Kohler discontinues its food-cooking sink

Kohler discontinued its Pro CookCenter, a dual-purpose sink with a heating element for cooking.

The age of the dual-use appliances is upon us with toasters that make your morning tea ,microwaves that bakechocolate chip cookies and dryers that iron your shirts. And then there was the sink that cooked.

It sounded odd and slightly unhygienic at first--the idea of cooking potatoes at your sink; boiling side dishes within coughing distance of all the nasty stuff you do at the adjacent sink, like dump old yogurt, strain your pickles or, say, pour out some fermenting chick pea juice.

Nonetheless, Kohler had come up with something that might just make the cook sink risk worth it: the Kohler Pro CookCenter, which combined a sink with an adjacent heat element that cooked, boiled, blanched, poached, and steamed food in an 8-quart pot right at sinkside.

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Earlier this year, the special order unit grabbed the attention of home guru Bob Vila alongside other tech home and design enthusiasts.

But the company recently discontinued the line. A Kohler spokeswoman didn't provide details as to why, but there was onlinespeculation that the company no longer has a relationship with the manufacturer of the sink's heating element, which might explain why they no longer sell the thing.

Too bad, because it was a cool idea for a home chef who lacked enough stove burners to handle a dinner party. It was also a gift to our nation's lazy as it eliminated the need to lug another big pot of water over to the stove. You simply peeled, cleaned, cooked and drained all in one place. No sweat.

A few caveats: You couldn't operate the pot unless it was at least 2-quarts full and you could never pour cooking oil in it so one had to refrain from round the sink stir fries.

It was also pricey, with models starting at roughly $2,900. (which didn't include the price of a separate faucet)

No word yet whether Kohler has plans to offer another model. Though you could probably contract someone to design a similar sink/cook combo I couldn't find another vendor online making something like it.

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About the author

    Kim Girard has written about business and technology for more than a decade, as an editor at CNET News.com, senior writer at Business 2.0 magazine and online writer at Red Herring. As a freelancer, she's written for publications including Fast Company, CIO and Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She also assisted Business Week's Peter Burrows with his 2003 book Backfire, which covered the travails of controversial Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. An avid cook, she's blogged about the joy of cheap wine and thinks about food most days in ways some find obsessive.

     

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