What do you think about a smart knob that fits right onto your gas or electric range and automatically monitors and adjusts the cooking temperature through the use of a special app on your smartphone? It’s sort of like a Nest used to adjust the temperature in your home but made specifically for adjusting the temperature on your range.
If you’re a professional chef used to getting the right temperature just by looking at the gas flame, you might not be so interested. But for those of us who are at home cooks, getting the exact temperature needed on your stove can be a little tricky, especially when it comes to simmering a sauce or poaching an egg. Meld, a new company that launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, says they have the answer with three integrated components: a knob, thermometer and an app.
It works like this:
- The knob mechanically controls the temperature on the burner with a battery-powered motor.
- The thermometer clips inside your pots and pans and measures the temperature and then sends the data back wirelessly to the knob.
- A connected iOS and Android app downloaded on your mobile phone lets you control the temperature setting or even lets you choose the right temperature from hundreds of preset recipes.
The Meld app and smart knob. (Meld)
The makers at Meld says their addition to the growing field of a smart home cooking systems can be used to poach, fry, simmer, slow cook and to make candy. Precise control of temperature makes it a perfect choice for sous vide — a method which involves sealing food in airtight plastic bags and placing it in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times—96 hours or more, in some cases.
Meld’s retail price is $149, much cheaper than other smart cooking gadgets on the market and lets you make more automated recipes. I’m on the fence about this. When you cook via the use of an app, are you really doing the cooking? You won’t learn the technique or become a better chef through trial and error, experimentation, and by using your senses – like taste, smell and touch.
Then again, your food will taste better and you won’t be serving scorched stews and burnt sauces. Maybe I’m just being old fashioned because it’s something new. I’d think it strange to bake a cake just by checking its performance in my oven. I set the temperature based on a recipe. Is it really that different? What do you think? Is it the next greatest thing or too much of a good thing? Let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear what you have to say.