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A cooktop that does the work for you

A new technology on some Bosch electric and induction cooktops eliminates much of the guesswork in cooking and promises perfect results in the kitchen.

So easy even my husband can use it. Bosch

My husband's favorite food is chicken schnitzel--that is, fried breaded boneless chicken breasts. There is a fine dance I have to do to make this haute cuisine--heat the oil, gauge the exact moment when it is the right temperature, place the chicken in the pan, and then--pray. Yes, pray that I can get the inside of the chicken cooked through without burning the breading on the outside and setting off the smoke alarm in my home.

Bosch AutoChef sensor cooking, on the 800 Series induction and electric cooktops, is the answer to my prayers. Using a premium aluminum core pan, AutoChef's sensor measures the temperature from the bottom of the pan and automatically adjusts the energy to the element on the fly. An audible cue tells you when to put your food in the pan, and AutoChef does the rest. You get perfect results and waste less energy.

AutoChef also has preprogrammed meal options for one-touch cooking of cutlets, medium rare or well-done steaks, french fries, pancakes, eggs, and more. And separate timers for each element let you set them to automatically shut off individually. But the feature that really has me wanting to splurge on an AutoChef cooktop? Child lock protection, which prevents kids from accidentally turning on the cooktop.

AutoChef cooktops run from $1,300 to about $3,000, depending on whether they're electric or induction.