There are lots of ways to determine the doneness of meat that you are grilling or roasting in your oven. (Notice I didn’t say “BBQing.” Where I come from BBQ is a noun, not a verb.) In addition to meat thermometers and a nifty little iPhone app that I’ve reviewed lately, sometimes it’s best to go old school.
The cooking geniuses at GrillGrate.com have developed what they call the “Meathead’s Temperature Magnet.” If someone calls me a meathead, I take it as a compliment, so I was happy to see this product. There are so many things to like about this particular cooking guide, it bears closer examination.
Instead of just the typical beef, pork and poultry categories that most doneness charts offer, the Meathead Magnet gives the USDA minimum and what they call the “Chef Temp,” or optimal cooking temp for eight different classes of food. Beef, lamb and venison are lumped together with a recommended Chef Temp of medium rare at 135-145°. Pork and veal have the same suggested temperature, but they figures to be medium for those meats. Fish is always a tough one for me to gauge, so it’s nice to have a reminder affixed right on my grill that anywhere between 130-145° is probably good to go.
There really isn’t a range for meats like ground beef, hot dogs or pork shoulders and ribs. Instead, the Meathead Magnet just gives you the minimum safe temperatures. You don’t want to mess around with undercooking those products. In a novel addition, the magnet actually has a color-matched printed “rainbow of meat” to show you what shade beef steak should be at ranges from rare (125°) to well done (165°.) There’s even a picture of raw beef in case you don’t remember what the steak looked like before you fired up the grill.
This ultimately useful guide should always be at hand thanks to its magnetic backing. Even if your grill doesn’t attract magnets, like mine doesn’t, fear not because the durable construction will still survive outdoors if you just leave it out next to the grill or with your bbq tools. (You do have a whole box of gadgets for your grill, don’t you?) Plus you don’t have to worry about staining it with BBQ sauce or your juicy steaks.
GrillGrate.com is better known for their flagship product which sits atop your grill to help sear your meats and protect your cooking surface from flare-ups. I have not actually seen one of these in person, but if you have any experience with the Grill Grates, please feel free to share your opinions in the comments.
I can speak to the efficacy of the Meathead Magnet, and thanks to the good folks at Grill Grates, I can share one with you. In preparation for the official kick-off of grilling season (be it Easter or Memorial Day in your particular climate), leave a comment that shares you absolute favorite thing to cook on the grill. On April 10, we’ll choose a random commenter to send their very own Meathead Thermometer. If you want to leave a whole recipe for your famous jalapeño poppers or your procedure for grilling the perfect steak, we’d love to show off how smart you are.
The fine print–
1. This contest will be open until April 10, 2012. The winner will be announced shortly after.
2. Shipping address must be in the USA
3. If you’re entering this giveaway using Facebook connect, you MUST have your Facebook page set to accept messages from non-friends so we can contact you through your page if you are the winner. If you are unsure how to set your privacy settings to allow this, feel free to contact us for assistance or read Facebook’s instructions.
4. The winner will be announced on the site and will have 24 hours to contact us. After 24 hours a new winner will be picked.
What I liked: Crams an amazing amount of information into a small space. I really like the real life meat temperature pictures.
What Needs Improvement: Maybe they could include some double-stick tape for non-magnetic surfaces.