You don't have to be a cooking connoisseur to master recipes in your kitchen — especially not when technology is your sous-chef.
A team of Austin, Texas-based designer-engineers have recently developed a smart kitchen thermometer that plugs directly into your iPhone. As explained in the video, above, you can clip or stick the Range thermometer to a pot or oven rack, and connect the heat-resistant silicone cable to the headphone jack on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Then, with the companion Range app (currently for iOS only), you can measure your food's temperature at a detailed, quantified level.
A graph of your food's temperature shows readings over time, and shaded bands indicate the ideal temperature range for whatever you're cooking. The system lets you set up alerts for when temperatures go above or below optimal levels, and those can be pushed to other iOS devices with the Range app.
While developer Supermechanical says this is useful for keeping tabs on a baking turkey while running errands, we don't endorse leaving your oven or stove unattended.
Range was designed in two variations: The Aqua has a six-inch, rounded thermometer tip and three-foot cord for general use, while the Ember has a two-inch, pointed probe and four-foot cord designed specifically for meat. Supermechanical claims Range can withstand temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that Supermechanical has developed functioning prototypes, the team is trying to raise $90,000 on Kickstarter to help buy molds and parts, and to finish the app. With 28 days left in the campaign, backers had already pledged more than $71,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
Supermechanical is also the company behind Twine, a Wi-Fi-connected box that can tweet or notify you when various sensors (e.g. temperature, moisture, vibration) are triggered in your house.
The company says the tool can help household chefs "take the guesswork out of cooking and perfect your kitchen craft." For wannabe chefs who stubbornly don't follow recipe instructions, it might help avoid another burnt banana-bread loaf.
The networked thermometer concept isn't new. Competitors such as the iGrill and iCelsius BBQ also plug into your smartphone or tablet. But neither have, well, the range of Range's functionality — such as the ability to graph out your temperatures over time.
Kickstarter backers can get their own Range for a $49 pledge, while initial supplies last.
Do you find Range useful, or do you prefer other kitchen gadgets? Share your culinary wisdom in the comments.