Hestan Smart Cooking will take the tech it used in its connected countertop system to a more permanent location in your kitchen. The company has created an induction cooktop that connects to Hestan Cue ($499.95 at Amazon.com) Bluetooth-enabled cookware and iOS/Android app, the company announced at the National Kitchen Bath Industry Show last week in Orlando. That means that your cooktop will talk to your pans and mobile device to automatically regulate burner temperature and guide you through the app's recipes with videos and step-by-step instructions. The induction cooktop will be available later this year. The company hasn't released pricing information.
Hestan also announced that it has brought the connected cooking tech to gas burners, which would be a departure from cooking systems that typically use, a type of power that uses electromagnetic energy. Hestan hasn't released information about when a connected gas cooktop will be available or how much it will cost.
Hestan's cooktop appears to work like the $500I reviewed. Hestan pots and pans each contain a "smart capsule" in its handles that is equipped with Bluetooth. The induction cooktop, which also has Bluetooth, will connect to the iOS or Android app. Once you select a recipe in the app, it will tell the burner what temperature is required for each stage of a recipe. At the same time, the burner will keep 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.
Guided cooking systems have been limited to single, countertop induction burners, such as the Hestan Cue and the Paragon Induction Cooktop ($243.60 at Amazon.com). Moving the system into a built-in cooktop requires a bigger commitment than buying a small appliance that's easy to stow away if you don't like it. I liked the Hestan Cue system -- the recipes on the app were easy to follow, and I polished some cooking skills thanks to the helpful videos embedded in each recipe. But my main gripe with the Hestan Cue countertop burner was its high cost, and the built-in cooktop will probably be even more expensive. This is the type of cooking tech that could teach you how to be a better cook, but the price will put this out of reach for many folks who could really use it.