The kitchen has no shortage of mysteries. But for every eternal question like who ate my lunch or if the refrigerator light really turns off when the door is closed, there are an equal number of down-to-earth considerations to ponder. For example, when that expensive steak is cooking, just where in the spectrum of rare to well-done does it fall? Unlike questions of evil co-workers or refrigerator gnomes, knowing when to pull the steak is of great practical concern. (Well, stolen sandwiches are, too, but let's move on.)
Nothing can substitute for experience, except maybe a bright multicolor light. The T-fal OptiGrill ($179.95) uses a colorful all-seeing eye to watch over the cooking proceedings (or at least display cooking progress). Informing home cooks as to the doneness of their meal, the indoor grill offers a new innovative way to accurately prepare meals.
Not limited to just preparing a juicy steak, the countertop appliance has six specific automatic programs: burger, poultry, sandwich, pork/sausage, red meat, and fish/seafood. It accomplishes its given task of monitoring cooking progress by sensing the thickness of the food. It's a pretty neat trick, actually: by adding some utility to the simple clamshell shape, the device could solve many questions that home chefs have always had. But like any good solution, it creates more questions: why hasn't somebody come up with this idea before?