It’s been a while since our last update on the hardware. Last we left it, the silicone tooling was going back to the mold maker and engraver for some rework. We’ve got some good news for you: all the silicone parts have been made (as of a few hours ago), and we’ll get them early next week.
The silicone molding had been our roadblock to shipping since December — now things will start rolling. What’s left? Once we get the silicone parts, they’ll go to our assemblers just down the road in Austin. After that, we’ll package them up and mail them out. The assembly process is a design project in itself, and this first run will help us perfect the process so each successive run is easier and faster to produce.
We can’t make any promises yet. If all goes well with assembly process, we’re looking at mid-February for first run Ranges. We’re still on track for second run Ranges to ship in February.
We’re getting ready to submit the final version of the app the app store for approval. Right now, we’re incorporating the last bits of feedback from beta testers and polishing things up — like the splash page and preset buttons.
P.S. We had a snow day on Friday. This is how much snow it takes to shut down a Texas city.
Making jam is really easy and totally flexible — you can use any kind of fruit you want and adjust the amount of sugar to your liking. A good ratio to start with is equal parts (by weight) of a sweet fruit (like strawberries) and sugar. Using a more bitter fruit? Up it to 3 parts sugar to 2 parts fruit.
So, cut up your berries, stir in the sugar, add the the juice of a lemon (that’s about the right amount for 2 pounds of fruit — adjust if you need to), and let it macerate (just sit) for a few hours. Macerating the fruit will soften it slightly and draw out the flavor.
When it’s ready, the sugar will have turned into a syrup.
So, dump it into a pot. I added 3 tbs. of balsamic vinegar to my strawberries, but that’s optional.
Pectin gels at 220ºF. So you’ll want to use your Range to make sure it reaches that temperature (and stays above it) for about 8-10 minutes. You can test to make sure it has gelled by dripping some on a cold plate. If the jam wrinkles when you push it, it’s done! Hooray!
Pour it into some glass jars. Perfect.
Now what are you going to do with all that jam? Put it on your toast. Or you could go the linzer cookie route and sandwich your jam in between some delicious cookies.
Too tired from all the jams to spend more time in the kitchen? Gift your jars of jam to friends and family. They’ll love you for it.
Chocolate bark is one of the easiest (and quickest) holiday candies you can make. It’s really just melting chocolate and mixing treats in.
You just have to make sure to temper your chocolate well. This time I took the route of never letting my chocolate get out of temper. For dark chocolate, that means not letting the temperature go above 90ºF (for milk chocolate 87ºF, and for white chocolate 83ºF). You can do this with a double boiler, but I went the microwave route this time. Make sure you’ve got a good candy thermometer, like Range, handy.
So you want to make some chocolate bark? Awesome.
(High quality) chocolate, about 12 ounces — Dark chocolate is my preference
Things to mix into the chocolate — I used about ½ cup peppermints
Put your chocolate in a bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each time.
When the chocolate begins to look melted, take its temperature with Range. You want to make sure it doesn’t get hotter than 90ºF and leave temper.
Once the chocolate is all smooth and melted, stir your crushed peppermints in (or whatever topping you choose). Reserve some to sprinkle on top if you want.
Then pour the chocolate onto a pan lined with wax paper and top with the leftover peppermints. Once the chocolate has set (it should only take a few minutes if properly tempered), cut into pieces and share with your best friends!
It’s not Christmas in my family until my Dad has made the first batch of caramel corn (and usually some chex mix to go along as a side dish). The secret family recipe was a little vague when it comes to temperature, so I took this year’s batch as an opportunity to test Range out — and see what was happening behind the scenes with the sugar.
The Secret Family Caramel Corn Recipe:
8 quarts popped corn (That’s 32 cups)
1/2 pound margarine (Really, that’s what the recipe calls for – substitute butter at your own risk.)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Place popped corn in a greased baking pan. Don’t actually fill your pan this full — you won’t be able to stir it. Split the popcorn into two pans.
Bring margarine, brown sugar, Karo syrup, cream of tartar and salt to boil and cook for four minutes. This will bring the the temperature up to 275ºF by the time it’s done — solidly in the soft crack stage.
Fold in the baking soda to make the mixture fluffy.
