This wireless thermometer changed the way I cook
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As an omnivore, the biggest cooking challenge for me is achieving the perfect level of doneness when preparing a steak. It’s hard not to over- or under-cook it using the conventional wisdom, which entails following a recipe or using the palm theory. I have done both and failed spectacularly; my steak never comes out as well as it should.
I’ve tried using a wired probe thermometer, per my pitmaster-wannabe husband’s suggestion. It has helped me monitor the cooking process, but the wires occasionally get tangled and I can’t conveniently flip a piece of beef or steak in the skillet with the wires attached. I was hopeful when I saw Yummly, a Bluetooth-enabled smart thermometer, pop up on my social feed—could this be the secret to cooking the perfect steak?
What’s a Yummly Smart Thermometer?
Think of it as a heat-resistant meat thermometer with an oven thermometer attached. It can measure the internal temperature of the meat, as well as the surrounding ambient temperature. It then sends the information to its charging dock, which transfers the information to your smartphone so you’ll get real-time tracking of temperature changes in your food.
You’ll receive the information via the Yummly app, free for download for iOS and Android users. Not only does the app show you temperature fluctuations, but it also provides guidance on the FDA-recommended temperatures for poultry, beef, pork, and other types of meat.
How does a Yummly thermometer work?
This battery-powered device (two AA batteries included in the packaging) has two parts: the charging dock and the thermometer. When not in use, the thermometer can stay in the dock charging. On a full charge, the thermometer can work for 36 hours uninterrupted.
To start, simply insert the thermometer into a piece of meat you’re cooking. The app will give you instructions on how to place the thermometer in case you’re new to cooking. You’ll start seeing temperature readings on your smartphone immediately. Then, you can select the type of meat (Steak, Lamb, Chicken, Salmon, Duck, Turkey, Pork, or Manual), doneness (Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Medium Well, and Well Done), and if applicable, the cut (in the case for beef, there’s are Steak, Roast, Whole Tenderloin, and Other).
As you cook, you can see the temperature start to rise until it hits the target temperature, which varies depending on the cut and type of meat. You can switch Expert Mode, which shows you a diagram and gives you an estimated cook time.
After the cooking is done, the app will start a countdown for how long the meat should rest.
What I like
With this smart thermometer telling me how exactly the cooking was going, I stopped feeling anxious throughout the process. It feels great knowing that the steak will turn out juicy and perfect, as the app updates you with precise readings of the temperature, as well as the estimated cook time, to make sure you’re in control every step of the way.
It’s also easy to use and store. I like that there are no exposed wires involved, so I don’t have to worry about tripping on them while moving the cooking vessel around. When not in use, the charging dock doubles as a storage case, which is easy to put away in the drawer.
Additionally, the Yummly app is thoughtfully designed for cooks of all levels—you don’t need to be a seasoned home chef to unlock the features in the app. Plus, a heat-resistant hook is included to help users retrieve the thermometer after it’s done cooking.
What I don’t like
The user manual could be more clear, specifically for the instructions. I had trouble connecting the thermometer to my phone because I misunderstood some of the steps. I eventually figured it out but it took some time. Though I like the results and improvement it made on my cooking, the Yummly may be a bit pricey for most people.
Is the Yummly thermometer worth it?
If you’re serious about meat, you’ll absolutely love this smart thermometer. By giving you real-time tracking of the temperature, it effectively takes the guesswork out of cooking. The best part is, you can expect a perfect result every time for every type of meat, whether it’s for yourself or for a dinner party.
However, there are more budget-friendly options, like this meat thermometer we’ve tested. Yes, you may need a little practice and patience to get the hang of this particular product, but it’s also less than half of the price of a Yummly. Or, if you don’t mind the wires, you may also want to consider a probe thermometer like this one.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.