It's really neat to see how smartphone integration can enhance the various tools and appliances we use around the home, but not everything necessarily needs a phone-centric boost. App-controlled, color-changing LED lights present an opportunity to use the tech in your pocket for new and exciting things. On the other hand, an iPhone-connected slow cooker that's more expensive and less feature-rich than a standard one comes off as an unnecessary implementation.
Luckily, the Kitchen Thermometer Mini from iDevices falls more in line with the former example, delivering "smart" features that help you cook with precision without having to stare at the oven or stovetop. Not every aspect is as intelligent as it should be, but there's real benefit to the iPhone connection here.
The Thermometer Mini itself is a small disc about the diameter of a half-dollar coin, which rests in a magnetic base and rotates 180 degrees to change the viewing angle. Plugged into that is the probe, which has a flexible, metal-lined four-foot cord--so you can, say, mount the thermometer to your fridge and have the cord safely running into your closed oven. The rubberized grip still becomes quite warm, however, whether the probe is in the oven or you've just had it in a resting roast for a couple minutes.
You'll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and the free iDevices Connected app to complete the equation, and the Kitchen Thermometer Mini connects wirelessly via Bluetooth LE through the app itself. As such, you'll be able to see the current meat temperature on your device while away from the kitchen, assuming you're in range of the thermometer.
The face of the Mini features a button surrounded by a flashing LED light, which shows the connection status at first before displaying a certain color based on how done the meat is in comparison to the selected preset. You'll select your meat--and doneness level preference, when applicable--via the app, and then pop the probe into the protein and watch the temperature reading rise on the iOS device screen. As that happens, the light-up ring will change from green on the low end up to a bold, flashing red when the meat reaches the desired temperature.
Accompanying the flashing light is a beeping sound, as well as notifications on your iOS device, letting you leave the room and still be alerted. Aside from pressing the physical button on the thermometer to pair it to a device, everything else happens within the app, including selecting a preset, looking up recipes, and scoping out photos of meals cooked by other iDevice accessory owners around the world.
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