Valentine’s Day 2014 was the last time I cooked a steak. I was trying to impress my husband who knows his way around a kitchen. This was the first time I attempted fillet and also the last; I emulated my husband’s steps for the perfect steak and somehow still ruined it. It was overdone and tough; good thing there was plenty of cheesecake for dessert. For some reason, even though dutifully following his steps, I just didn’t know when it was done. If only I’d had a Cinder…
Cinder is a kitchen appliance with a brain. It’s your cooktop on steroids. It’s your grill with a Superman cape. And it makes your food foolproof. Using the accompanying app, you can be sure to never over or undercook your food again and refocus your attention on picking the best ingredients or getting creative with your pairings.
Using precise sensing technology, Cinder detects the quantity and thickness of your food, sets the ideal temperature, and cooks your food to perfection. The app even has preset recipes so your only worry is getting the correct wine to go with your dinner.
Much like a sous vide, Cinder can be set, both manually and through the app, to the ideal temperature without overcooking. But, unlike a sous vide, Cinder allows you to fry, grill, use as a griddle, or like a hob without the guesswork. Knowing that a perfect medium rare fillet needs to get to 135°F, Cinder will reach this temperature and hold it for as long as you need it. That means that, even if you leave it for two hours, the maximum temperature the piece of meat will be is 135°F and will never be overdone.
Also with the app you can find and follow recipes, create your own, save your preferred settings for each food, and even be notified when your food is done. Currently, it is only available for iOS but the Cinder team are looking to add Android as soon as possible. In addition, Cinder can be used without the app if you know which temperature you’d like for something basic.
Cinder can reach up to 550°F (~287°C) with precision within a quarter of a degree. It heats up to sear temperature in just five minutes and, incredibly, Cinder can even cook from frozen (although it will take about double the time). It has two removable non-stick cooking plates and a removable drip tray all of which can be cleaned in the dishwasher, with soap and water, or just wiped down with a paper towel. The entire system is just 18 inches long, a foot wide, and only five inches tall. Weighing just 12 pounds, Cinder can be stored anywhere or moved just as easily.
Possibly the only downside to Cinder is the unknown. I like my fillet to be rested to make it extra tender and I’m not sure if the device would account for that. Additionally, meats like beef and chicken can take 30-45 minutes to cook. Although, if I’m willing to have my food cooked without having to watch it, then that time would be spent perfecting my dessert or taste-testing the wine.
Cinder is available for pre-order for $499. Although this seems steep, it could potentially replace the majority of appliances in your home (with better food, to boot!). They will begin to ship in early 2016.