Summer is still a few months away, but that doesn't mean you can't start planning for barbecue season now. You've got about five more months to get your favorite foods, drinks and friends together because the warm weather will be back before you know it. From digital thermometers to craft beer brewing machines, we've compiled a list of gadgets that will help cement your status as grillmaster and summer party host extraordinaire. So grab your aprons and utensils, and get ready for a fun, techie summer.
Have you ever gotten a piece of meat off the grill that looked perfectly cooked on the outside but was nauseatingly pink on the inside? With the Weber iGrill Mini, you'll never have to play guessing games with your meat again. The pocket-size digital meat thermometer connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth. When you think that sirloin is ready to come off the grill, just stick the iGrill's meat probe into the center for an accurate answer.
Pool-party lovers and grillmasters who cook rain or shine will appreciate the Braven BRV-XXL. The large Bluetooth speaker has an IPX5 waterproof rating, which means it can take a splash or two. The BRV-XXL can also survive a fall and even have some sand kicked in its face. This speaker has a set of quadruple drivers, so you can expect big sound that's perfect for a cookout or tailgating party. Thanks to its huge 15,600-mAh battery, the XXL can charge a phone or two and can last 14 hours on a charge.
When you want the whole neighborhood to know you're having a party, accept no substitutes. Monster's Rockin' Roller 2 will keep your shindig going long into the night, thanks to its whopping 100 hours of battery life. This speaker touts 80 watts of omnidirectional sound, so you can expect deep bass with crisp highs. The Roller 2 can connect with mobile devices via Bluetooth or NFC, or you can listen to the radio with the built-in FM tuner. The telescoping handle and integrated wheels mean you can easily maneuver this speaker wherever a party is needed.
Grilling and eating all of the yummy food are definitely the best parts of cooking outside. The subsequent cleanup, however, is no fun for anyone involved. Thankfully, the Grillbot is on the job. Dubbed the world's first automatic grill-cleaning robot, the device can clean off all the gunk accumulated over the course of the barbecue session with a touch of the button. Just set the timer, close the lid and let Grillbot work its magic.
Using a smoker doesn't have to be intimidating. Char-Broil is hoping to make the process a cinch for newbies with its Simple Smoker with SmartChef Technology. The Wi-Fi-enabled device allows you to monitor your meats via the free SmartChef app. All you have to do is add meat and your preferred wood chips. From there, you just wait for the app to send you alerts on the status of your food.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is sure to capture share-worthy photos of your summer barbecue, as it has the best camera you can get in a phone. The Galaxy S7's 12-megapixel shooter gives you sharp, vibrant pictures in daylight settings as well as great low-light shots. That should come in handy for capturing fireworks displays or roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Even better, the phone is water-resistant in case it falls into a pool or gets soaked by a spilled drink.
Finally, there's a gadget that can serve up ice-cold beverages and jams. The Tunes2Go KoolMax Bluetooth Portable Speaker and Cooler offers outdoor revelers a 40-quart cooler capable of accommodating 48 cans or 28 12-ounce bottles. Thanks to its insulation tech, the KoolMax can keep ice frozen for up to three days. The cooler can also wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, play top-40 hits using the built-in FM radio or play music via the microSD slot.