No two ways about it: the day before Christmas Eve is a sleepy, office mostly empty, finish your online shopping, take a long lunch kind of day. It would take a very special press release to break through the pre-holiday, here-comes-CES fog that's hovering over the TUAW home offices this week. I'm here to tell you, though, that one very special press release just arrived in our inboxes, and we're drooling with anticipation about this product. Literally drooling with anticipation.
Yes, it's the iPhone peripheral that every red-blooded American male absolutely needs for next 4th of July: the iGrill. It's a meat thermometer... with Bluetooth... and an app. You set it up by your grill. You put the probe in the roast, ribs, steak or salmon. You walk away. You enjoy a frosty beverage and tasty appetizers with your guests and family, knowing your iPhone or iPad will tell you when the food is ready.
The base unit operates as a stand-alone thermometer, but if you're within the 200 foot (optimistic!) wireless range, you can track the progress of your culinary effort remotely. The app will alert you when your food hits the target heat, or give you a readout of the estimated cooking time remaining. It also includes cooking tips, recipes and more content for the backyard chef.
Got more than one kind of food on the grill? Fear not; the base unit has dual probe support, so you can track both target temperatures at once. The catch? Each probe is US$20, and when you add that to the $99 price of the main unit (which includes a single probe) you've spent a lot of dough on what is, essentially, a digital meat thermometer that serves the same function as a $10 manual unit. You can get a really simple or quite sophisticated remote-enabled sensor for well under $40.
Even still. So very Jetsons. The same neural pathways that trigger hunger at the smell of grilling meat are telling us... we want. If you're going to CES, look for iDevices and the iGrill in the Dr. Bott booth.