Just about every appliance has joined the Internet of Things lately, from smart fridges to smart washing machines. However you feel about those other devices, most backyard chefs have probably at least been curious about the latest wave of household IoT: smart grills.
What, you might be wondering, does a smart grill actually do? Is it a gimmick, or can it actually improve your workflow and help you create more delicious food? Who should consider getting a smart grill? Can I get a smart pellet smoker for slow-cooked deliciousness? We’re here to help you get a little smarter about smart grilling.
Smart Grills 101
Generally, a smart grill means a grill with WiFi- or Bluetooth-enabled technology built in. You can connect to the smart grill using a wireless device like your phone or tablet and control it through an app. Controlling the grill’s temperature remotely is the most common use case, but most apps can do everything from starting and stopping the grill to monitoring its fuel supply.
Smart grill technology is now available on almost every kind of grill. It works a little differently on each type, however, and it’s more common on some than others.
- Wood Pellet Grills: Pellet grills are by far the most likely to have smart grilling features. Since pellet grills already work via an electronic system that controls the temperature automatically, WiFi pellet grills are a natural evolution of the style.
- Gas Grills: Smart gas grills are also an increasingly common part of the setup for a modern backyard chef. They’re not as widespread as pellet grills, but they can provide a well-connected cooking experience for grilling tech lovers.
- Charcoal Grills: Smart charcoal grills are still a highly niche product. They do exist, but charcoal generally isn’t a natural fit for smart grilling.
Why Smart Grills Are Awesome
1. Smart grills allow you to control your grill from anywhere.
Ever felt like you’re chained to the grill while everyone else at your cookout is somewhere else hanging out or watching the game? Need to check on your pork butt while you’re at work? Grilling in the winter and really don’t want to go outside to check the grill? A smart grill is the liberation you’ve been waiting for!
Your connected app can send you alerts if temperatures leave your preferred range, and it’s simple to adjust the temperature up or down from your device. A smart grill can even monitor the internal temperature of your food if you use a WiFi-enabled meat probe. You can set up notifications for when your grill hits its target temp range, when your meat has achieved its ideal internal temperature or just about anything else.
2. Smart grills give you precision control over your grill’s temperature.
A well-designed smart grill will take a lot of the guesswork out of grilling. You’ll have instant access to temperature data from your grill and the ability to tweak temperature on the fly. Some smart grills include features to help users find the perfect cooking temperature for a medium rare steak or a tender BBQ chicken. Smart grills also may include the ability to use a PID controller, which offers extremely precise temperature control when you need to get it just right.
3. Smart grills are ideal for low-and-slow cooking.
Do you love the smoky, slow-cooked flavor of BBQ recipes like pulled pork or baby back ribs? Smart grills are perfect for providing the low, consistent heat that these recipes require. A smart smoker makes it simple to monitor your temperature at any time, from anywhere. There’s no need to open the smoker to check, or to spend your whole day outside keeping an eye on your brisket.
4. Smart grills can help you avoid running out of fuel.
Some smart grills include sensors that detect fuel levels and send you a notification if you’ll need a refill soon. This is especially important in pellet grills, since running out of wood pellets can require priming the grill’s fuel system again.
Why Smart Grills Aren’t for Everyone
We’ve heard the pros — what about the cons of smart grills?
1. Smart grills can be more expensive.
Smart features tend to raise the price of a grill. However, these features definitely aren’t limited to ultra-high-end luxury grills anymore. In fact, smart grills are available at a lot of different price points, including many excellent mid-range models.
2. Smart grills require a little more setup and maintenance than other grills.
Since smart grills have more features and options than non-smart grills, they can take a little more time to set up. Owning a smart grill also involves some regular maintenance tasks like installing software updates. However, remember that if you don’t feel like dealing with it, most grills will allow you to turn the smart features off and use it as a good old-fashioned grill, too to start selling on swiggy.
3. Smart grills have electronic components that need to be protected.
It’s never ideal to leave a grill uncovered in the rain or snow, but it’s especially important to avoid it with a smart grill. Harsh weather conditions can damage the grill’s internal electronic components. It’s another reason why a well-made grill cover is so essential.
So, Should You Get a Smart Grill?
A smart grill can be an amazing cooking tool for just about any BBQ chef. If you’re trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on one, consider asking how many of the following apply to you:
- You’re a grilling pro who’d like to try out a more technologically advanced approach
- You’re a beginner who wants a little assist with leveling up your skills
- You’re looking for an awesome pellet smoker for cooking your favorite low-and-slow BBQ recipes
- You want to be able to socialize while you’re grilling without tending the food constantly
- You love having control over every little detail of your backyard BBQ
- You grill in cold weather often
Smart grills are here to stay in the backyard BBQ scene, and they could well become even more popular as the technology keeps evolving. Even if you think a smart grill isn’t your thing, try one out if you get the chance. The technology can be genuinely useful and intuitive when executed correctly.
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