If there’s one drawback to trying out the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System, it’s that you may need to go on a diet because it turns out really good food.
The Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System is a single induction burner. Essentially, it’s an electric cooktop that prepares food using electromagnets that transfer energy to heat up magnetic cookware. Think of it as a very high-tech hot plate with superfast temperature response.
You can buy the burner by itself for $299.95 or bundled with Hestan’s smart cookware — either an 11-inch frying pan for $399.95 or a 5.5-quart covered chef’s pot for $499.95. (The pan and the pot can also be purchased separately for $199.95 and $299.95, respectively, at hestancue.com.)
Each piece of Hestan cookware has an embedded temperature sensor that communicates with the burner through an app on your smartphone or tablet. The burner and cookware talk to each other with the help of the Hestan Cue app on your phone, which uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The Cue Smart Cooking System takes you step-by-step through dozens of chef-curated recipes. Control Mode lets you set your temperatures precisely and cook however you’d like.
The app has recipes in sections titled Quick and Easy, Getting Started, Meal/Course, Chef’s Collective, Main Ingredient, Partners, Cuisine, Dietary Restriction, Mood and Season. Once you get the hang of how induction cooking works, you can branch out and do your own thing with Control mode.
Setting temperatures can be tricky. The Cue app lets you dial an exact temperature setting. If you want to cook at 375 degrees, that’s what you set, but is that medium? Medium high? It can take a while to get the hang of it.
The app has a handy timer at the bottom of the screen so you can easily set it without having to switch screens.
The Cue system includes a 4-inch metal ruler. If you’re cooking meat, part of the setup process asks you some questions about what type of meat you’re cooking and how you like it cooked (rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.). Then you’re asked to measure the meat’s thickness and enter it in the app.
The app calculates the time and temperature for each step of the cook. You are told exactly when to turn the meat and when to take if off the heat to rest. The entire process is quite easy and the food is delicious.
What may be less appetizing is the cost. This is an expensive system, but induction ranges online start at $1,000 and go way up from there, so getting your feet wet with induction cooking for around $400 isn’t that bad.
The Hestan Cue is portable and you can use it anywhere there’s a plug, such as out on the patio.
Like any other kitchen gadget, this might be something you use every day, or it might end up in a drawer.
If you’ve done your research and you want to try induction cooking, the Hestan Cue is well made and easy to use. Bon appetit.