By Tracey Dowdy
Even before we all hunkered down in quarantine and couldn’t eat out the way we used to, grilling was the staple for Father’s Day menus. There’s something quintessentially American about Dad in his “Every Butt Deserves A Good Rub apron, telling terrible dad jokes, and reigning over the grill like a feudal lord.
But, nothing ruins the party faster than food that chicken with a hint of lighter fluid, flare-ups that char the burgers, or dad getting sidetracked and turning those steaks into jerky. These apps and gadgets can help ensure dad’s day is everything he wants it to be.
Despite its misleading name, the Weber iGrill Mini app-connected thermometer works with both Android and iOS phones and promises precision grilling every time. The app will track the temperature from the fridge to the grill and notify you via the app once the food reaches the perfect temperature. ($49.99)
Similarly, The Meater+ thermometer uses an app to send notifications to your phone when your food is ready, but unlike the Weber iGrill Mini, it’s wireless. Plus, it has a range of 165 feet, so dad can wander around the yard, regaling guests with tales of his neverending battle against crabgrass and chipmunks, and still monitor the grill. ($99)
Indoors or out, we can all agree that one of the worst parts of cooking is cleaning up. The good people of Grillbot heard our cry and created a line of grill cleaning robots – yes, you read that right – that will do the worst of the dirty work for you. Just place the Grillbot on the grill, press a button, and leave it to get all that charred sauce and bits of food off your grates. ($89.99+)
Once those summertime temperatures soar, keeping up with the demand for a cool drink can be challenging. The Cooper Cooler Rapid Beverage Chiller is the answer. It can chill a can of soda or beer in one minute and an entire bottle of wine in six – roughly 40x faster than throwing the cans in the freezer and 10x faster than it can chill wine, plus there’s no risk of forgetting them and finding an exploded mess later. There’s even a 12V car adapter for one of the models so you can up your game at your next tailgate party. ($79.99+)
How many times have you started the grill, threw on the burgers, only to discover that you’ve run out of propane? GasWatch Propane Tank Level Indicator with Digital Display pairs with an app on your smartphone, tracks your propane level and sends an alert when the supply is getting low. ($24.95)
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.