Pour mixture over popcorn, and stir to cover the popcorn as evenly as possible. If it starts to harden, don’t worry! Baking the caramel corn will warm it up and soften the caramel (and help you redistribute it each time you stir). You might want to move your phone out of the way first…
Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes - stirring every 15 minutes. This will make it crispy. Sometimes caramel corn is too sticky — this one is just right.
Traditional fudge gets cooked to the soft ball stage — giving it a soft but firm texture. If you don’t cook it long and hot enough, you’ll end up with sticky fudge that won’t hold it’s shape when you cut it. Cook it too long and hot? You’ll end up with hard grainy fudge. Gross.
Peanut butter fudge is the office favorite. And it makes a great gift if you do a little Pinterest magic.
Our first time homebrewing with Range was also our first time homebrewing (we made a pale ale). I was surprised at how easy it was, but because I’m nowhere near an expert yet, this won’t get into the nitty-gritty of homebrew science.
First I used Range to bring when heating the water to proper steeping temperature. And then when letting the grains steep — set a timer and an alert so you know if the temperature drops to far.
After steeping, remove the grains and bring the wort up to a boil, add the malt extract and the hops.
Quickly cool your brew down — if the temperature is too high when you pitch the yeast, your beer will not turn out well. I promise.
The hard part’s done now — all you that’s left is to pour the wort in your fermenter with yeast and some more water.
Here’s a graph of Range’s temperature data throughout the process.
After a few weeks of fermenting it’s time to bottle.
I’m currently living in fear of bottles exploding in my closet. We’ll see how it tastes in a couple weeks!
While there’s not a native channel for Twine on IFTTT, it’s easy to set up IFTTT recipes using Twine’s existing notifications. Email? Can do! Twitter? Of course. SMS? That too. It opens up a world of possibilities for your Twine.
For example: Do you hate coming home to dark house? Set up your Twine and a breakout board with a photoresistor to turn on a lamp when it gets dark in your house (with a little help from a WeMo switch and IFTTT).
Now that we’ve all detoxed from Thanksgiving overload, it’s time to examine the results of Range’s first taste of turkey.
And the data says the Turkey was cooked perfectly to 165º F — the USDA’s recommendation for killing bacteria. Much higher than that and you’ll end up with dry flavorless turkeys. This turkey? John says it was ”the best goddamn turkey I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
Next Thanksgiving, we’ll all be using Range in our turkeys — this year, we celebrated with Twine turkeys.
Once you’ve rested up from Thanksgiving and are ready to do some Black Friday shopping, go to the Supermechanical store to get an awesome deal on a Twine or sensors. International and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving? That’s ok — the same deals apply to you! (And we’ll think of you while we eat leftover turkey.)
I’m more of a baker than a cook. Now I wanted to make something pork. I’ve pan-fried pork chops before, but I tend to make them gray, dry and not very tasty, probably because I’m worried about undercooking meat. I’ve never made pork loin before, and I got some nice cuts of meat, so I wanted to do this right — with Range.
The recipe is pretty simple. Rub in minced garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, and cook at 400ºF until done. What’s “done”? According to the USDA, when the inside reaches 145ºF. That’s the minimum temperature to kill bacteria and parasites and ensure that the pork is juicy and tender on the inside.
I started by using Range to ensure that my oven preheated to the right temperature. After about 45 minutes and turning over the meat once, I got an alert at 140ºF and pulled out the loin to rest for a few minutes while the internal temperature continued to rise to the target temperature. Ding, 145º, and I got kudos on a perfectly cooked loin on my first attempt! What didn’t I get? Food poisoning.
It’s been a month — approximately the length of time it takes me to forget about frustrations. Time to try again, in the name of Range testing.
I didn’t have high hopes this time, so I didn’t make anything extravagant (are graham crackers extravagant?) to dip the chocolate in. I tested for temper by dipping strips of parchment paper in the chocolate.
Because chocolate shrinks as it sets, the parchment paper curls slightly. (This also allows for chocolate to easily removed from molds.)
The result? Tempered chocolate. It set quickly, and beautifully. (And peeling it off the parchment was a snap.)
