Community and Lifestyle

New Smartphone ‘App’ tackles beef cooking knowledge void

Jon Condon, 25/10/2011

Part of the cooking instruction sequence on the new 'Beef Essentials' iphone app. Click on the image at bottom for a clearer view    A new ‘smart phone’ application launched this week by MLA aims to tackle the sometimes vast gap in beef product and cooking knowledge among many potential customers – particularly the web-savvy younger generation with minimal cooking skills. 

The new ‘Beef Essentials’ App launched last week aligns nicely with the re-launch of MSA to consumers, starting next week and extending into 2012.

MLA domestic marketing general manager Glenn Feist said the producer-owned service delivery company had recently done some market research under the title, “Connect to Cooking” which identified so-called ‘new media’ as being a strong prospect to engage with potential and existing beef consumers.

There has been an explosion in iphone ‘Apps’ covering tens of thousands of topics and tasks over the past year or two, for the rapidly expanding number of smart phone users.

“We decided to invest in an ‘App’ that teaches and educates people how to cook a perfect steak, as well a wider range of other beef items,” Mr Feist said.

The ‘Beef Essentials’ App starts by offering information about the various cut names and their applications, using an ‘exploding’ carcase illustration. Users then have the option to learn more about that cut.

“An eye round might be a beautiful little piece of meat that looks like a tenderloin, but it doesn’t eat that way. This component of the ‘App can help users with those decisions about suitability for purpose,” Mr Feist said.

Users can then choose from a range of cooking methods for the selected cut, whether it be BBQ, pan fry (gas and electric), grill, slow-cook, roast or stir-fry.

“If the user then taps on BBQ, it will ask how thick the cut is, using a measuring tool, and will then provide suitable pre-preparation instructions, and even acts as a digital timer, based on desired degree of doneness, to produce the perfect steak every time.”

Similar appropriate instructions apply to other cooking methods. More than 800 cuts of meat, thicknesses, and cooking methods have been tested to develop the formulae used on the ‘App’.

While the ‘App’ would be attractive to beef consumers of all ages, it promised to be especially popular among young people who had left home without the requisite cooking skills, as their father often inevitably acted as the ‘tong-master’, Mr Feist said.

This writer has already ‘road-tested’ the App, following the steps provided, and it did, indeed, produce a steak cooked to perfect medium rare on the BBQ. 

The new ‘App’ will be heavily promoted through MLA domestic marketing programs over coming months. The next step in development will be connecting with recipe ideas to go with the cooking instructions, and further information about MSA. 

  • • Like all ‘Apps’, the user must have access to a smart phone, and needs to download the free software off the internet to get started. Android variant smartphones and I-pad applications will be added in coming months. The free iPhone app can be downloaded from the itunes store here.


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