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60-SECOND-REVIEW: Brookstone Grill Alert

Product: Brookstone Grill Alert, a talking remote meat thermometer Price: $69.95 Features: Wireless remote alerts you from as far as 300 feet away when food reaches the desired temperature. Belt-clip monitor uses two AA batteries and thermometer ...

Product: Brookstone Grill Alert, a talking remote meat thermometer

Price: $69.95

Features: Wireless remote alerts you from as far as 300 feet away when food reaches the desired temperature. Belt-clip monitor uses two AA batteries and thermometer transmitter uses two AAA batteries.

Ups: The monitor interface is easy to program. Just pick the type of meat (like hamburger, beef, chicken, fish) and how you want it cooked (rare, medium rare, medium or well). It'll alert you when the food has reached USDA temperature guidelines and should be done cooking.

Downs: This is a poorly designed novelty gift. Seems the engineering brains behind this don't do much grilling.

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For starters, the thermometer probe is a bit awkward. The directions say the probe's cord is not supposed to touch the grilling surface, so forget about closing the grill cover.

When I tested it on steaks, I knew the steaks were cooked long enough to be done medium, but the temperature probe kept saying it wasn't near the proper temperature for medium. Good thing I didn't go by the probe, or I might have had a lousy, dry steak.

Bottom line: This is not a device for a true grillmaster. There's nothing in the booklet about basic cooking instructions -- you can't abandon the food completely; after all, you have to flip your meat. It's more irritating and confusing than useful.

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