What did I do differently this time? I didn’t let chocolate get as hot when initially melting it. I let it cool all the way to 80ºF – a process that didn’t take nearly as long now that the weather has cooled off.
Risto takes his Range-testing duties very seriously — this week he grilled shish kebabs.
While testing the Range app for accuracy and bugs will never end, we also want to make sure the rest of the hardware lives up to our standards. Magnets demagnetize at high temperatures, so we want to see what Range’s magnet can handle. Stuck on the outside of a grill? Works perfect.
One of the best things about using Range’s magnet to keep the cord under control is that the probe will stay in place even when you walk around the grill with your iPhone.
And the shish kebabs? Better than you can imagine.
It’s that time of year — the spooky one. The ghosts are out in full force.
If you can’t tell if you’re just paranoid or if your kitchen is really haunted, set up your Twine with a PIR sensor. It’s the most common method of ghost detection (according to some sketchy internet sites).
1. Read this how-to to learn how to connect a PIR sensor to Twine’s breakout board.
2. Save a rule that looks like this:
3. Put your Twine/breakout board/PIR sensor in the location you think might be inhabited by the paranormal (and test it for range). Keep in mind that the sensor will be triggered by people and the paranormal, so you may need to rule out false positives.
4. Wait out of range of the PIR sensor for the text.
When my yogurt was incubating in the slow cooker I was so anxious, I checked the temperature every hour or two. Range’s cable fit nicely in the lid of the slow cooker — I didn’t have to open it and let the heat out to test the temperature.
Other nice features? The magnet kept the cable (and Range) in place while I fiddled with my phone (and occasionally tried to walk away with it).
I was impressed by how well the slow cooker retained heat for hours and hours after being turned off.
After 7 hours, I snuck a taste — yep, yogurt. Then, to the fridge for an overnight chill.
I woke up to the best breakfast ever.
You can too! There are lots of recipes on the internet, but they all boil down to this basic formula:
Heat 1 qt. of milk (and ½ cup powdered milk if you want thicker yogurt) to 185ºF.
Let it cool to 115ºF, and GENTLY mix in some yogurt starter (yogurt with live cultures). Let it incubate for 6-12 hours between 85ºF to 115ºF.
Confession: I had never made yogurt. I was never even a big yogurt fan (except for the occasional super sweet strawberry yogurt that was essentially pudding). But, a lot of Range backers mentioned that they were going to use Range for yogurt-making, so it would be remiss to not test Range at yogurt making.
I watched the Good Eats episode on yogurt to prepare, and I spent a while reading about all of things that can go wrong with yogurt making (and terrifying myself in the process) to prepare.
But, I had to bite the bullet. I nervously heated my milk up to 185ºF.
Then, let it cool to 115ºF (the falling alert came in handy here) before gently stirring in the starter. Then I poured it in jars, and let it incubate in my slow cooker for 8 hours. I resisted the urge to occasionally shake the jars to check progress. I had read that leads to bad results.
The long feedback loop is slowly driving me crazy – I hope it turns out well, but only time will tell.
This week we ordered 59,000 components for Range! They take up surprisingly little space. Some are still on their way to us, but this is most of them. John and David also did a lot of coding – making some serious headway with the app.
I don’t know if it’s coincidence that orange produce comes into season right around Halloween, but it sure is convenient. I have sweet potatoes and butternut squashes up to my ears.
Did you know sweet potatoes aren’t actually all that sweet when they’re raw? (Add this to list of reasons you would never want to eat a uncooked sweet potato…)
When you cook a sweet potato, the beta-amylase enzyme starts breaking down the starch and turning it into maltose – essentially, sugar. The longer your sweet potato stays between 135ºF - 170ºF, the sweeter it will be. (Of course, if you load it up with brown sugar, honey, or marshmallows, it will also be much sweeter.) That’s why if you cook your sweet potatoes at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, they taste more delicious than if you chop them up and cook them quickly!
Want to keep track of how long your potato stays in that range? Use Range and you’ll be able to roast all of the sweet potatoes to (your idea of) perfection.
So you’re going on vacation? Must be nice. Now that the temperature is dropping you’ll want to make sure your pipes don’t freeze while you’re gone. Coming home to a cold AND flooded house? That would be the worst.
