Ready to fire up the barbecue now that the scorching summer weather is finally upon us? Make sure yours goes off with a bang with these essential apps...
It’s finally hot! For many, the (eventual) arrival of the warm summer sun means only one thing: time to fire up the barbecue! So, while it’s scorching hot here in the UK(!) we’re grabbing our smartphones, organising a back garden gathering, and lining up the best apps to help with the cooking… All before the sun decides to take its – almost inevitable – early vacation.
1. Checking the weather
There’s no app that’ll let us control the great British summer, but you can be prepared for any eventuality with the right weather apps. There are countless ones out there on every platform, but we’ve picked just a couple of truly ace ones…
Dark Sky | iOS – £2.99 | Android – Free or Premium
Knowing whether it’s going to rain today or not just isn’t enough. At a barbecue you want to know if it’ll rain in the next hour – that’s where Dark Sky comes in. This ‘hyper-local’ weather app gives you weather information that’s spookily accurate and spookily to-the-minute. If it says rain is imminent, chances are you’ll get wet.
Blue Skies | Windows 10 Mobile – Free
Similar to Dark Sky, Blue Skies is also a hyper-local weather app that delivers very accurate weather forecasts. You’ve also got access to sunrise and sunset times; great for deciding when to start or end a party, or when bring out the candles for an all-nighter. To top it off, Live Tile support means you can see the weather at a glance on your phone’s Start screen without needing to open the app.
2. Fire up the barbie!
Time to toss in the charcoal briquettes, squirt on the lighter fluid, or simply open up the gas tanks and get ready for a feast. But if you’re keen to avoid your meat resembling something that’s fallen to earth from outer space, you’ll need some – if not all – of these essential apps.
GrillIt! | iOS – £0.79 | Android – £0.82
There’s more to a top BBQ than simply throwing some meat on the hot grill, surrounding it with flames and waiting for it to cook; you need to plan. You need to arm yourself with plenty of recipes to make sure all your guests receive the best possible al fresco dining experience. Grill-It! has a wealth of pork, chicken, lamb, and beef – as well as vegetable and seafood – recipes to help turn you into (or at least look like) a BBQ master.
SteakMate | iOS – Free | Android – Free
Like your fillet steak cooked rare, medium or well done? With SteakMate, you select the cut of meat you’re using, the thickness, and how well you want it cooked, and the app will start the timer. You’ll be notified when it’s time to turn the meat so you don’t forget, along with the perfect moment to plate up.
Weber | iOS – Free | Android – Free
American BBQ company Weber, knows a thing of two about barbecues. Not just the apparatus itself, but what you should be cooking and for how long, as well as what side dish goes with what main. To prove it, the Weber app gives you instant access to a shed load of recipes, multiple countdown timers, and countless tips and tricks.
iGrill from Weber
Weber don’t just make BBQs, they also make advanced Bluetooth Smart grilling thermometers – such as the iGrill Pro Ambient Probe, iGrill 2, iGrill Mini – that are designed to help you cook your meats to perfection.
Connect one to your smartphone via Bluetooth and you can check the temperature of your grill while you mingle using the iDevices app.
BBQ TankMeter – Grill Gauge | Android – Free
If you prefer your BBQ propane powered, you’ll be used to knocking the side of the tank with your knuckles to determine how many more burgers, you’ll be able to cook before the gas runs out. Well, guess no more. Just place your smartphone next to the gas tank, load up the BBQ TankMeter app, and give the tank a gentle tap with something (not your phone, preferably).
The app will analyse the ringing sound and accurately calculate how much gas you have left, showing you clearly when it’s full (green) or empty (red). Very clever stuff.
Whichever BBQ app you enjoying this summer, even if it’s another one, have fun and stay safe. And remember: Keep your phone a good distance away from the heat; nobody likes a chargrilled phone.
More essential apps… Looking to stock your phone with the latest and greatest software? Check out our pick of this month’s essential new apps.