If your store-bought mac-n-cheese always comes out of the microwave molten on the outside but frozen on the inside, you might be interested in GE’s newest appliance, which the company announced today.
The GE Smart Countertop Microwave lets you use your smartphone to scan the barcode on food packaging. Heating instructions are then sent directly to the microwave complete with cooking times and power levels.
As the GE press release rightly points out, the average microwave has 10 power levels, but if you’re like me, you only use one, turning the microwave into a blunt instrument that nukes everything from pizza pockets to re-heated leftovers on full blast, the roof of my mouth be damned.
The GE Smart Countertop Microwave comes with 3,000 different frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable items pre-programmed, and will be updated as time goes on. If you want to go more manual with GE’s new microwave, it’s also Alexa-enabled, so you can use voice commands to do things like stop the microwave or add more time.
This is the first scan-to-cook appliance for GE, who is playing a little catch up here, since Whirlpool debuted appliances with similar features more than a year ago. GE’s microwave is on sale for for a limited time and is coming bundled with an Echo Dot for $154.98, after that the MSRP is $139.
While limited to pre-packaged items with barcodes right now, scan-to-cook technology is a good example of the guided cooking trend we are following here at The Spoon. Appliance manufactures like Electrolux and LG are partnering with software startups like SideChef and Innit to not just heat your food, but also help you through the entire cooking process.
Even if what you are cooking is simply microwaveable mac-n-cheese.
Update: We were initially given the wrong price for the GE microwave. We have updated this post with the correct pricing.