What is summer without outdoor grilling? Not much—but mastering a culinary technique that is only seasonal feels like a waste.
Fortunately, modern technology will help any aspiring barbecue master overcome the limitations of a three-month learning season and expertly prepare grilled goods as soon as they light the fire.
Below are the best connected grills for any backyard cookout.
SmartGrill by Lynx
The SmartGrill by Lynx lives up to its name—and more. The stylish, stainless steel SmartGrill offers users complete, programmatic control over the cooking process. Via the MyChef operating system, baked into the accompanying Lynx smart device app, grill masters can set detailed and precise cooking instructions for the cut of meat in question, including when to alter the temperature (which the SmartGrill will do automatically) or when to flip the meat (an alarm will notify the user).
For the chef who is feeling wholly uninspired, SmartGrill has you covered as well. The SmartGrill comes with an updating, app-based list of professionally tested recipes of grilling classics that you can set and forget—and later take credit for. The most intriguing aspect is the Community section, where other SmartGrill owners can upload their culinary creations for you to try. The best part? You can’t mess it up. All this and you can control the Lynx SmartGrill with your voice.
The SmartGrill by Lynx is available in 30-inch, 36-inch and 42-inch versions, with prices ranging from $6,999 to $9,499, depending on size.
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The Traeger Timberline
For automation-inclined cooks who want to taste the heat as well as the meat, there’s good news: Smart grilling isn’t limited to only gas grills. The Traeger Timberline marries modern technology to the most classic of cooking techniques. Fueled by pellets—wood chips, available from a variety of different trees—the Timberline allows users to add myriad fire-born flavor profiles to their barbecuing, and to do it from anywhere in the world. Traeger’s WiFire technology grants control of the Timberline’s temperature, smoke, cooking cycles and more, remotely, via a smartphone app. Users can set-and-forget the barbecuing process, either through a custom cook cycle they build and program themselves or from one of over 3,000 downloadable recipes that come equipped in the Timberline app.
The cooker is also outfitted with a Super Smoke Mode, which marries a convection oven with a downdraft exhaust system that can add another level of flavor—and award-winning-style aesthetics—to anything you’ve got on the grill.
The Traeger Timberline is available for $1,699 or $1,999, depending on the size.
Char-Broil SmartChef Grill
You’re never grilling alone when you’ve got the Char-Broil SmartChef Grill. The gas grill, with its intuitive features and bright, bold app user interface, is nothing short of a grilling buddy. Not only will the SmartChef let you control your grill’s temperature from your phone, the clever cooker will remind you when specific items need to be flipped and even tell you when certain cuts are “done” via an accompanying meat thermometer that precisely tracks internal temperature, thus removing the need to poke at your meats. SmartChef owners can easily switch between manual and “Control” mode—a mode that automatically adjusts temperatures based on grill items or cook times—and back again, whenever they want to take a more hands-on approach to grilling.
The SmartChef will even give you a heads up when you are running low on propane so you’ll never find yourself fireless when you have the urge to cook. Perhaps best of all, the helpful grill will send an alert when it has cooled off enough to be re-covered, preventing the all-too-common problem of melted vinyl.
The Char-Broil SmartChef Grill is available for $599.
MyGrill Chef Smart
The MyGrill Chef Smart puts a whole new spin on high-tech grilling—quite literally. This charcoal grill, made entirely of stainless steel, features multiple rotisserie elements that adjust their spin automatically, according to the heat, meat and time in the cooking process. In addition to expertly controlling the spin of the rotisserie (continuous, gradual, or paused), the Chef Smart will automatically raise and lower all grilling elements to and from the flame to ensure the perfect grill without overcooking.
Chef Smart achieves these intelligent movements via built-in temperature sensors that read the heat coming off the charcoal and adjust the food as needed. As for the “griller,” their involvement is entirely up to them—users can let the Smart Chef take complete control, or customize the cooking for specific preferences (time, temperature, rotisserie rotation speed), with all grill management taking place on a built-in control system.
The MyGrill Chef Smart is available for $2,450 to $3,699, depending on size of grill.
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