What the Tech? Father’s Day Tech Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is just around the corner and, as a dad, I can tell you, gift cards do not make the perfect gift. Unless dad specifically asks for a gift card in his favorite store consider giving him something for his favorite hobby or something he just likes to eat or drink.

Lots of dads love outdoor cooking. There’s just something about being around a grill or griddle that feels like summer. Dads aren’t perfect at the grill and it isn’t easy when someone wants their steak medium rare, another wants medium well and another wants their steak medium.

Without the right tools that are just impossible to do at the same time.

Meater is a meat thermometer in the form of a probe that you insert into the meat before tossing it on the grill. The Meater tracks the internal temperature of steak, pork, chicken, or fish and using the Meater app, will guide dad to getting everyone’s order just perfect.

If he wants to cook one steak medium rare, the app will suggest an internal temperature of 135-degrees. Just before the steak reaches that temperature dad will get a notification on his phone that it is ready to be taken off the grill to rest and reach 135-degrees. I’ve found the Meater to be flawless when it comes to reaching the right temperature and the notifications.

The app is easy to use as well.

I used the Meater for two grilling seasons before it stopped working and would not connect to the app, but others have not had that problem. The Meater probe should never touch the grill itself.

The Thermapen Pro IR is a traditional meat thermometer with some tech built into it. A probe folds out of the unit and you can use it in multiple pieces of meat on the same grill. It’s very fast and the display is big which is important when you need to see the temp without holding your hand near the hot grill for more than a second.

The IR version has an infrared no-touch temp checker. Aim the thermometer at the grill to see how hot the grate is before putting the meat on it. I’ve found it’s great for making sure a cast iron skillet is hot enough for a quick sear of a steak or chicken.

Maybe dad also likes to think of himself as a bartender when friends come for a visit. For those dads, a robot cocktail maker is more his taste. There are two such cocktail makers on the market now.

Keurig, the coffee pod company, has the Drinkworks, cocktail maker. Just like its coffee makers, the Drinkworks mixes cocktails using small pods that contain the alcohol and ingredients for Manhattan’s, Mimosas, Moscow Mules, and other cocktails.

The Drinkworks also uses Co2 cartridges to add carbonation. The Drinkworks is $300 and pods come in four-packs for $15.

Since the Keurig pods contain alcohol they must be purchased at liquor stores and cannot be ordered online.

The Bartesian is another cocktail maker on the market now that does the same thing as Keurig’s Drinkworks but the key difference is that the pods do not contain alcohol. The Bartesian has 5 bottles to hold the alcohol you purchase. Vodka in one, Whiskey in another, etc. The pods contain the necessary ingredients such as mix, syrups, and bitters.

Place the pod into the center unit and it reads a barcode to know which drink you’re making and which alcohol to add to it.

Select whether you want the drink strong or medium or a mocktail and in a few seconds, the drink is mixed to perfection. Add garnishes such as cherries, orange or lime, or mint, and the cocktail looks (and tastes) like it’s from an experienced mixologist.

Bartesian pods can be purchased online. Finding them locally is a bit of an issue. The Bartesian is $350 and the pods come in packs of 6 for $15.

So whether dad considers himself to be a grillmaster or master bartender, these gadgets will fit his taste.

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