Unless you're a professional chef, cooking food at the right temperature can be trickier than it sounds, especially on a stove. While ovens let you set an exact heat, cooking on a burner requires lots of adjustments as you try to find that sweet spot for simmering a stew or poaching an egg. Now, one company says it has the solution: a smart knob that fits easily onto your current gas or electric range, automatically monitoring and adjusting the temperature via an app on your smartphone.
meld has three components: knob, thermometer, and app
This is the Meld, a new addition to the connected home that launched on Kickstarter earlier this week and is already on its way to doubling its funding goal of $50,000. The product itself is actually made up of three components: the knob, which mechanically controls the temperature on the burner with a battery-powered motor; a thermometer, which clips into your pots and pans to measure the temperature, sending data back wirelessly to the knob; and a connected iOS and Android app, which allows you to remotely control the temperature or choose from hundreds of preset recipes.
The Meld app and smart knob. (Meld)
Meld's creators say the device can be used for a whole range of cooking methods, including poaching, frying, simmering, slow cooking, and candy making. The precise temperature control also means it's suitable for sous vide — a method which involves sealing meat in a plastic bag and placing it in a water bath for long periods of time. Sous vide has been a target for smart cooking companies for a while now, with products like the $179 Anova allowing amateur chefs to set and forget their submersed steaks.
However, the Meld is not only cheaper than other options on the market (Kickstarter early birds snagged it for $99, but its normal retail price is $149), but it's also more flexible, allowing users to automate a greater number of recipes. Some people might complain that using tech like this isn't the same as actually becoming a better chef — after all, it's the app that's doing the cooking — but at least your food will taste better, and in the kitchen, that's what counts.