Originally created 02/11/02

Cooking with a computer geek



Do you know the perfect temperature to fry eggs?

How hot the skillet should be for the perfect pancake?

How to perfectly sizzle that steak?

Why a computer geek is writing about this?

I've been playing with the new Smart Pan ($89.95) and other electronic cooking toys from the Digital Cookware, Inc. division of Wireless Alarm Products, Inc.

The concept is simple: you just select what you want to cook - eggs, bacon, grilled cheese, etc. - and the pan determines the correct temperature for you to become the skillet master of your block. You then place the pan on the burner, preheat it until the target temperature is displayed on the pan's handle and then cook.

The pan warns you with several annoying beeps if you exceed the desired temperature and the display begins flashing numbers as it continues to rise, so it's pretty hard to overcook those eggs.

Other features of the pan include:

- DuPont Autograph nonstick surface

- Hard-anodized construction.

- Nine adjustable food programs.

- Low, medium, high and very high temperature indicators.

- You can personalize preset food temperatures.

- Adjustable pan calibration.

A version of the Smart Pan, the Smart Pan RF, uses radio frequency signals to communicate with a transmitter connected to your stove's burner or cooktop, enabling them to work together in monitoring and adjusting the temperature for the surface of the pan.

Other items from Digital Cookware include:

- The Digital Talking Timer ($19.95), a programmable talking countdown timer, count-up timer or talking digital clock with six different alarm sounds. I found the honking-horn alarm to be particularly annoying.

- The Simple Digital Wireless Food Thermometer ($69.95), which can be used to monitor food, outside temperatures, temperatures generated by refrigerators and air-conditioning equipment using a wireless transmitter and probe and a digital receiver.

-A Digital BBQ Taste-Temp Fork ($29.95), which tells you the level of doneness of your food.

Additional information on these products and ordering information can be found on the Internet at www.DigitalCookwareInc.com.

(Contact Mike Berman at mberman@jocgeek.com, or through his Web site at www.jocgeek.com)