We've seen the future of cooking, and it's jaw-dropping
We've seen huge advances in technology in most parts of our lives, but what about the kitchen? Why are we still using the same stoves, refrigerators and coffeemakers? Well, it looks like all that is about to change. Honestly, it's about to get a little Jetsons up in here.
Take a sneak peek at a few new products on the horizon that could change how we cook food in a huge way.
1. The June Intelligent Oven
The June Intelligent Oven will totally change the way you cook. It's a countertop convection oven that can bake, roast, broil — everything you'd do in a regular oven.
But where the June makes strides is in its recognition capabilities. Put your food in the oven, insert the probe thermometer, and the June will recognize the food you're cooking and set the temperature and timer on its own. While your food cooks, June will send you pictures of it at different stages so you can see how the dish is progressing (and seamlessly upload your photos to social media).
June can also log the nutritional stats of the food you're making, includes a recipe app and built-in kitchen scale and can generate a shopping list for you based on the recipes you save in the app.
Much like the popular driving app Waze, the more people use June and give feedback, the better the oven will become at perfectly cooking recipes and identifying different foods.
It sounds crazy — so crazy it just might work. This sort of intuitive cooking with social media integration sounds exactly like what an oven of the future should be, and it's exciting to see a company actually pushing to make some innovations in what, until now, has been a pretty boring kitchen appliance.
The June Intelligent Oven will be available this spring for $1,495.
2. The flatev tortilla maker
So we all want fresh, wholesome food these days, but few of us have time for from-scratch cooking. Making fresh tortillas specifically can be a pain, especially if you're a novice at it. Well, it looks like the flatev tortilla maker will make it a total cinch.
The flatev makes it possible with its Keurig-like single-use pods, each one filled with organic, gluten-free tortilla dough made from just corn flour, water and lime (flour tortilla pods are available too).
Products that make cooking staple foods at home easy could see a big boost in coming years, as people are simultaneously eager to cut out processed foods while streamlining the cooking process so it takes less time.
But do you eat enough tortillas to justify the counter space? Well, Americans spend about $2.5 billion a year on tortillas, so someone does.
The flatev is not yet available for purchase, but you can sign up on its website for updates.
Pantelligent is a temperature-sensing pan that works with an app to take the guesswork out of cooking.
Select a recipe from the app, and as you cook, the temperature sensor in the pan will tell you when to move on to the next step in the recipe. For instance, the app will tell you when to flip a steak, when to add veggies to the pan and when your dish is done.
With more-accurate cooking times, the food you cook at home should theoretically taste better, which could induce you into making more meals at home instead of going out. Maybe there's some hope for those health goals of ours after all.
Pantelligent is not yet available for purchase, but you can watch for updates on its website.
You hear it all the time — baking is hard. You can sort of just wing it when you're cooking meat and veggies, but baking relies on chemical reactions to churn out perfectly cooked treats, so you have to be precise.
Drop holds your hand through the baking process. You choose a recipe on the Drop app, set your mixing bowl on the drop scale and add your ingredients one at a time. As you pour sugar, flour, etc., into the bowl, the app will tell you when to stop based on the weight of the ingredients.
Most professional bakers say it's better to weigh your ingredients than to measure their volume, but few of us ever do, especially in the U.S. (Unlike throughout the rest of the world, it's rare to see a U.S. baking recipe that uses weighted measurements.) The Drop scale could be the tool that nudges more Americans toward baking via weight measurements.
Drop can be purchased for $100.
It's hard to cook steak evenly in a skillet, even when you use a probe thermometer. You can often wind up with a band of overcooked meat at the edges if you managed to get that sear.
The Cinder could make that a lot easier. It's a new kitchen tool that both sears meat (and other proteins) and holds it at a steadier low temperature too cook it evenly all the way through using a reverse-sear method.
It cooks food evenly through from the heating elements on the bottom and the top of the machine, while ambient heat cooks the sides. Once the food is cooked to the perfect internal temperature, Cinder sears it with super-high heat just until the perfect crust is formed while barely affecting the internal temperature of the food.
Cinder can be preordered now for $189 and will be shipped late summer 2016.
Some of these (admittedly impressive) gadgets suffer from being single-purpose. Do we eat enough steaks, tortillas and cakes to justify the expense and the storage space? We're looking at you, 10-year-old pasta maker collecting dust on the shelf. Perhaps future iterations of these cool tools will be more multipurpose. We'll have to wait and see. It does look like cooking is going to get easier — will that be enough to get us cooking more often?