The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
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iPhone BBQ Buddy - Grill Guide

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I’m continuing to do blog entries on some handy cooking related apps I have on my iPhone. This time I’ll describe Grill Guide by Dadoo which is a pocket reference guide to grilling which costs an outrageous $0.99. Yes all of this info is available in various cookbooks, but think about it for a minute. You are going to have your cell phone with you wherever you go. How often do you have a cookbook along for the ride?

One great thing about the iPhone is there are a lot of great apps for free or under $5.00. At these prices these apps can often be an impulse buy and you get to discover some great apps this way. This whole low price infra-structure has been both a good and bad thing. Actually I am going to do a mini rant here. I was totally amazed when I read about the controversy over a version 2.0 upgrade to a Twitter client for the iPhone. Now I simply don’t get Twitter and am sick of hearing about all things Twitter, but that is not my point here. It seems this developer, who is a one-man shop, priced his version 2.0 upgrade at $2.99. Now one thing to understand is Apple doesn’t allow you to do upgrade prices. As a result your upgrades must either be free or full price. This developer did a major upgrade and asked $2.99 for all the time he spent doing this. There was an unbelievable hue and cry from a bunch of folks who felt they were entitled to either a free or reduced price upgrade. As mentioned you can’t do upgrade pricing so it had to be free or $2.99. These same people who were screaming about spending $2.99 for a major software upgrade, probably spend that or more every morning at their local Starbucks. I mean please we are talking $3.00 for a years worth of this man’s work. Me I have zero problems paying these talented developers for what they do. If they make some money writing apps, they will continue to develop their current app or create new ones.

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There are seven categories of food: Pork, Vegetables, Beef, Lamb, Poultry, Fish & Fruit. Press the appropriate picture to select your category.


So to get things back on track lets talk about what $0.99 for this app gets you. Grill Guide has seven categories of food: Pork, Vegetables, Beef, Lamb, Poultry, Fish & Fruit. Within each category the items are broken down alphabetically. Once you pick a category, say Beef, the various cuts of beef are broken down by type (roasts, steaks) or alphabetically. Once you’ve picked your cut you see a list of the typical thicknesses for that cut which you will find at the store. The last screen tells you the recommended cooking method, and cooking temperature to use. It also tells you the approximate time required. At the bottom of each entry are some tips which are often general cooking tips, with some suggestions more specific to your cut thrown in.
  

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After choosing Beef (Red Meat) you are presented with an alphabetical list of the cuts. When you pick a cut, such as Rib-eye, you are presented with a list of common thicknesses. Choose a thickness and you are shown a cooking time, cooking method and a recommended temperature. You will also see some tips about cooking this piece of meat. The tips tend to be somewhat repetitive, but they offer sound advice.


Now you may be thinking why do you need this? After all this type of information is found in most cookbooks. Several reasons come to mind. First there have been several times when I have visited friends and suddenly I am in charge of grilling the food. I’ve also had people show up at my house bringing their own food where I am suddenly making something on the fly. Also there have been times where I couldn’t find the cut of meat I want, and suddenly I am going to Plan B. It can be very handy to be able to look up and see how long the various alternate pieces of meat might take. You always have your cell phone with you and having a quick reference in your pocket can be very handy. I’ve also used this app as a way of double checking the cooking time listed in a recipe I’m making.

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Here is the Apple entry under fruit. It has entries for cooking the apples as a ring slice, wedges or cut in half. Picking a prep method brings you to the listing of the specifics.


I’ve had zero problems with this app. The reason I mention this is when you look at the reviews on the iTunes store, you will find some folks who have had problems with an earlier version of this app crashing. Me, I’ve never had a single problem, but I also have not hacked or jail broken my iPhone. Now it is possible some of the folks having issues have a stock phone, but it often seems the people complaining about issues on their iPhones have either hacked it or have installed something that falls into a grey area. For me this app has performed as advertised. One other feature I’ve forgotten to mention is that it has a ruler function you can activate to help measure the thickness of the meat. This of course is based on the stock iPhone. If you have a case with a thick base it will throw off the measurements.

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A last bonus feature is you can turn on a screen that gives you a ruler to measure your cuts thickness. This assumes you are not using a case which has a thick bottom or side.


I’ve got to admit I like this little app and use it far more often than I originally expected. Having a little piece of mind for the sum of only $0.99 can’t be beat. Do a search on the iTunes App store for Grill Guide by Dadoo.


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