Screw self-driving cars and terribly racist AI Twitter bots. You don't have to be Elon Musk to tell that singularity is steadily approaching and a nonstick pan could very well be the singular piece of technology to set off this tinderbox we call humanity. OK, so maybe a regular nonstick pan isn't going to be the technological Che Guevara of tomorrow, but a nonstick pan that can actually cook for you just might. Enter Pantelligent, the company that wants you to know that there is a frying pan out there that would be more than happy to make dinner for you.
Here's how the self-cooking pan works. First, you find a recipe on your Pantelligent app. Then you press the "Start Cooking" button, and voila—the pan will take over from there.
Yes, the pan will tell you when it is at the optimum temperature to begin cooking. Feel free to check Tinder or Snapchat while your food cooks—and don't worry! The pan will tell you when it is time to flip your food, stir in other ingredients, or adjust the heat.
How does this all work? The Pantelligent frying pan communicates with the Pantelligent app, providing information on the real-time temperature of your meal-in-progress. According to the purveyors, you can cook everything from mushroom risotto to salmon to steak in your handy-dandy pan for the price of… well, the price is currently $174, although the pans are labeled "backordered" on the website, and a notice says the price will soon be going up to $199.
That's not cheap for a 12-inch, non-stick pan. But if you'd like to remove any creativity and thought from the cooking process—and we say this without judgment, because there are times for most of us when cooking is just a necessity—then this is the pan for you. If, on the other hand, you are a cook who likes to, well, actually cook, it's back to the stupid pans for you.
But wait: Hold on. Pantelligent has a "create a recipe" mode that allows you to express your culinary skills while it records you cooking and then allows you publish the recipe to your private account. Damn, that pan is smart.
Pantelligent was launched thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that raised $83,206, well above its goal of $30,000. Reviews have been generally good, although some point out that the pan does not work on induction stovetops and that the app is a little "clunky." Most seem to agree that for beginners, the Pantelligent pans are likely to save many expensive steaks from being incinerated.
In our opinion, though, the paramount feature of the Pantelligent pan is this: It allows users to direct their attention away from cooking to more important things. Like spending some quality time on that Insta of dogs that look like food, for example, all while your steak sizzles in the happily cooking pan. Looks like somebody really needs to get this pan its own cooking show.