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Ideally, preparing meat shouldn’t be rocket science, but it can be tricky getting it just right. So many factors—the type of meat, the thickness of the cut, the cooking method, and the cooking temperature—all play into the final result. In our quest to ensure we don’t give our families (or ourselves) a nasty bout of food poisoning, it can be all too easy to overcook dinner.
While a meat thermometer is an inexpensive tool that can greatly aid in ending the guessing game, that doesn’t always translate to fool-proof cooking either. Checking too early may result in overestimating the remaining cooking time left, while checking too late, well…is too late!
After one too many overcooked pork chops, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and order takeout. However, there is an innovative tool on the market that just may solve your overcooking woes.
The Smarter Way To Cook
There’s nothing average about the CHEF iQ Smart Digital Meat Thermometer. Self-billed as the thinnest wireless cooking thermometer in the world, this clever device actively tracks your meat’s internal temperature while it cooks, alerting you when your food is ready to take off the heat.
Paired with the CHEF iQ app, you can actively monitor your meal’s progress straight from your smartphone or tablet. Heat-safe up 572°F, the CHEF iQ thermometer is safe to use on the grill, in the oven, and even in air and deep fryers.
The real “smart” aspect of the device, though, is the ability to be completely guided through the cooking process, including when to flip food (if necessary) and when to pull to allow the meat to rest and come to your desired internal temperature. Simply follow a few prompts (type of cut, thickness, cooking appliance, etc.), and the CHEF iQ thermometer takes it from there.
Putting The CHEF iQ To The Test
While the description (and reviews) looked great, the Suggest team wanted to test this handy-sounding device ourselves. An editor on the team (who admittedly almost always overcooks her meals), excitedly received the CHEF iQ thermometer to give it the old college try. Here’s what she reported.
First and foremost, the setup of the device did take some time, so be sure to take a lesson out of her book and get everything ready before you’re already hungry and ready to cook. The included booklet is a bit limited in information, so the initial setup is mainly all instructed via the app. While listed as optional, you will need to verify your email and register the device prior to using.
In terms of how to use, the included safety book has a few tips, but most of the instructions are only available via videos on the app. If you prefer written instructions, this could be a potential downside. Luckily, the videos are relatively short and fairly straightforward.
The key to success is the positioning of the probe, which needs to be fully inserted at the thickest point of the cut so that none of the stainless steel is showing. Inaccurate placement can cause inaccurate readings, which was the case for our editor the first time around. Also, be sure the probe is fully charged prior to use to ensure it doesn’t die halfway through your cooking process.
While overall she loved the concept and functionality of the device and app, there were some limitations. For example, when choosing the cooking settings for pork chops, there was no option for an oven under the cooking appliance, which was her desired method. Instead, she opted to manually monitor by temperature alone instead of having the step-by-step guide to the cooking process.
We control virtually every aspect of our lives via our smartphones, so why not our cooking as well? The CHEF iQ Smart Thermometer takes a little time to set up and learn, but that is rewarded with precise internal temperature tracking throughout the entire cooking process.
The app is also filled with hundreds of guided cooking recipes to take even more guesswork out of getting dinner on the table expertly cooked.
If you find yourself struggling with getting that perfect medium-rare steak or a chicken breast that is actually juicy and tender, then perhaps the CHEF iQ Smart Thermometer is just the tool for you.