One of the great benefits of writing The BBQ Grail is the offers I get to try new BBQ tools/accessories. You wouldn't believe some of the things people introduce on the market. Because I don't write, for the most part, negative product reviews the readers of this blog don't ever find out about them. A couple of weeks ago I got a Tweet from someone asking me to if I wanted to try out their new iPhone app for grilling. Sure I'd be happy to was my immediate response. I mean why wouldn't I want to, I love gadgets and cool stuff. I went to the app store and when I saw the price, of 99¢ I figured I'd be downloading a nice little toy app that wasn't going to do all that much. Boy was I wrong, this little app is a powerful tool for grilling and I'll use it all the time. The GrillStar app is not only easy to use, but fun. I found myself sitting on the sofa in the living, while watching television, pretending like I was grilling various foods so I could see what happened. Hopefully there is/will be an iPad version because then my iPad arrives I'm going to want this on there.
When you first open the GrillStar app you are greeted with a cutting board full of “Meats,” “Seafood” and “Veggies.” When you click on your grilling category a menu opens where you can select your exact meat, seafood or veggie. After you select your item another menu pops up where you can give you items nicknames/labels. This is great because it allows you to keep track of more than one steak, for example. One of the challenges when cooking for a group is when to turn everone’s steaks so they all come off the grill at the same time, but have the various degrees of doneness people want. The GrillStar app helps make this easier.
You have two alarms you can set. The first is an alarm reminding you when to flip you steak and the second is for the Total time. A great, great feature. And just like any other alarm on your iPhone it will go off to as you have it set to remind you with vibration. GrillStar will soon add chimes to the alarms and then the app will be as close to perfect as possible. Then just click on “Add to the Grill” and you are off and cooking
A fantastic part of this app is the “Ask Grill Star” feature. When you click on this icon in the “set-up” screen you get a quick how to for cooking that particular item. Times and temps are presented in a very easy to read way. By clicking on the “apply and edit” button your times are automatically populated into the set-up screen. You also can edit the times at this point if you feel the need.
Just like a real grilling experience now comes the fun stuff. I don’t know about everyone else but the prep work is the least fun part of cooking. I’m not including clean-up because the lack of fun there is a given. And the same is true with the GrillStar app! Now we get to cook. The next screen is a shot of the grill.
You have three options on how to set up your grill. Sear, direct and indirect. The screen shot shown has direct and sear showing. Because the GrillStar app keeps track of multiple items you have the legend at the bottom that tells you what the next item is that you’ll need to flip or remove from the grill.
I can’t believe how much I like this app. Now instead of playing Angry Birds while waiting somewhere I’m going to be grilling. What fun this is going to be. If you even have a minor interesting in grilling you’ve just got to have this app. It’s one of the best BBQ items I’ve seen this year. And for 99¢ you can’t possibly go wrong.
The gang at GrillStar has passed along four free licenses to give away to BBQ Grail readers. Leave a comment on this blog post between now and Midnight (pacific time) Sunday, May15th and you’ve got a chance to be one of four lucky readers will win a free copy of the GrillStar app.
Do me a favor, show the gang at GrillStar that you read about the app on the BBQ Grail by “Liking” their Facebook page and leaving a comment on the link to this blog post. I would really appreciate the extra effort.