Top 5 BBQ gadgets

George-Foreman-Grill

For years man has been fascinated by flames. For years man has been fascinated by steak. Needless to say, that small window of the year when man can combine these two points of interest is a golden time for all. Albeit a charred gold.

For years man has also been fascinated by cool technologies… You can see where we’re going with this, right? Don your aprons, grab your firelighters and let’s take the ancient art of BBQing to a whole new level.

George Foreman GIPOD200

Besides meat, beverages and company, the fourth most important ingredient on any self-respecting BBQ baron’s checklist is music. This year, though, you can leave your battery or solar powered radios and speaker docks in the cupboard. You can even tell your guitar-brandishing mate to leave his axe behind… The latest addition to George Foreman’s ever-extending range of grills is this very cool electric BBQ that boasts an iPod docking bay!

Yup, you read that correctly; a BBQ that’s also a soundsystem. Okay so it’s only available in the US right now. And, okay, the foot-based speakers are a humble 10-watt, but, using the 3.5mm jack you can easily hook it up to a larger set of speakers. And don’t go thinking the BBQ lacks in the cooking department; being electric it guarantees consistent heat and, being a proud member of the Foreman range, it also drains the fat like his other grills. Sounds and sizzling lean meat… Life doesn’t get much better.

Yours for $150

BBQ Tower

From: http://www.bbqtower.co.uk

It’s the moment every BBQ commando fears; too many guests and not enough grill space. Who’s going to be last in line for their chicken wing? Who’s going to fight over that recently cooked steak?

Fear not; the BBQ Tower offer three skyward stacking grills, ensuring everyone gets their sausage in time. Each one comes with its own easily removable charcoal tray, meaning all food will be cooked consistently and at the same time. Perfect for those will small gardens or big appetites, its oven-like coverage means you can even cook pizza on it!

Yours for £165

Weber-Universal-Griddle

Webber Universal Griddle

From: http://www.bbqworld.co.uk/

So you like the sound of BBQ pizza. Who doesn’t? How about BBQ eggs? How about BBQ pancakes? The world is your oyster with Webber’s Universal Griddle. Shucks, you can cook your oyster using this badboy.

Yes, it’s hardly a technological leap – man has been fascinated by cooking eggs for years – but it’s arguably one of the most essential BBQ tools. The addition of a fried egg to your perfectly singed gammon steak is enough to sell it alone. Let alone pancakes for dessert!

Yours for £21

Heston-Blumenthal-Precision-Digital-Meat-Thermometer

Heston Blumenthal Precision Digital Meat Thermometer

From: http://www.thermometersdirect.co.uk

The cooking thermometer market is bulging with options that range from the very basic at about a fiver a pop to top notch gadgetry that’s the sole preserve of your Michael Roux Juniors.

Luckily there’s an affordable middle ground. And it comes with the backing of everyone’s favourite baldy food scientist, Heston Blumenthal. With a large, clear digital display, stainless steel body and handy pocket case clip, it’s quite a handy piece of kit. And while the majority of us won’t be using it in the same way Heston will (strawberry snails anyone?) it will massively reduce the risk of food poisoning. Which has to be a good thing, right?

Yours for £12

GrillBot

Grillbot

As featured earlier this year on Latest Gadgets, the Grillbot is the perfect saviour for those sad, poignant moments when the meat is eaten, the guests are gone and the only traces of chargrilled fun are stuck to your BBQ.

Powered by six D-cell batteries, these cheeky grill creepers use sensors to assess the size of your BBQ and control their speed and direction accordingly. Using three sets of replaceable brushes, they steadfastly work their way across the stubborn grease, grime and unidentified burnt things. What’s more, because they’re wire brushes, you can apply the bots while the grill is still warm – the optimum time to clear off any muck from a BBQ. Shucks, you can even wash your brushes in the dishwasher.

With gadgets like this, you’re in grave danger of looking forward to the end of the BBQ almost too much!

Yours for $65.95

Tweetfields – Home of the ‘hottest’ festival news and yet more proof of the middle class colonisation of music festivals

Combine the words Tweetminster and Creamfields and what do you get? A rather boring and predictable anagram of the two enterprises – ‘Tweetfields’. This is, nonetheless, the name Tweetminster and Vodafone VIP have come up with in their creation of the first ever Twitter aggregator for music festivals, www.tweetfields.com.

Tweetfields

With more than 450 in the UK alone, music festivals have come a long way since the first ever Glastonbury took place in 1970 when you got a pint of milk with your ticket. Given the rising prominence and popularity of music festivals, it was only a matter of time before a site dedicated to ‘delivering the definitive information feed to music fans across the festival season and beyond’ occupied the wires and satellite links of the World Wide Web.

Tweetfields essentially works by identifying some of the most influential figures in the festival ‘Twittersphere’ and pooling and monitoring the content shared by these resources on one site. This information, analysis, news and developing trends are live and updated in real time – a bit like a live weather forecast site but infinitely less important.

So where does Vodafone fit in? Well the communication giants such as Orange and Vodafone have been increasingly involved music sponsorship events, such as Orange Glastonbury, Vodafone VIP and O2 Academy. Evolving this trend Tweetminster is working with Vodafone to power Tweetfields, consolidating Vodafone VIP’s position as a festival innovator and building on the company’s sponsorship of 11 festivals in the UK throughout the year.

So what will Tweetfields bring to the thousands of festival fans out there? Well as well as being informed about new trends and performances, visitors to Tweetfields will be offered the hottest tickets and ‘money can’t buy experience’ service through 48-hour advance access to festival tickets and on-site benefits, including a Vodafone recharge truck and Vodaafone VIP viewing platform – Who said that music festivals had returned to their ‘hippy’ roots after being colonised by the middle classes?

Worlddictionary iPhone app review

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”, said Ludwig Wittgenstein. And back in the early 20th century, he was right. As technology moves on, however, there’s an iPhone app that’s perfect for the holiday season and ready to tear down the language barrier: Worlddictionary.

World-Dictionary
Image courtesy of Flickr user torisan3500

Using the iPhone’s camera and optical character recognition technology, Worlddictionary recognises words in 20 different languages and converts them into English.

To read a sentence, simply point the camera’s viewfinder at the word and move along the sentence – the app translates on-the-fly. You can also capture pictures, and then select various words in the picture to translate.

It all works in real-time, although language data is stored on a server – so high-cost data roaming bills might prove to be an issue.

The developers have clearly thought about this, however, and have added functionality to translate existing pictures from your iPhone’s library. Not sure of word? Snap it, save it, take it to a WiFi connection and translate it there.

The app automatically records your searches, so you’ll be able to look-back over the various translations you’ve made. This works great for learning a new language – sort of like interactive, useful flashcards.

After you’ve captured a word, you can search via Google, Wikipedia or YouTube for a better understanding of its meaning – perfect for odd turns-of-phrase used in the wider world.

In practice, the results are varied. For translating a menu or short phrases, the app could be a lifesaver – especially if you’re allergic to certain foods.

For long works of prose, you’ll probably lose a lot of the meaning as a maximum of two words at a time are processed. And for pictogram languages (such as Chinese), the translation of each individual character means that words longer than syllable are gibberish – a composition of their literal parts.

It fares much better on Latin-based languages, where syntax is more similar to English. We tested it on a GCSE French exam and – without any prior knowledge – we did pretty well.

For £2.99, it’s certainly worth the purchase to reduce the risk of eating dog in foreign lands.

Available from the app store