Buzzfeed, a media company most known for its millennial mix of irreverent quizzes, celebrity news and investigative reporting, has taken an aggressive leap into the appliance business.
The website announced today that it's created the Tasty One Top, a $149 Bluetooth-enabled induction countertop burner designed to help you cook the recipes you see from Buzzfeed's Tasty cooking videos. The cooktop is available in the US to preorder today, and it will start to ship in November.
Here's how the Tasty One Top will work: You'll download the just-released Tasty iOS app (the Android version is forthcoming) which you can use to access more than 1,700 recipes and videos. You pick a recipe you want to cook and the app will send the appropriate settings to the Tasty One Top. The app will also give you instructions while you cook, so you'll know when to flip your pancake or add vegetables to your stir fry. You'll also be able to operate the Tasty One Top without the app thanks to its on-board controls.
The Tasty One Top will come with a temperature probe that you can use to keep track of the internal temperature of the food you're cooking or track the temperature of water for sous vide cooking, a method that requires cooking vacuum-sealed food in a temperature-controlled water bath.
On the surface, the Tasty One Top isn't much different than other connected induction cooktops we've seen, such as the $300 Paragon Induction Cooktop or the $650 Hestan Cue. All of these countertop products use the precision of induction and wireless connectivity to guide you step-by-step through recipes.
But the Tasty One Top has two significant legs up on its competition: a cheaper price and brand recognition.
Buzzfeed created Tasty two years ago as a showcase of easy-to-cook recipes presented as quick, social-media-friendly (that is, shareable) videos. Tasty has since grown to include more than six extensions of the brand, such as Proper Tasty, Bien Tasty and Tasty Jr. According to Buzzfeed, Tasty reaches one in four Facebook users worldwide and more than half of Facebook users in the US every month.
And speaking of competition, here's an interesting twist: Buzzfeed Product Labs designed the Tasty One Top, and GE Appliances' FirstBuild microfactory helped bring the product to fruition as GE's making the Tasty One Top in China. FirstBuild is also the manufacturer behind the Paragon Induction Cooktop, a similar product with a heftier price tag. I'm curious how FirstBuild will make a case for its own branded product while it simultaneously produces a nearly identical appliance for another company. FirstBuild hasn't immediately returned a request for comment.