June releases second-generation smart oven with food recognition
The June Intelligent Oven got a lot cheaper.
Ashlee Clark ThompsonAssociate Editor
Ashlee spent time as a newspaper reporter, AmeriCorps VISTA and an employee at a healthcare company before she landed at CNET. She loves to eat, write and watch "Golden Girls" (preferably all three at the same time). The first two hobbies help her out as an appliance reviewer. The last one makes her an asset to trivia teams. Ashlee also created the blog, AshleeEats.com, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Kentucky.
The oven that can recognize and automatically cook your food now has a smarter, cheaper descendent.
The second generation of the June Intelligent Oven is available to order today (its creators will start to ship units out today, too). Like its predecessor, the $599 countertop oven uses a built-in camera, an internal processor, Wi-Fi connectivity and software to identify foods that you place inside. The oven will then access specific cook programs based on what it sees and set the cook time and temperature based on how you want your food cooked. You can watch the cooking process from the June app, which will also send a notification when your food has finished cooking.
We reviewed the first June oven when it debuted in 2016. Both June models are about the same size as a microwave or toaster oven and have a 1-cubic-foot cooking capacity. A touchscreen control panel is built into the doors of both
When the June oven first came out, the appliance could only recognize 25 foods. There wasn't a lot of room to add your own preferences for certain dishes like bacon (you couldn't choose if you wanted it crisp or chewy). And there were just a few core functions: Bake, broil, roast and toast. Plus, it cost $1,495, which could buy two inexpensive full-sized stoves.
The latest June oven model can recognize more than 50 common foods, and there are more opportunities to tweak exactly how you want your meal (there are now 64 ways to cook bacon). There are additional functions, including an air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker and warming drawer. And it's a lot cheaper -- June CEO and co-founder Matt Van Horn said the price decreased because of a redesign that eliminated some parts (such as a built-in scale included in the first model), some mechanical changes and a new supply chain.
Many of the additions to the June oven's cooking capabilities were based around its software, so people who have the original June oven have access to the new features thanks to automatic software updates, said Van Horn, who co-founded Zimride (now Lyft). (Co-founder and CTO Nikhil Bhogal previously worked at
June's creators have also started a recipe subscription service that costs $4.99 a month. With the subscription you can access a collection of recipes created specifically for the June oven that included pictures of ingredients and videos of each step.
The June oven is one of a growing number of countertop
that seek to introduce new cooking concepts. Other examples include the
Tovala Smart Oven
, which uses a barcode scanner to scan Tovala-branded meals and cook them automatically, and the Suvie Kitchen Robot, a countertop cooker that uses water to prepare meals.
The June's big price drop could make this appliance, which did well in our testing, much more appealing to home cooks. I'm eager to see just how good the software has gotten, especially when it comes to recognizing more foods.
Watch this: The June Intelligent Oven is back to livestream your meals for less money
These countertop appliances take new approaches to cooking