A Plea for Cooking: Move Yourselves!

Cooking at home
Photo credit: Pixabay

Many people have forgotten how to cook. Now automated cooking assistants also do the work for them. High time for a fiery appeal.

Is it really that difficult to cook properly at home? Is it so hard to pick up a knife, saucepan and pan to stew a chopped onion, cook potatoes, pasta or rice, cook vegetables and sear a piece of meat? No? But it looks like it! The people who don’t want to cook have obviously had a problem with it for a long time.

The Coronavirus restrictions would have shown the misery even more clearly. “The elimination of the range of fast-food restaurants, French fries and the Italians around the corner throws people back on their own cooking skills.” And they often leave much to be desired because practice is lacking. According to a study by the drug manufacturer Stada, only 46 percent of Germans cook fresh every day. In Europe, only the UK is cooked less often.

This is why the industry has been flooding the kitchen with mechanical cooking assistants of all kinds for years. Where the pressure cooker used to be in use, there is now the multi-functional food processor with a warming function, which is often abbreviated to Thermomix, even if it is from Bosch, Krups, Lidl or Aldi. Some of them cost well over 1,000 euros. With sentences like “Close the lid” that appear continuously on the small display, their users are incapacitated. There is hardly any space left for your own thoughts or ideas. Anyone who cooks with Thermomix & Co. every day does not learn anything, so they do not learn to cook either. Nevertheless, Germany’s kitchens are overcrowded with the cooking robots. You take control.

Then just learn it!

Your supporters defend the devices with three arguments. First: if I can’t cook, I can at least use the Thermomix (or other competitor products) to make something fresh to eat. Second: I don’t have time to stand by the stove on weekdays to cook. Third: I can let dishes like risotto or puree run on the side while I turn to frying the meat.

First: Then just learn it! Secondly: Yes, it works especially in the home office! Thirdly: No, you can do that by the way!

Like with the weather app

Now Miele also wants to help people cook. But not with a multifunctional food processor with a keep warm function. CookAssist is an app that knows what the hob is doing and guides the user. So those in need stand in front of the pan, but don’t look into it, but at their smartphone to see how hot it is. It’s like checking the outside temperature with the weather app without going outside.

Miele uses the TempControl technology in its KM 7000 series induction hobs in a very smart way.Below the surface are sensors that analyze the material of the pan or saucepan in order to keep the temperature of the cookware constant. Because it changes during use when something is boiled, cooked or fried in it. The usual way of selecting a value between 0 and 9 on the displayed scale only results in the induction hob maintaining a certain temperature. But that doesn’t mean that the cookware will do the same. Ultimately, the food heats up, absorbs less energy over time and threatens to burn because the induction hob continues to provide the same heat as it was at the beginning. With TempControl three frying levels can be set: 160, 200 and 220 degrees.

Okay, this is some kind of help experienced cooks may need, although it is not strictly necessary. However, most of them will have learned to work on a hob without TempControl, so that reducing the heat when frying is part of cooking. But why is Miele putting Cook-Assist on top of this? “On the way to the perfect result, questions like these arise: Which performance level is the right one? When should the fish be turned? Can the zucchini be put in the pan now?” Says the marketing department. “Because the app guides you step by step through the entire roasting process, sophisticated classics such as steak, salmon fillet or blueberry pancakes succeed even without any prior knowledge.”

The machine takes control

This means that Miele has its customers where they want Thermomix & Co.: The machine takes control, the person follows and will not have learned anything even after a thousand steaks and pancakes have been fried. The assistant sellers do not answer the questions of when a fish can be turned or the zucchini can be taken out. For some time now, this teaching function, which may have been held by grandparents or parents in the past, has been taking over the cooking shows, the educational value of which should not be underestimated, provided that one is interested in cooking and not in the show or in bold sayings.

Miele can be credited with the fact that the hob can also be operated without CookAssist, when the beginner has actually become a cook. The multifunctional kitchen machines with warming function remain multifunctional kitchen machines with warming function. Once someone has cooked their way out, the expensive device can be put in the basement.

The professional shows, the layman imitates

It’s worth watching YouTube videos or buying video courses that show how to cook properly at different levels. The internet is full of it. For example, the successful masterclass concept from America, in which experts (actors, athletes, scientists and cooks) show in individual lessons how their respective subject works, has been copied in Germany. There it is called Meet Your Master or master class. Such courses can also be found at 7hauben.

There are also lessons that are really intended for beginners, and every recipe gives a tip that can be used at home in your own kitchen. The idea of ​​such video tutorials implements the proven concept of the teaching-learning situation: the professional shows, the layman does it.

Do like Luke Skywalker!

In the cooking tutorials of Meisterklasse there is also a young couple who persistently confronts the otherwise rather brittle Wohlfahrt with often simple-minded questions, which the latter answers calmly. If the two of them were standing in front of a multifunctional food processor with a keep-warm function or a CookAssist, the dish would probably be right away. But which way is really the better? The more satisfying one, looking to the future? To let a machine tell you what to do for the life of a kitchen seems more than questionable. So: put the assistant on the hob and do it like Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” – let your feelings guide you.