The geeky home is currently under siege from a shuffling hoard of smart gadgets. We've got smart thermostats, smart light bulbs, smart sprinklers, smart outlets, smart beds and smart refrigerators. Resistance is futile. If you're ready to just break down and embrace smart everything, there's a Kickstarter you should be checking out: Pantelligent, the smart frying pan.
Pantelligent is a 12-inch non-stick frying pan with a temperature sensor and Bluetooth in the handle. Pull up a recipe on the Pantelligent app, fire up the pan and let the app walk you through the entire process, from adding the oil to adjusting the temperature, and even telling you when to flip the salmon fillet. It also lets you know when the grub is done and ready to eat.
This smart frying pan is a GPS for dinner. It walks you through the directions step-by-step and sends you alerts when you wander away from the pan. Just like when using a GPS, you should still cultivate your own cooking common sense. It never hurts to double-check doneness with a thermometer or cut open the chicken to see if it's still pink inside before you chow down.
I love to cook and I'm comfortable with just jumping in there and making whatever I feel like. When I first saw the Pantelligent, I thought, "Huh. Who needs that?" Then, I thought about the people I know who aren't avid chefs and wouldn't mind having what amounts to an electronic sous chef walk them through the process, especially when it comes to decoding the tricky world of cooking meats to the right temperature without carbonizing them. Also, I'm a sucker for kitchen gadgets.
The recipe-recording feature of the app is another intriguing option. You could shadow your grandmother as she cooks up her secret paella recipe, logging the steps along the way. You can then take the recipe and repeat it back at your leisure using your fancy pan. Experienced chefs will get a kick out of the real-time temperature readout on the app, which could be especially helpful when experimenting with and tweaking recipes.
Pantelligent seems to be catching on with Kickstarter backers. It has raised a little over $26,000 toward a $30,000 funding goal with a healthy 46 days left to go. A smart frying pan of your own will cost you a $199 (about £127, AU$231) pledge. That sounds a little expensive, but it's not out of line with high-end cookware in a world where a cast-iron dutch oven can easily set you back a few hundred bucks. Granted, that's a bit different from the die-cast aluminum the Pantelligent is made from, but what you're paying for is the innovative technology, the app and the chance to plate up a lovely dinner and say, "I made this!"