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Circuit Breaker

Do cookie pods mark the decline of society?

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Yes probably

Apparently millenials hate to grocery shop and cook, or at least that’s what The Atlantic tells me. So I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the Juicero, which makes fresh juice from the equivalent of a Keurig pod, or the Flatev, an oven for creating tortillas from pods. Yes, pods are an entire economy, but today, I think we’ve gone too far. A cookie pod oven is being funded on Kickstarter. The ChiP (look at that capitalization) is a convection oven specifically designed for proprietary cookie pods. The oven can apparently sense the cookies’ temperature and knows when to stop baking them. Users just have to scan their pod container through CHiP’s app, and the oven will handle temperature, baking, and timing. The app and CHiP’s speaker will let users know when the cookies are done.

ChiP starts at $99 on Kickstarter but will eventually retail for $249. That’s just for the machine. The pods will cost as low as $1.25 each, or as high as $2.25, depending on the dough type.

Phew. I’m glad we got past those basics because now we get to focus on the illogical creation of cookie pods. First, why would anyone want a oven designed for cookie pods? I understand baking can be difficult and mastering a perfectly browned cookie requires practice. Pro tip: always look at the edges of the cookie, not the middle. But the CHiP isn’t even a cheap gimmicky gift or a practical solution — it’s $249. While you can bake your own dough in CHiP, it’s designed for pods that cost even more. Users can buy them a la carte or through a subscription plan that starts at $14 a month. Second question: why would anyone want a subscription plan for cookie pods?

Cookies are very cheap to make, by the way. There’s an upfront cost, like a bag of flour, vanilla, and brown sugar if you’re fancy, but those ingredients make many cookies. I want to believe we’re all capable of baking cookies. But even if we’re not, those break-and-bake cookie squares are available at every grocery store, and even in bodegas! You literally plop them on a baking sheet, and they bake. You do have to try to not burn them, but I know we can do this. Worst case scenario, you buy a cookie and warm it up in the microwave. Another pro tip.

microwave cookies aren't bad

My final gripe with CHiP is that it’s marketed as a faster baking solution. It can bake cookies in 10 minutes. Normal cookies bake just as fast. I’m positive of that.

My hunch is that most pod enthusiasts work at hip companies with fully stocked kitchens. Snacks are an employee incentive, obviously. Would it be dope if The Verge had a cookie oven at my disposal? Of course. But dang, it’s fine that we don’t have one. I don’t need cookies every day. In fact, it’s for my benefit that we don’t have a cookie oven.

I don’t understand CHiP, but maybe I don’t have to. It’s pretty; it’s easy; and it’s offering up perfect — or so they say — cookies. That might be enough for a sell. Also, I can’t stop looking at this GIF, so thanks CHiP.

CHiP