Fall is a great time for outdoor grilling. First, cooler outdoor temperatures make cooking on a hot, outdoor, grill a much more comfortable experience. Second, warm, fall spices can be used to provide a different flavor profile for some of your favorite outdoor dishes. Finally, you can find some bargains at your local grocery store for the cuts of meat that are in high demand over the summer.
I have written a number of articles about wireless grilling thermometers but The MeatStick’s latest product, MeatStick Chef X, may be my favorite. First, MeatStick Chef X is only 3-3/4” long. While it can be used for any cut of meat, the small size makes it ideal for measuring the internal temperature of smaller cuts of steak, fish, chicken, and other proteins where a longer temperature probe can’t be inserted properly into the protein. In addition, the small size doesn’t detract from its ability to measure the internal temperature of the average steak.
MeatStick Chef X also incorporates a number of significant improvements over its predecessor, the similarly sized MeatStick Mini.
MeatStick Chef X’s charging base includes a range extender that offers up to 650 ft./200 m. of connectivity between MeatStick Chef X and a smart phone running the MeatStick Chef app. The charging base requires two AA batteries (not included)
Four temperature sensors (one in the ceramic handle and three in the probe) are coupled with The MeatStick’s True Temperature technology for improved measurement of the interior temperature of the meat being cooked (see the article I wrote on MeatStick 4X that talks in detail about the advantages of four sensors).
MeatStick Chef X boasts 18-plus hours of battery life on a full charge and withstands higher temperatures. The thermometer provides measurements of the both the ambient temperature of the grill as well as the internal temperature of the meat. With its patented Dual-Shell construction, the ambient temperature sensor can handle temperatures up to 572F / 300C. The internal temperature sensors can handle temperatures up to 212F / 100C. These higher temperature limits even allow MeatStick Chef X to be used in a deep fat fryer.
Cooking with the MeatStick Chef X
I’ve written extensively in articles on wireless grill thermometers about using one to monitor the internal temperature of steak; so, every time you grill your steak will come out perfectly cooked. Grilling thermometers also work well in smokers, ovens, in sous vide cooking, and more. They are also important when cooking other proteins besides steaks. For example, nobody wants to be served an undercooked piece of chicken and overcooked chicken can be very dry.
But, since my last article, I learned about a new cooking technique, which involves monitoring the internal temperature of your steak after cooking, while the meat is resting.
Resting a steak after cooking involves tenting it under aluminum foil to allow the juices released during the cooking process to be reabsorbed by the meat. This provides you with a juicier steak where all the juices don’t just run out onto your plate when the steak is cut.
According to an article in TastingTable, during the resting process the internal temperature of the steak will rise by five to 10 degrees. Then no matter what temperature you cooked the steak to, you should rest the steak until it cools to an internal temperature of 120-to-125 degrees. It turns out, according to the article, that this temperature allows the cells in the steak to relax and reabsorb some of the internal juices that were pushed out of the cells during cooking. Further cooling below the 120-to-125-degree range does not provide for additional juices to be reabsorbed by the steak.
The other reason to only rest a steak until an internal temperature of 120-to-125 degrees has been reached is because if you let the steak rest longer you can end up serving cold steak to your family and guests.
Hands on with the MeatStick Chef X
The MeatStick app allows you to monitor real-time temperatures, customize cook alerts, and notifies you when your meat finished cooking. The app also includes a guided cooking list with different meats to maximize your options. It is compatible with any iOS/Android smart phone or tablet.
The first thing to know about the MeatStick Chef X is that it is important to insert thermometer into a piece of meat all the way up to the handle to prevent damage. This will also allow all the temperature sensors in the probe section of the MeatStick Chef X to be inside the piece of meat you are cooking. Like MeatStick 4X, MeatStick Chef X will use all three of its four temperature sensors (the fourth sensor measures the ambient temperature of the grill) to assure that it is reporting the coolest temperature inside the meat being cooked. It is all too easy, when inserting a grill thermometer into a steak, to have the tip of the probe too close to the edge of the steak, in which case it will not accurately report the temperature in the steak’s center.
It is also important to know that even though the ambient temperature probe in the ceramic handle of the MeatStick Chef X can handle temperatures as high as 572F/300C you still shouldn’t sear your steak with the probe inserted in it. Instead, you will either want to sear your steak first and then insert MeatStick Chef X probe into it to monitor the steak’s internal temperature throughout the remainder of the cooking process or perform a reverse sear where you insert the MeatStick Chef X, cook the steak to your desired level of doneness by monitoring its internal temperature, remove MeatStick Chef X, and sear your steak
I personally prefer to sear the steak first, but this is a personal preference and either technique will work and is supported by MeatStick Chef X coupled with the MeatStick app. However, with reverse searing you would need to re-insert MeatStick Chef X into your steak after searing to monitor a steak’s internal temperature during resting.
Overall, MeatStick Chef X, coupled with the easy-to-use MeatStick app, makes cooking steaks, and other proteins easy. MeatStick Chef X allows even the beginner backyard chef the ability to serve perfectly cooked proteins to their family and friends.