A few years ago, we were at a trade show and we came across this really cool concept - high end pans with intelligence built in and an induction burner with which the pan could communicate. This was revolutionary and although we wanted to jump on board, the price tag threw us off. We thought we’d give it some time to mature and evolve and come back to the same trade show next year to see what kind of growth the concept experienced. Imagine our disappointment when it was nowhere to be found. It didn’t make sense - it was such a cool and smart concept.
To our delight, however, the Hestan Cue system appeared in my thread last year and I was thrilled to see it. I recognized it right away from that trade show a few moons ago. I was also super happy to see that some serious product development had taken place and this was now a contender. I ordered the entire set right then and there.
First Things First
The equipment itself is not only smart, it’s beautiful. The basic pieces are the cooktop, the cookware, and the mobile app. All 3 pieces communicate with each other.
The cookware is made of rock solid 18/10 stainless steel with a proprietary aluminum core (for even heat distribution). Here’s the cool part (no pun intended): the cookware also has built-in bluetooth technology that senses the pan’s temperature and reports that back to the app. When cold food is added to the pan and the temperature drops, the app sends a heat increase signal to the cooktop to restore the optimum cooking temperature. In short, bye-bye scorched meals, hello restaurant quality.
The chef’s on staff at Hestan Cue have worked hard to take the guesswork out of using the Hestan Cue system by developing well over 600 different recipes, all with step by step guidance. You can also search by vessel, meal, cuisine and dietary restrictions. They also have popular chefs developing recipes for them on the regular. We’re talking seriously good eating here.
How it Works
Overall, I found it dead simple to use. It bears noting that I am a bit of a tech geek. OK, I know just enough to be dangerous. Nevertheless, if you have a smartphone and/or tablet and some AAA batteries (keep backups on hand at all times), you’ve got this. This is not only easy to use, it makes you look great as a home chef. Pretty much everything I’ve tried has turned out beautifully.
It’s as simple as picking your recipe from the app, selecting the vessel, and hitting start. The recipes even walk you through the mise-en-place so you’re never scrambling to catch up. It truly takes all the guesswork out of creating an amazing meal.
Here are some examples of our results with Hestan Cue.
How the app guided us…
How we followed along
Our finished meal
Working in Control Mode
If 600+ recipes isn’t enough for you, or you just want to use the Cue for your own recipe, then Control Mode is your jam. This is where you get to pick the cookware, set the temperature, and a timer and you’re done. You can even tell it to turn off the burner once a set temperature is reached. Of course, you can check their trusty temperature guide for best results - for both protein and veggies.
My Wish List Going Forward
All things being equal, there are some things I wish the Hestan Cue would have. Namely:
- Landscape orientation for the app. I use an iPad and had to purchase another stand because the app only displays in portrait mode. Not a huge inconvenience, but it would be nice if I could keep it on the keyboard cover I have (especially when searching for recipes et al)
- An easy, super obvious button to check the battery in the cookware (it’s kind of buried in the profile). I’ve run out of juice on the chef pot and it was mighty tricky having to tilt it to get the dead battery out and get the new one in. I only did that once as I got in the habit of checking the battery BEFORE starting a recipe.
- Although you can save on battery life by turning the handle on the pan (to disconnect), that could be made more obvious. Perhaps they could add an on/off switch to the handle. Hmmm, maybe this is where you could also see how much battery life is left.
- A way of recording my own recipes when I’m using Control Mode. The Hestan Cue Facebook group (a great resource for Cue owners) had a great recipe for Osso Bucco that I was able to recreate. It would have been nice to capture it in the app itself (rather than going to another app).
In the End
The Hestan Cue has become my go-to, especially when I’m entertaining. With timed recipes, and as long as my mise-en-place is done, it’s the most relaxed fun I’ve had with guests in probably - well, ever. I get to enjoy a glass of wine without stressing that I’m missing something. I hear the “ding”, look at my screen for instructions, drop the next ingredient in, then get back to my conversation. A conversation that is, more often than not, about this system.
For batch cooking, the chef pot has been a godsend. I’ve whipped up Beef Bourguignon and a Bolognese that got rave reviews (both recipes in the app).
All in all, the folks at Hestan Cue have thought this through and came up with a system that made it possible to have restaurant-quality food at home. Since the past couple of years forced us back into our own kitchens, I was, and continue to be, deeply grateful to have had the Hestan Cue in mine.
The ideal set for slow cooking, braising, frying, rice cooking, sauces, and even fondue.
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