With Memorial Day a couple of weeks away, summer is lurking right around the corner. I can’t believe how quickly time flies. It felt like just yesterday, I was ringing in 2014 with my grad school friends, and just the other week, I was in diapers.

Okay, but really. I have a theory as to why time seems to pass by quicker as we get older. One year when you’re, say, four years old, is 25% of your life. But one year when you’re 35 years old is 0.02857142857143% of your total life. So by percentage, time becomes a smaller fraction of your entire lifetime, making it appear to happen quicker. I know I’m not the first person to think of this. Nor am I a metaphysicist. So let’s just get back to what I am an expert in: cooking and blindness.

I’ve always had a penchant for grilling. It started the year after I began learning how to cook. It was the summer before my last year in college, and I lived in an apartment complex with a pool. Naturally, in between hours of internships and summer classes, the only things to do during the day (when you were a broke college kid who wanted to avoid temptation by staying away from the mall) were to tan at the pool and, thereby, eat at the pool. Friends would pitch in a couple of bucks, and I’d go to the grocery store, pick up some steaks on sale and corn on the cob, and throw everything on the grill by the poolside.

My first few times grilling, I ended up with blackened steaks (and not blackened on purpose either). Years later, I would learn the importance of a meat thermometer when grilling and roasting meats. And then when I lost my vision, I wondered how I would ever grill steak or chicken legs to perfection when I could no longer see the thermometer.

Then I learned about the iGrill, a device that utilizes Bluetooth technology to give you temperature feedback on your iPhone or iPad. The beauty of this is because Apple products come with VoiceOver, a built-in screen reader, so now I can learn the temperature of my ribeye with just the swipe of a thumb on my iPhone.

Even better, the iGrill is a universal product in that it’s useful for the grill chef with sight. Picture your Memorial Day barbecue: you invite neighbors, best buds, and the tolerable half of your family over to christen the grill for 2014. It’s hot (as it always is in Houston at the end of May), so your guests leave you all by your lonesome self outside to man the grill while they sit on your couch, soaking up the expensive A/C, sipping on your ice cold beer. And then if that weren’t enough, your spouse gives you grief for “abandoning the party and being anti-social.”

With the iGrill, you no longer have the excuse of “Someone’s gotta make sure the meat don’t burn.” Hook up the iGrill outside, slip your iPhone into your pocket, and now you’re free to mingle inside and bogart those special edition craft beers your buds were starting to dig into.

The iGrill was even featured on an episode of my cooking show in Canada, ”Four Senses.” The theme of the episode was (you guessed it) grilling, and I demonstrated how the iGrill makes it possible for the Blind Cook to grill a slab of meat to perfection without sight.

So just in time for Memorial Day and the numerous barbecues you’re bound to host this summer, I present to you the innovative iGrill. Do you have an iGrill, or have you used one before? What do you think? If not, how would you tell if a meat or vegetable is done on the grill if, say, you were vision impaired?

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6 Discussion to this post

  1. @JeffD503 says:

    What will they think of next?

    I don't have the iGrill, mostly because I don't have an iPhone or iPad. The only i-anything I have is my old iPod, and I mean this thing is one of the old models. I don't think I'll get much out of sticking the ear buds in a piece of meat, except for juicy ear buds and probably some looks of disgust. Believe it or not, I've never had a lot of experience grilling, but I'd like to learn, just to help expand my culinary horizons. On that somewhat unrelated note, I'm planning on having my first real deep fry this week. I'll let you know how it turns out, although if I end up in the burn center, it might take some time. lol

    As for your question, I honestly have no idea how I would tell if meat or vegetables were done. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably use the same thing you're using.

    • Christine Ha says:

      What are you deep-frying? Be very careful around hot oil! And remember that water + oil = disaster.

      • @JeffD503 says:

        Your recipe for fried chicken. Any chicken recipe that uses orange zest and juice is too interesting to pass up. (And I've gotten permission to cook it as it, so I won't have to commit a Southern sin). I'll be sure to be careful around it. I've already gotten burned with butter, also making one of your recipes, so I'll be especially careful around a thing of oil. I'll remember that one too. Something tells me it'll take a lot of distance for that to equal comedy.

        In the plus column, I'll have someone who's fried a lot of chicken nearby to help me. And in the event of a fire, I have it all planned out. Push everyone down and run for the door. J/K, I plan on being super careful while doing this.

  2. Jason says:

    Neat. I’ve never used a meat thermometer when grilling, normally I poke at the food with my finger to check for doneness, using the trick where the firmness of the food matches (more or less) the firmness of the meat at the base of your thumb.

    One of these days I’ll have to- very carefully and supervised- try to cook blindfolded. When I think about it it’s surprising how close my appendages regularly get to hot and/or pointy things, and it’s taken for granted. Like in the example above, I think nothing of shoving my fingers down into a grill because I see there’s a steak in the way, it’d be a whole different bunch of cocunuts without sight. You can’t really feel around on a grill to find something, can you?

    I can see that device being quite useful when doing a roast. Even if I’m upstairs or out in the yard, I’d know when it went off. Not that I’ve ever overcooked anything because I didn’t hear the thermometer beep… No, never done that. Not even once. Nope.

  3. Hattie J. says:


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