Use Twine to monitor the temperature so you can take quick action if the temperature in your house dips too low.
Sometimes with grilling and temperature, it’s less about cooking the perfect ribeye and more about making sure your dinner isn’t going to make you sick (especially with poultry). I had a grilling party last week with the guys – we made fajitas and it was great.
One of the cuts of chicken was about twice as thick as what you would normally throw on the fire, but one of the guys put it on the grill with the rest of the meat – it didn’t take long to realize that one of these things was not like the others.
When most of the chicken was obviously cooked, but we weren’t sure about our monster chicken friend. While a couple of the guys bickered about the chickens doneness, I had the situation under control with Range. In just a few seconds I was able to show my friends that the internal temperature of the thick chicken had only reached 140ºF. Eep – salmonella! Monster chicken kept cooking for a little while, and then fajitas. Life is good.
When Range was just a twinkle in Supermechanical’s eye, I was most excited to use it for tempering chocolate - a skill I’ve never been able to master. As I’m testing Range with chocolate, I’ve made *a lot* of mistakes (and I still haven’t achieved the perfect temper, though through no fault of Range – I’m just too impatient).
So, what mistakes have I made that you can (and should) avoid?
Don’t let any water get into the chocolate (be extra careful if you’re melting chocolate in a double boiler). Since chocolate is so dry, any moisture will make the fats seize and that is terrible (if you add even more liquids, you can make a mousse/pudding/sauce which is good – but not tempered chocolate).
Don’t tet the chocolate get too hot – chocolate burns at relatively low temperatures (140ºF for dark, and even lower for milk and white chocolates)!
Make sure you let the chocolate cool enough before using it. If it’s too hot (well, warm really), it won’t properly set up – you want it to be shiny and have a nice snap when set.
My last attempt to temper chocolate was the best so far. It set quickly and I thought it was shiny (maybe I need my eyes checked though…) but the next day it was definitely dull (but not streaky, so that’s a plus?) and lacking in snap when broken.
I’ve read most (all?) these is to read about tempering chocolate on the internet, but it didn’t really click for me until I read the Wikipedia article for chocolate. The tl;dr version?
There are 6 different types of crystals that form from cocoa butter – you want tempered chocolate to be comprised of the 5th type of crystal that forms at 93ºF. To do this, you have to melt the chocolate to 115ºF to melt all of the types of crystals, and then cool it to 81ºF to form the 4th and 5th crystal types (the easiest way to do this is to seed the melted chocolate with already tempered chocolate). Once that’s done, you’ll bring the temperature back up to 88ºF which will leave you with only the best crystals (and a perfect temper).
I’d made caramel in my pre-Range days (a sad time in my life), but mostly I just guessed at the temperature based on the sugar’s color. Range made it SO MUCH easier.
The most important tip I could give you about caramel making? Follow your recipe! Caramel is a perfectly balanced mixture of sugar, fat, and proteins. Stray too much, and you may end up with something else entirely. More cream and higher temperatures? You’ll end up with caramel sauce. Delicious, but not nearly as snack-able.
So what do you need to make delicious caramels?
A good candy thermometer (like Range). A good recipe. Quality ingredients. CLEAN and dry pans (deeper than you think you need – it will boil up more than you expect!) and utensils. Any contaminants will make your caramel grainy (so will excessive stirring…)– that is not the way to win friends. If the recipe you’re using includes corn syrup, that will help ward off crystallization.
Just think of it like science. And since it’s science with sugar, the results will *probably* be delicious even if not what you expected.
You may not know this, but melted sugar is kind of terrifying. Not only will it leave a scar (it’s hot and sticky – the worst combination)… Candy making success is also largely dependent on the whims of mother nature.
This is a case of do as I say, not as I do. I tried to make taffy on a warm humid day. TWICE. Unsurprisingly, it melted back into a blob and never taffy-fied. More on that another day.
After the taffy failures, I went back to the basics - working my way through the stages of candy making.
As sugar melts and water boils out, the syrup becomes more concentrated. The higher the concentration of sugar – the firmer the candy will be and the more caramel-ly it will taste.
