grilling covering everything from Texan to Latin to Vegetarian, from Bobby Flay to Emeril Lagasse, from the Idiot’s Guide to the backyard BBQ’er to the Master.
Cooking Accessories for iPad
• Chef Sleeve – $19.99 – Mix. Whip. Pour. Sprinkle. Scroll. Protects iPad from moisture, grease and dirty hands while cooking. Box also turns into a stand.
• Ziploc Bags – $4 – A good ole’ Ziploc works really well, too. There are several upsides to this choice. You already have it in your kitchen and it’s cheap. The downside is that it’s not exactly the right fit, so if you use a bag that’s a whole lot bigger than you gadget, swiping through screens, especially with wet fingertips can be a little annoying. But, you know what I always say, “Why spend money when you don’t have to?”.
• Griffin Cabinet Mount for iPad – $59.99 – There are a lot of mounts specifically made for the iPad that range in price from $8 and up. With these, you really get what you pay for. This Griffin model is both sturdy and provides flexibility with where you can mount it. What I really like is that the mounting arm rotates 360 degrees around and 90 degrees front to back, so you can position your iPad perfectly no matter where you are in the room.
Go To Gadget: Use It!
• iGrill – $99.99 – This is a really cool grilling and cooking thermometer and app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The Bluetooth connected multiple-meat temperature monitoring system lets you get it right when it comes to rare, medium rare and burnt to a crisp. The iGrill also lets you enjoy the party without having to hover over the barbecue. There's an “estimated time to completion” function and an alarm that goes off on both the app and the iGrill device. This little gadget also makes a great gift.