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Episode 16: Smart Grilling: How Tech Helps Cook a Better Brisket

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With Jason Baker

Director of Business Development at Green Mountain Grills

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People have been cooking meat over a fire for millions of years. But until recently, they haven’t had the benefit of using grills infused with smart capabilities. 

Jason Baker, Director of Business Development at Green Mountain Grills, explains how the smart pellet grill works and the process that went into creating it.

We discuss:

  • How the technology works
  • All the ways it makes grilling easier
  • Developing tech with a non-technical background
  • Lessons learned throughout the process

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This post is based on a podcast episode with Jason Baker, Director of Business Development at Green Mountain Grills. To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Over the Air wherever you listen to podcasts.

How Smart Grill Technology Works

It all started with Jason’s decision to install an RF controller on a barbecue grill.

Why?

Pure unadulterated curiosity. That’s why.

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Early on, this enabled remote temperature adjustments and viewing of the temperature inside the grill environment. It mattered because folks in states with non-grill-friendly winter weather had a way to enjoy grilled goodness using a remote control setup.

Haters hated, as they do, which did nothing to deter Jason from asking more questions: what else could he do? What other technology might work in this scenario?

This is where it got really crazy. Discussions of WiFi and app-controlled grills popped like corn, over and over again until VOILA! Green Mountain Grills’ first official product made an appearance in 2013.

Grill Science: Time and Temperature

Jason understands that the key to good grilling is to change the state of the meat using temperature and time. It sounds too simple, right? But think about it…

You get your grill going and you need the right temperature before you even think about getting that meat on.

You’ve got to time everything from the moment that first sizzle hits your ears as the meat kisses the grill bars.

Imagine the almighty brisket, done right every time. It’s within your reach now, even if you’re not a pitmaster.

All the Ways Grilling Just Got Better

This kind of control over your grill is saving your reputation as family grill master while it also saves your bank balance.

  • No more ruining expensive cuts of meat. You have a surefire way of reaching that stall point on your briskets and break down tough chewy meat into tender succulent bites.
  • No more need for a backup plan at the family barbecue. People can trust your grilling like never before because your smart grill takes the fear out of cooking anything.
  • Temperature control in all weather conditions. Ambient temperatures are usually forgotten or ignored. Ambient temperatures can make or break your meal since they throw off both the cooking times and the actual temperatures inside your grill environment.
  • Meat probes are life. Now that there’s an app to tell you what the internal temperature is, you can be sure of when your meat is done to perfection.
  • Repeat greatness. By storing profiles based on the specific timing and temperature changes, you can make sure you cook the way that you and your loved ones enjoy it, every time, with no risk of being let down.
  • You spend more time with friends and family instead of messing around with the settings on your grill or stressing over your meat. You get to be a part of that family atmosphere, which is what it’s all about.

Developing Tech without a Tech Background

Jason had just as many naysayers as people applauding his curiosity and achievements along the way.

He was encouraged by the small wins along the way. His personal experience with those benefits we mentioned above, drove him further on the journey to explore what else could be achieved.

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Jason’s advice for those of you with technical ideas for improving life in some way: force yourself to learn the terminology and have the right people dumb it down for you. Combine your passion for innovation and the subject matter with someone else’s technical skills.

Lessons Learned throughout the Process

Jason puts it plainly:

  • Business is a tough thing.
  • Surround yourself with very good attorneys who can help you navigate anything in the future.
  • Cover all your bases and make sure that you’re protected.
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Knowing that your backyard grill now comes in a smart version, what would you change next? Remember Jason’s words: take that passion, find the right people and build that thing that makes your future easier.

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