The most accurate way to test the stage your candy is at is with a candy thermometer (like Range), but if you don’t have one – never fear! You can drip the syrup into a glass of cold water and check the texture instead.
Soft ball is perfect for fudges. Firm ball is great for caramels (not caramel sauce though, that’s something else entirely…). You’ll want to reach hard ball if you’re making nougats. Taffy is cooked until it reaches the soft crack stage. Hard crack is used for lollipops and brittle. Past that is caramelization – the sugar turns amber and will smell delicious (unless you go too far…)
It’s Friday - week in review time! So, what have we been up to?
We’ve been designing the testing rigs for Range. We’ve also started gathering components and taking steps to get the circuit boards manufactured.
We’re continuing long term testing of the probes. You’ve seen enough pictures of that though, haven’t you?
Last week’s bread making rolled over into this week. You can read all about those adventures in our blog. Next week? We’re moving on to candy making!
And lastly, a shout out for a Kickstarter project we love. Our friends at Product of GIR made the Ultimate Spatula last year. It’s my favorite kitchen utensil (other than Range, of course). This year, they’re back on Kickstarter with an expanded spatula line - check it out!
So, we’ve made sure our yeast is happy, kneaded, and rested. What’s left? Time to get baked.
Make sure you preheat your oven (actually, you should have done this in the last 20 minutes of your bread rising.) – you can use Range to make sure your oven’s temperature is accurate. Stick your bread in the middle of the oven, and close the door. Set your timer - don’t be tempted to open your oven too early or often, that will let all the heat escape. Just peek in through the door if you must.
What’s happening inside the loaf while you’re bread is baking?
When the internal temperature is less than 140ºF, the yeast is still happily bubbling away. At 140ºF, the yeast dies. All those gluten strands you formed while kneading? They’ll start coagulating to give the bread structure (this will continue until the internal temperature reaches 178ºF). If you test your bread’s internal temperature before then, be careful! Since the gluten hasn’t fully firmed up, you’ll disrupt the structure if you aren’t gentle. (And then you’ll end up with a loaf of bread with torn up insides and half of a sandwich.)
When the timer goes off, check for doneness! How can you tell if your bread is done? Well, is the crust a warm brown? If you knock on the bottom of the loaf, does it sound hollow? Both good signs!
The best way to check to see if the bread is done? Take the internal temperature. Depending on what type of bread you’re making, you want the temperature to be between 190-200ºF. That’s right under the boiling point of water so your bread will stay moist!
Just look at that crumb. Perfect! I think it’s time for sandwiches?
After that workout, you and your future bread deserve a nap. Just think about how nice it would be to curl up in warm place (around 75-80ºF would be PERFECT), covered in a tea towel (well, maybe just for the bread – you could use a blanket).
So shape your dough into a nice ball, stick in an oiled bowl, and cover it (your bread won’t rise if it gets crusty!). Make you sure you put it somewhere warm to rise. (At this stage, yeast is happiest at 75 - 80ºF. Test the temperature with Range!) Set a timer for an hour and a half (or follow your favorite recipe).
While you rest, the yeast in your dough will be working hard enough for the both of you. The yeast will chomp away on the simple sugars in the dough as it ferments it will produce carbon dioxide to make the bread rise and breakdown starches to add flavor.
All that kneading you did? It made a strong gluten network – this traps all the carbon dioxide your yeast burps out (and gives your bread structure). In the end, your dough will be twice it’s size. It’s like magic – or science.
Now, shape your loaves, and let them rise again. More flavor, lighter texture – better bread.
So, you’ve got your dough mixed. You didn’t kill the yeast, did you? Congratulations. Now comes the work out. You’ve been lifting heavy bags of flour to strengthen your arm muscles, right?
So why do we need to knead bread? It develops the gluten strands in the dough. Gluten gives dough elasticity - that is what allows it to trap all the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast when the bread is rising. Trapped air bubbles make for a light texture.
I guess you could use your stand mixer to get most of the way through the mixing process. But you’re making bread from scratch for a reason right? Try to knead by hand - just this once. It’s therapeutic.
You’ll read that it should take 8-10 minutes to knead dough, but how the dough looks and feels is a better indicator than time. The dough should be shiny and smooth.
