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Is a $650 pan and burner better than a cooking lesson?

The Hestan Cue cooking system contains Bluetooth-connected hardware that automatically regulates the skillet's temperature and provides video instruction through a connected app.

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Ashlee Clark Thompson
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1 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

The $650 Hestan Cue cooking system is made up of a countertop induction burner, a stainless-steel pan and an app (available on iOS and Android). They work together thanks to Bluetooth to teach you how to be a better cook while it automatically regulates your cooking temperature.

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2 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

You can control the 1,600-watt induction burner right on the unit, or you can set the temperature and power level on the app. However, the app will send instructions to the burner about what temperature to set if you follow one of the app's recipes.

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3 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

The 11-inch wide Hestan Cue pan looks similar to other stainless steel cookware you might see. You can't put the pan in the dishwasher or the oven, however, and the company advises against using it on a cooktop other than the Hestan Cue induction burner.

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4 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

The Hestan Cue pan contains a "smart capsule" in its handle that is equipped with Bluetooth, as is the induction cooktop. The app connects to the cooktop and walks you step by step through what you need to do. The app tells the burner what temperature is required for each stage of cooking. At the same time, the burner is keeping track of the temperature on the pan's surface, so if it's getting too hot, the burner will automatically lower its temperature or vice versa.

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5 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

The Hestan Cue's recipe for pancakes was tasty. An added bonus was that the pancakes came out nearly the same with every batch thanks to the consistent temperature control.

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6 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

This salmon tasted fine and cooked to the desired doneness. But one of the faults of the system is that recipes rely a lot on sauces to really be notable, rather than excelling at simple preparation.

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7 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

The recipes in the app don't allow for customization or substitution. That's why this bacon-bourbon glaze for these pork chops came out more like a jam.

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8 of 8 Chris Monroe/CNET

Steaks with varying thickness gave the Hestan Cue a hard time. Though I set my preferred doneness in the app to "pink and juicy," the steak ranged from medium in the middle to well done at the edges.

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