Meater is a Kickstarter project, conceived in September 2014 and launched on Kickstarter in Septemeber 2015. Created by Apption Labs with the goal of being the first truly wireless smart meat thermometer. The Meater, when used in conjunction with the Meater app, will help you cook the steak, chicken, turkey, fish or other meats perfectly every time! For more information on the project visit their Kickstarter page here. For a review of using the Meater keep reading.
At the moment only the single probes are shipping as Apption Labs work on the hardware and software of the Meater Block, a 4 probe block with a screen. However the single probe comes with a charging mini-block. A single AA battery inserted in the back of the mini-block charges the probe (1 hour for first charge) and a little button on the front allows you to check the probe status. The mini-block also has two magnets on the back allowing you to place it easily somewhere in your kitchen.
The Meat and Veg
Choosing what to cook first was easy: STEAK. That bit of meat that, if cooked perfectly, is a bigger winner than a chicken dinner. If cooked badly, is tougher than your grandmas oldest pair of leather sandals. If cooked by eye, it can be good, but you want it perfect!
To go with the steak, Mushrooms with a Black Truffle Salt seasoning and chopped garlic, Tender-stem Broccoli and that British staple; Chips.
Tending to your Meat
Meat must be seasoned well, a good sprinkling of Salt and Pepper (on both sides) with a splash of Lee & Perrins Worcester Sauce (If you want to know how to pronounce that here is a handy guide: How to pronounce Worcester Sauce?
Getting your probe on (or in)
With all the ingredients are sorted, it was time to break out that Meater Probe. The probe was the perfect size for the cut of meat, anything smaller would have missed the centre of the meat, anything bigger would have resulted in some kind of kebab. The probe was easy to insert , as instructed, as close to the center of the cut as possible and was pushed in to cover up the scored line towards the center of the probe.
For this cook the following setup is needed:
- One pre-heated pan on high, for the Steak and Mushrooms
- One pan with boiling water
- A iPhone with the Meater app installed
The pan setup is pretty simple:
The Meater app setup is also pretty simple:
- Select your probe: If you have more than one Probe you can select which Probe to setup.
- Review your temps: Have a look at your Probes readings. The ambient temp seems a bit high. The room temp at the time was at around 23 according to the Hive (more on that here).
- Select your meat: Select your meat here. It would be good to see a wider collection of exotic meats including kangaroo, bison, snake and more to get that perfect cook with unfamiliar proteins!
- Select your cut: Select your cut here. I was searching through the list for Fillet steak and at first glance could not find it! However it appears that the app is using standard, original, plain ye-olde American English. As such, after a quick google search (results here) I made the selection of Sirloin (update: the selection of Tenderloin would have been more apt based on recent feedback – thanks to Jason for this insight. The questions raised therefore is: Would the setting of Tenderloin have lead to even tastier meat?)
- How would you like your steak?: Bleeding , blue or still moving being the preferred selections. Good information given on the (American) USDA guidelines, however it may be nice to get some world class chefs to have input. I hereby request a Gordon Ramsey setting that would probably give you the following options:
- Bad : 52 °C
- Gordon : 52 °C
- Bad : 63 °C
- F**king bad : 63 °C
- Seriously F**king bad : 68 °C
- Are you joking, get the F**k out of my kitchen bad 74 °C
- A reminder on how to insert your probe, less you forget.
- The option to keep your screen on, lets face it you don’t want to smear grease and blood all over your shiny phone.
Now everything is setup, it’s time to slip your meat in with a bit of oil and take those veggies for a dip. Then, a quick look at the temperature readings.
After about a minute or so, it’s time to add those mushrooms, followed by a quick temp check and a close up!
Next, the waiting, things can get a bit tedious at this point and my attention was drawn to the app, clicking the Red Bell at the bottom of the screen allows you to setup some alerts! Very handy for a longer cook but at a predicted 9 minutes cook time, these were not needed!
There is also an option to view a graphical representation of your cooking temperatures. Unfortunately I did not capture a screenshot of this. I am also unable to find a place to review the data captured by my cook in the app. This would be a really nice feature to add for those wanting a post-cook analysis!
Just past the three minute mark now. Do i turn the steak? does the app tell me to turn the steak? Only time will tell…
At this point the mushrooms are starting to cook nicely, time to give them a little stir.
Time to take an executive decision; it was time to Turn the steak! The most apt soundtrack for this action is Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds (click here for good music.) It would have been nice for the app to instruct me to Turn, but thinking about it, as with the ever so popular satellite navigation systems; driver discretion is advised.
Basic maths suggests around 3-4 minutes left to go. Casually reviewing the temperatures at every minute or so saw the internal temperature rising nicely!
Just as concern was growing as to weather the internal temperature was ever going to hit the target temp. The app raised an alarm to take the Meat off for resting and proceeded to countdown until eat time. It would be good if the resting timer was a bit more accurate, the inclusion of seconds counting down would add a bit more to the Resting screen.
As the tasty looking bad-boys were sat there resting, there was still work to be done: The chopped garlic and Truffle Salt was added to mushrooms with a generous slice of butter and followed up with a good stir. The Broccoli was taken off the heat and strained ready for serving.
What a serve
With anticipation growing as the countdown from 1 minute continued, the pink resting icon turned green! It was done! Good to Go! Ready to E. A. T!
A quick slicing and some mediocre presentation and the first cook with the Meater was complete.
The results, well the pictures speak for themselves! If that steak ain’t medium-rare then I am a monkeys uncle!
The probe was easy to use, the app was nearly flawless (bar the Americanisms, the lack of exotic meats, the accuracy of the resting timer and the ability to review cooking data) and the end product was delicious. The Brucie Bonus, the probe was very easy to clean and dry!
I would like to personally thank Joseph and Teemu for one of the finest steaks I have had the pleasure of cooking! Thank you gents!