If you grab a hunk and carefully stretch it out, it will form a window – without holes. A 1.5 inch square with the light shining through.
Oh yeah, just look at those gluten strands. Perfect. Your bread is ready for naptime.
Let’s start from the very beginning – it’s a very good place to start.
If you want to make a sandwich worthy of that perfect tomato, you better start with the bread. And if you want the perfect bread, you have to make sure you treat your yeast right.
It’s simple really, deceptively simple. Want to get the most from your relationship with yeast?
Be ageist. Yeast doesn’t mature with age. Old yeast will leave you with flat bread (and break your heart). Not sure if your yeast is past its prime? Test it.
In the case of yeast, hotter is not better. Don’t worry, it has a great personality! Yeast is happiest and most productive between 78-80ºF. It’ll start dying around 120ºF, so be careful if you’re mixing it into warm water. (Range is perfect for testing the water temperature.)
Show your yeast a little love, and it will gladly bring your dough to the next level.
Yeast won’t do all the work for you though – you need to knead if you want a loaf like this.
Do you hate checking the mail? I mean really, who doesn’t. It mostly junk mail and bills these days. I sometimes forget to check the mail for days (or weeks…) on end unless I’m expecting something exciting.
Here’s how to have your Twine tell you have mail (and nag you into checking your mail box).
1. Attach the magnetic switch to your Twine and save a rule that looks like this:
2. Attach the magnetic switch to the inside of your mailbox near the door and the magnet on the door of the mailbox. You’ll want the magnet to be within a quarter of an inch of the magnetic switch when it is in the closed position.
3. If your mail goes inside your house, put your Twine on the wall next to the mailbox. If not, put your Twine in your mailbox, in the back is best so it doesn’t get in the way of mail.
4. Wait until your Twine tells you to check your mail. Then do it – don’t let your mailbox fill up!
Throughout the year, I proclaim that whatever vegetable is currently in season as my favorite. Tomato season is my favorite! Brussels sprout season is my favorite! Broccoli season is my favorite! But, once I’ve eaten beets every day for months, I’m over it.
You know that feeling when you pick up your CSA box and think: ‘zucchini, again?! What am I supposed to do with this?’
For as long as I can remember, my dad has regularly made zucchini muffins. When I was little, I didn’t like them because: vegetables in my muffins? No, thank you. He eventually tricked me into eating them by peeling the zucchini so there weren’t any green bits. When I was in college (and well after the fact), my parents mailed me zucchini muffin care packages.
Fall is approaching (and the end of zucchini season, thank goodness) – the high in Austin is only 93ºF today. That’s just cool enough to be able to turn on the oven and bake all that zucchini into muffins.
When I cook and bake for people, I read reviews, test recipes and only use the best ingredients so I can share treats I am proud of - like these zucchini muffins. Once you’ve got the recipe down, it comes out right every time. That’s our philosophy with Range as well - it’s why we’re we’re only sourcing the best components - and thoroughly testing and qualifying them. Unlike with zucchini though, we’re always excited when more parts come in.
Do you worry about your water heater breaking? Leaving you with cold showers or (even worse) a flooded house? That would be a terrible way to start the day. Luckily, with Twine, you can be notified when leaks happen – before they cause damage.
1. Save a rule on your Twine that looks like this:
I set up my notification as phone call because a leak is urgent! I may not see an email or text for hours.
2. Attach your Twine to your water heater. I’ve found that duct tape works well for this. Make sure that both your Twine and water heater are clean and dry, or else the adhesive won’t stick very well.
3. Attach the moisture sensor inside the water heater’s drip pan where both prongs would get wet if a leak happened. Duct tape will work well here also, just make sure everything is clean and dry first.
4. Rest while your Twine stands vigilant over your water heater.
This picture shows Aqua Range’s full current range – 3 feet. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve heard that you’d prefer something longer. If Range reaches $160,000, we’ll increase both Aqua and Ember Range’s cord length to 4.5 feet – giving you some extra wiggle room (you wiggle while you cook, right?).
