Weird Food News

iChef: the idiot-proof oven

At its most basic level, the iChef is an oven for the culinarily challenged. The high-tech gadget comes equipped with a picture-enhanced autobake system: select a photo of a dish, and the oven does the rest at the proper temperature. That feature works with some commonly made foods and a few dozen recipes held in the appliance's system.

But this isn't just an adult's Easy Bake Oven. In idiot-proofing its product, manufacturer Gorenje has definitely streamlined the cooking process and made life easier for cooks at any level of proficiency.

Have a recipe you make a lot? The oven will store it for you, ensuring that it cooks at the same temperature every time. Need to defrost, cook, then keep something warm until dinner? The oven's step-cooking feature lets you do it without touching a setting. Hate opening the oven door a hundred times to stick a thermometer in a loin? This baby's got a built-in meat probe, so your cut of meat will come out perfectly temped, every time.

And, yes, you can use it as a normal oven, too.

The high-tech baking machine starts shipping in Europe this spring.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk