The Unjoy of Cooking: Why I’ll Never Own a ‘Smart’ Grill

If you’ve forgotten how to cook, technology won’t save you

February 9, 2017 9:00 am

To you, prospective buyer of that wifi-enabled grill, on the subject of smart devices that promise to take all the hard work out of cooking:

I understand your plight. Cooking can, at times, be difficult. You may be a clueless cook, you may be too busy to cook, but for whatever reason, a “connected grill” appeals to you.

There’s just one problem: smart grills are dumb. They may provide recipes and “precision”; they may provide you the ability to monitor and control temperatures from afar; some will even literally cook for you by voice-command. But there’s one thing they’ll never provide — what Irma S. Rombauer once called the “joy of cooking.” Because when you know what you’re doing, making a meal is one of the great satisfactions in life.

Which leads me to my next point: for the love of all that is holy, learn how to cook a steak already. Phone a friend who knows how. Apprentice them. Better yet, watch this video once. It’s simple, I promise. You know who the only people telling you that cooking a steak is hard are? You guessed it: the grill company that says its product can do it for you.

“But how am I supposed to socialize with my kids’ friends’ parents at my annual pool party if I’m lording over the grills for four hours?” you ask. Get real. That ain’t your job. The ritual of grilling is for the people to come and “kiss the cook,” not the other way around.

So, please. Invest your hard-earned money elsewhere. A cooking class, perhaps. Or a Weber.  Just don’t bet on the delusion that technology can save you.

Because if it could, we’d all be eating steaks by now.

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