And, as a mini-stretch goal, when we reach $150,000, we’ll include stickers specially made for your Range and your kitchen. Getting an Ember Range? Your stickers will be reminiscent of the meat stickers on grocery store packaging. Getting an Aqua Range? Think of the labels your grandmother used to stick on her jars of homemade jam. Getting both? You’ll get ALL the stickers. We’ll share pictures of these soon!
I hope you all had an awesome weekend! We sure did – with your help Range blew past the first two stretch goals. We’ll announce more tomorrow!
Do you want to be a master chef? We all do! Range will get you a lot closer. And, if you back Range at the Master Chef level, you’ll get a craftsman-made apron with special pockets designed for Range, iPhone or iPad, and the rest of your kitchen utensils.
The apron is made of heavy-duty #8 Duck Martexin canvas with leather straps and copper/brass hardware, so it’s just as handy in the workshop as it is in the kitchen.
We just got the final prototype in and it looks and feels amazing. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Who could produce such an awesome and useful apron? Jack Milwid, friend of Supermechanical. We asked Jack to design something special for us, and he’s making each apron by hand with as much love and attention as we put into Range.
Jack strives to create objects that deserve the title of Rærden – a sacred object that adapts new and ascending states of beauty with wear, use and age. The workmanship and materials in this apron are meant to do just that.
The apron and accompanying Range will ship in the first run of rewards – in time for Christmas! There’s only a limited quantity, so claim yours soon…
Confession time: I eat a lot of root vegetables. For third breakfast on most days I eat a baked sweet potato as if it were an apple. Sometimes I get distracted and forget to take it out of the oven. I set up my Twine to remind me.
To have your Twine tell you if your sweet potato is ready for nomming:
1. Set up a rule at twine.cc that looks like this:
You should adjust the trigger time to reflect how long it takes you to bake things. My sweet potatoes are generally of the hour-and-half baking time size, but maybe you prefer snack sized sweet potatoes (or maybe you’re baking cookies, I don’t know your life). I set the reset value to 2 minutes so Twine won’t email me again with false promises of food after I take the sweet potato out of the oven.
2. Attach your Twine to your oven front side out. I used adhesive putty to attach Twine to my oven. Tape and other sticky things will also work.
Make sure your oven is clean and dry, or your Twine might fall off. It should look like this:
3. Stab your sweet potato a few times (I’ve heard this helps it cook evenly, but mostly I do this to get out aggression), wrap it in foil, stick it in the oven, and wait for your Twine to tell you it’s time for third breakfast.
Thanks to all of our backers, Range reached its funding goal yesterday!
Guess what time it is now? That’s right – stretch goal time!
Our first two stretch goals are for the Range app. We have David working out the feasibility for some awesome hardware stretch goals – we’ll be announcing more stretch goals as we reach each one.
Once we reach $100,000, you’ll be able to create your own Range-Finder templates. What’s a Range-Finder template? In graphing mode, Range-Finder highlights temperature bands for recipes. We’ll include presets for candymaking (so you’ll know when you reach the perfect caramel stage) and cooking meats (rare or well-done, we’ve got you covered). You have your own recipes and preferences though. That homebrew you’ve perfected over the past couple of years? Set up a Range-Finder for its tried and true temperatures.
At $110,000, we’ll add even more alert sound options. The current app will offer chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and lamb. What else are you planning on making that we could create a notification for? Maybe a mouse squeaking for when your cheese has reached the perfect temperature? One of the awesome things about these alerts is that the same sound will play for the push notifications sent to other phones. Your entire family’s phones will squawk when your chicken dinner is ready!
Cooking is a family affair, and we want you to consider us part of your family (we think of you as our family). What better way to do that than to get to know each other a little better? We’ll be introducing ourselves to you over the coming weeks so you can see the faces behind Range. First up, John!
Hi, I’m John, Supermechanical’s designer/chief perfectionist/jack-of-all-trades. I’m a huge sweet-eater, especially of the flour-based variety, but half the fun is making them for others. I make great buttermilk pancakes (even when I have to substitute yogurt and lemon juice for buttermilk), cookies, carrot cake and cheesecake. Many of these were taught to me by my great aunt, who passed on her cooking wisdom in a notebook for me. I still write notes in that book whenever I tweak things — some cayenne pepper, a bit more oil, a little lower temperature for a little longer.
So I’m thrilled that in Range I’ll be able to be more precise in my experiments, and put it together with the books on baking science that I’m reading. This will especially help as I start to take on candymaking. I thought caramel would be easy, and I found a delicious, caffeine-packed recipe from 101cookbooks.com that would give my workmates an afternoon pickup.
But I made a mess, things boiled over, and I’m not sure I achieved hardball stage for long enough to get it to set. Recipes in different kinds of food have their own vocabulary, and it takes experience to understand what really should be happening just from the written word. Range will help me get over this initial hump and give me a visual understanding of what’s happening with temperature, and then once I master caramel-making, help me record new variations to make that recipe my own. I foresee a lot of tasty, sugar-fueled science!
P.S. The past 24 hours have been awesome for Range. We went from less than two-thirds funded to almost three-quarters of the way to our goal! Thank you!
In case you missed it, Range was featured on Wired today!
We’ve focused on uses for Range in the kitchen, but we’ve heard from a few backers who are interested in using Range to monitor HVAC systems, for math education, and to monitor liquid temperatures in labs. What else are you going to use Range for outside the kitchen?
I have a humble request for you. We want to make Range the thermometer of our (and your) dreams. We’re almost two-thirds of the way to our goal which is AWESOME. With your help we can exceed our goal and make Range even better. We have some great ideas in the works for stretch goals – we can’t wait to share them with you! If you think Range is as great as we do, can you mention how awesome Range is on the homebrew/BBQ/cheesemaking forums you frequent, talk about Range to your friends, and/or post about Range on the social medias?
Thanks again for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
How-To: Have Twine tell you when a fresh pot of coffee is ready
Don’t you hate it when you go to get some coffee from the pot, and there’s no coffee (or even worse, it’s cold)? If you aren’t a pour-over person, you can use your Twine to tell everyone when a fresh pot of coffee is ready (it’s perfect for sending to an office wide email list – share the fresh coffee love).
Here’s how to have Twine tell you when a fresh pot of coffee is ready:
1. Put your Twine on your coffee maker, and make a test pot of coffee. Pay attention to the temperature readings on your Twine so you’ll know the proper temperature for your rule. I set my Twine on the top of my coffee pot because that is where the most heat gets released. The temperature reading went from room temperature of 77º to a coffee-is-ready high of 96º.
2. Save a rule that looks like this (adjust based on the temperature your Twine reached during your test pot of coffee):
3. Make more coffee, and Twine will tell you when it is ready to drink.
4. Pour coffee into your mug. Add cream and sugar as desired.
5. Drink coffee. Be careful, it’s hot!
Does your coffee pot not leak heat? How sad. If you put your Twine on top of your coffee pot (or wherever you pour water in), and save an orientation rule, Twine can tell you when a new pot is started.
Also, have you heard about Range, Supermechanical’s awesome new smart thermometer for iOS? Check it out on Kickstarter. Like you what see? Back us and share Range with your friends so we can make the thermometer of our (and your) dreams a reality.
Announcing Range, the smart thermometer from Supermechanical
It’s been almost two years since we launched Twine on Kickstarter, and we couldn’t have done it without your help. Time has flown by since then, and now we’re excited to announce our new Kickstarter campaign!
Talking to a lot of our Twine users who cared about monitoring temperature, we realized that many of them made food and drink as both professionals and enthusiasts, and wanted to do it better. This struck a chord with those of us who don’t have the cooking intuition that our moms and grandmothers do, but love experimenting in the kitchen, especially with old family recipes.
With Range, you can take the guesswork out of cooking. Clip it on or stick it in and set an alert for the desired temperature with the Range app for iOS (we include presets for common uses). While you do the dishes or sip on a well-deserved glass of wine, Range graphs the temperature over time so you can learn and improve from each experiment. Once the temperature is reached and your roast has achieved perfection, Range tells you.
You’re already a pro at using your iPhone — Range can help you become a pro at kitchen craft as well. Soon, your home brew will be the talk of the neighborhood. Better throw a few steaks on the grill to feed all your newfound friends. Welcome to the internet of poultry. And beef, and beer, and chocolate…
Range has just launched on Kickstarter; if you’re interested, just follow the link above to check it out!