June, the company behind the eponymous countertop connected cooking oven, today announced the release of its second generation June Oven, which is available and shipping immediately for $499.

This is a pretty drastic drop in price for June, which debuted its first generation oven back in 2016 for a whopping $1,500. While expensive, the June was among the first wave of connected cooking devices that could use its HD camera to automatically identify food placed in it, as well as a host of presets to basically do all the cooking for you.

In a phone call with June CEO, Matt Van Horn, he likened the first generation June oven to the first generation Tesla roadster. That expensive electric car only sat two people, but helped pave the way for improved versions in later years. In much the same way, the first June helped clear a path for the much less expensive new one.

The new June features the same cooking area size and carbon fiber heating elements as the first gen oven, but now includes faster cooking and a streamlined touchscreen interface. June touts its oven as a seven-in-one appliance that can bake, toast, roast, slow cook, keep warm, reheat, broil and dehydrate.

One of the more versatile aspects of the June is its ability to add new functionality such as air frying and dehydrating via over the air updates (just like a Tesla!). It can also add new presets for specific foods like steamed corn, or add improve and expand upon existing presets. The June has 64 preset options just for bacon (crispy, chewy, thick-cut, etc.). Because both the first and second gen Junes are on the same software platform, when a new cook program is released, both ovens will get it (Van Horn says the company is working on a rice cooker function right now).

For those who are a little more hands-on with their meals, the new June can act like a regular oven, so you can manually set the temperature and the cook times however you like. The June is also Alexa-enabled for those who want to control their cooking appliance with their voice.

In addition to a new interface, the June also comes with an improved sealed cavity to keep more heat in the oven, this allows the new June to cook faster than its predecessor. Van Horn told us that cooking a salmon with the first gen June took 12 minutes to cook, in the second gen June, it takes just nine minutes — and there is no pre-heating required.

That’s right, no pre-heating. “People don’t like to pre-heat,” said Van Horn, “One hundred percent of our one-tap cook programs have no preheat.”

Van Horn actually demonstrated this for us during our video call by cooking a steak in real time. He just placed it on the rack and it went through its baking and broiling cycles and before we finished our call he had a completely cooked steak.

Internally, here at Spoon HQ we had been wondering what was up with June in recent months. We had noticed earlier in the year that the company was no longer taking orders for the first-gen and we feared the worst. While the first-gen was a powerful device, $1,500 for a second oven that takes up countertop space was cost-prohibitive for most people.

So now we know the company was working on this second-gen device. But the introduction of this new June comes at a very different time in the connected kitchen space. June is no longer the only countertop heating appliance to make cooking your meals easier.

Since the first June, rivals have come to market such as the Tovala, and the Suvie, with its four-zone cooking, is on the way. The June may have an edge over these devices, however, as it is more versatile, being able to cook anything easily, not just food from an accompanying subscription. And while the June’s carbon fiber heating elements are neat, they’re still fairly conventional as far as heating technology goes, while a raft of new ovens from Miele, Markov and Brava boast entirely new forms of heat application and are making their way to market.

June will have the jump on the competition as it is shipping today. You can order it directly from June’s web site. The actual retail price for the base model, which includes food thermometer, solid core aluminum cooking pan, roasting rack, wire shelf, crumb tray and companion app, will be $599, but is $499 for a limited time at launch. The Gourmet package, which includes everything in the base package plus an extended 2-year warranty, 3-year recipe subscription and set of 3 air baskets will be $799, or $699 for a limited time at launch.

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