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Smart Home

Miele takes an upscale turn with its food delivery service

Miele has become one of a growing number of companies to offer ready-to-cook meals tied directly to a specific appliance.

miele

The meals from MChef are designed to cook in the Dialog Oven.

Miele

A German appliance company called Miele will work with a startup to deliver ready-to-cook meals designed specifically for you to cook in the company's Dialog Oven. Miele announced the partnership ahead of IFA, a consumer electronics trade show that begins Aug. 31 in Berlin.

A startup called MChef, which Miele supports, will begin to deliver the meals beginning in September to customers in the North Rhine-Westphalia area of Germany before expanding to the rest of the country next year, according to a news release from Miele. Here's how it will work: You order your meals online by 12:30 p.m., and MChef will send them to your home the next day with the ingredients already arranged on porcelain plates. You'll launch the cooking program for the specific meal from the MChef app, put your plates in the oven, and let them cook. 

Manufacturers are increasingly pairing prepackaged meals in the vein of Blue Apron or Hello Fresh with cooking appliances to create sophisticated versions of the TV dinner -- meals that you can pop into an oven without much work on your part. Though you can prepare your own recipes with these appliances, the ready-to-cook meals are supposed to highlight the effectiveness of those appliances. These recipes allow the companies to showcase their products' unique cooking methods and help you create foolproof meals that will, in theory, prove that these products are worthwhile. 

Other examples of appliances tied to a food-delivery program include the Tovala Smart Oven, which includes a scanner to read a barcode on your packaged meal and cook it automatically, and the Suvie Kitchen Robot, a countertop cooker that uses water to prepare meals that contain a protein, a starch, a vegetable and a sauce. There's also the Nomiku immersion circulator, which has a scan-to-cook function for sous vide dishes.

However, these meals are a sizable expense on top of the cost of the appliances themselves. The Tovala's meals are $12 (about £9/AU$16) each for one serving, and the cooker is $299 (about £231/AU$405). The Suvie, which is $649 (£501/AU$878) if you preorder, sells dishes that cost $10 to $12 per serving. We're still waiting to hear back from Miele about the cost of the MChef meals.

The Dialog Oven, which debuted at last year's IFA show, uses electromagnetic waves (microwaves also use this same type of energy), traditional radiant heat from the top and bottom of the oven, and a convection fan to cook your food. The result, Miele says, is better-tasting food that cooks faster. The oven also works with an app that will let you browse recipes and send instructions to the oven through Wi-Fi. Miele previously said it would sell the Dialog Oven in Germany and Austria this year for 7,990 euros (roughly $9,505, £7,355 or AU$12,035), then expand throughout Europe before it considers selling it in the US.