Yes, You Can Now Call Your Crock Pot on Your iPhone

| Tue Jun. 24, 2014 3:10 PM EDT

From the annals of stories I'm afraid to read:

The age of cooking by smartphone is here. We test a Robo-Crock in the connected kitchen.

But I'm a professional, so I clicked the link:

For my first test, I made chili....But instead of reaching for any knobs or buttons on the front of the device, I launched an app on my phone to set temperature and time.

The machine fired up, eventually reaching a simmer. The app kept track of time and alerted me with a pop-up message when my three-hour stew was ready for mass consumption. If I had wanted to bump the temperature from High to Low or adjust the cook time, I could easily do that whether I was down the street or half a world away.

I am happy to report that the $130 Smart Crock-Pot works as billed....The chili came out great. It was at that point that the greater existential questions surrounding a Smart Crock-Pot began surfacing: When would I really need this? Is it worth the extra $50? And is it smart enough?

Indeed. Is it smart enough? I'd say no, because it still forces me to cut up all the meat and vegetables and then manually toss them in the crock pot. That doesn't sound nearly smart enough to me. Call me back when a robot version of Wolfgang Puck is available for $130.

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