Tasty dishes with a minimum of effort — digitalization to tickle the palate.
Lifting the lid on a smart pot called Cookit.
Smart kitchen helper saves time and effort
The key to any good risotto is to stir, stir, and stir again. To keep the rice from sticking to the pan and give the dish its creamy texture, it needs constant attention. Martin Strumpler knows this all too well. An avid amateur cook, the 38-year-old is the head of the Smart Cooking unit at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH. But for all his love of cooking, he still finds constant stirring a tedious proposition. All the more reason for Strumpler to beam with satisfaction at his team’s latest innovation — an appliance called Cookit.
He has just finished sautéing porcini mushrooms in butter in the food processor’s three-liter stainless steel work bowl. The aroma lingers as he closes the lid. Over the next three quarters of an hour, Cookit is going to stir, stir, and stir again. To finish the risotto, all that remains for Strumpler to do is add a splash of white wine and vegetable stock. “It’s a completely different way of cooking,” Strumpler says, clearly delighted to be using the time saved on stirring to explain the other benefits of this digital kitchen wizard.
Slicing, chopping, shredding, grating, blending, pureeing, steaming, boiling, braising, browning and so much more — Cookit,the multifunctional food processor, replaces nearly the entire complement of kitchen equipment.
Step-by-step meal preparation
Cookit can do so much more than merely stir. This multi-talent slices, chops, shreds, blends, purees, braises, kneads, steams, and even cooks sous-vide. It can also sear meat at temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius — guaranteeing deep, savory flavors. Cooking is all about a deft touch, good ideas, and the right timing, which is why Cookit is akin to a virtual cooking course. Explaining that notion, Strumpler says, “The appliance has more than 140 recipes pre-programmed into its memory. The information in the display guides the user through the preparation step by step.” For those who prefer to cook freestyle, manual settings allow them to do exactly that — and bring grandma’s venerable family recipes into the digital age. The only thing that matters is it all tastes great.
Data-driven cooking perfection
Two sensors ensure that Cookit makes the most of ingredients. They constantly monitor the temperature in the food processor's work bowl, comparing it with the temperature recommended for the given ingredient. So while water is brought to a boil at full power, milk is heated up more gradually. The device’s built-in cooking skills represent the collective wisdom of many chefs. But rather than spoiling the soup, in this case the input from multiple cooks puts Cookit on the path to data-driven perfection. Following many analyses and tests, the BSH technology team fed the appliance with the best cooking times and temperatures for each ingredient. If Cookit is like a professional kitchen, then the electronic control unit (ECU) developed by Bosch is the digital chef. This “SystemMaster” manages the recipe archive and the automated programs. Via the display, it guides users through every step of the cooking process and makes meal preparation with the food processor a piece of cake.
Regular software updates ensure Cookit is always clued in.
Cookit and Alexa: a dream team
The electronic control unit is Wi-Fi-enabled to turn Cookit into the hub of the connected kitchen. BSH Hausgeräte GmbH’s Home Connect app can be used to download even more recipes to the food processor. And Alexa, Amazon’s virtual voice assistant, can be used to access this archive. Alexa will then suggest various recipes — for risotto, say. Once the user has selected a recipe, Alexa promptly asks, “Should I start cooking?”
Cookit brings Bosch’s vast experience in connectivity to bear. As in other spheres of the IoT, the objective here was to enhance an analog device with convenient digital features, such as the ability to issue voice commands to a kitchen appliance or update it over the air.
All this serves the same end — to benefit people — in this case, by treating them to a delicious meal. BSH associates from various units work together closely to achieve this goal. What’s true for the software also applies to the hardware: Bosch know-how can be put to good use in many different products. “For example, Cookit has to be extremely heat-resistant, so the composition of plastic parts is fringe engineering at the limits of what’s possible. Bosch expertise helped us a lot here,” Strumpler says.
Out of the pop-up home, into the home kitchen
Cookit is available in Germany and Austria, and subsequently in other countries as well. Bosch is introducing new sales channels for the smart food processor. “We’ll be offering customers plenty of opportunities to see Cookit in action for themselves, for example via experts in their regions,” says Martin Strumpler.
His porcini mushroom risotto is now ready to eat. Served straight from the Cookit pot to the plate, the dish is proof that even something as abstract as digitalization can have a very tangible appeal. It’s a stirring notion for anyone who enjoys cooking.