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Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer talks more than turkey

The Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer is a leave-in probe thermometer that is Wi-Fi enabled. The device monitors internal temperature of cooking food and predicts when it will be ready.

With the Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer, home cooks can receive alerts on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
With the Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer, home cooks can receive alerts on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Orchestrating the construction of a whole meal is an endeavor that requires timing and patience. After the perfect combination of that classic trilogy of protein, vegetable and starch has been decided upon, the next task is to prepare it. With finding balance such an important aspect of meal-making before and during the event, a kitchen gadget that can help tie everything together in the race to the finish line, is a welcome addition to the kitchen. Especially if it knows how to subtract.

The Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer ($199.95) can help bring complete meals together at the same time by alerting cooks when to start cooking certain items. For example, the thermometer can be placed in a turkey and then while it is monitoring the cooking time, it can remind users when to put the stuffing in the oven. It keeps track of the cooking process and counts down to when the whole meal will be ready. But this new kitchen gadget is more than a one-trick turkey.

Much like a standard probe thermometer, the system consists of a probe to insert into food and leave in the oven while it is cooking; attached to the probe via a wire is a base unit for use outside the oven that displays the temperature. Here is where things start to get different, like adding a new course to the spread for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Wi-Fi-enabled leave-in probe thermometer works in tandem with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (sorry hungry Androids). The base unit relays a variety of information to cooks via their home Wi-Fi network. Because the thermometer works in real time by monitoring internal cooking temperature, users can create customizable pop-up alerts based upon how much cooking time actually remains. If something interrupts the process -- like someone opening the oven door -- the app recalculates the remaining time based on the actual temperature, while also adjusting the alerts for associated tasks, like when to put a side dish in the oven.

The balancing act may be handled by the smart thermometer and the app, but having the patience to actually wait until the meal is done cooking might be a little more difficult. Good thing there's no law against sampling the pumpkin pie first.