Dr Reinhard Zinkann, Executive Director and Co-Proprietor of Miele, explains new digital applications for the kitchen and how domestic appliances can be kept up to date
Smart kitchen aids are trending as they make many aspects of our lives easier for us. We asked Dr Reinhard Zinkann whether his company is showcasing innovations that may be trend-setters.
Yes, absolutely. For a start, we are presenting a broad range of products once again this year: laundry care with Miele is becoming even more sustainable and convenient. In terms of dishwashers, we are showcasing compact appliances which focus on urban living in smaller apartments. What’s more, your favourite coffee now tastes even better thanks to Miele! I’m certainly seeing a megatrend in the kitchen: digitalisation is opening up fascinating new possibilities to enhance inspiration and enjoyment when cooking – and to this end, we have some really exciting features in store!
(…) digitalisation is opening up fascinating new possibilities to enhance inspiration and enjoyment when cooking
What are these specifically?
Allow me to explain in a little more detail: since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been spending more time at home – and in front of the cooker. Cooking with fresh ingredients and trying out something new is very popular. Consequently, we have seen high demand for the recipe database provided in the Miele app. However, our own abilities in the kitchen do not always live up to our expectations! So the new assistance systems we are offering for baking, frying and cooking can provide users with a helping hand and inspiration here.
What are these systems?
Firstly, there is Smart Food ID. Here, the camera in the Miele oven identifies which dish I have placed in the oven, then all I have to do is confirm this and it will be cooked fully automatically – with extremely reliable results, naturally. The second assistance system is called Smart Browning Control. It is our programme for cooking the perfect pizza and is also camera-assisted. The oven monitors how the pizza browns to identify when it is done.
Finally, when frying with our new induction hobs, we have developed CookAssist. With assistance from our app, CookAssist guides you through the cooking process step by step, notifying you on your smartphone when the pan has reached the right searing temperature, for example. It also lets you know when the steak needs to be turned in the pan so that it is cooked exactly how you like it – whether rare, medium or well done. In addition to steaks, CookAssist currently also helps with 14 other recipes, such as chicken curry, rösti or pancakes. And more recipes are constantly being added, also thanks to our cooperation with KptnCook, a highly successful and innovative start-up in the cookery sector.
Doesn’t this curb creativity somewhat?
Absolutely not. Experienced cooks can work with our appliances exactly how they wish and set precise temperatures within one degree of accuracy. And this isn’t just the case for ovens and hobs – it also applies to steam ovens and other combination appliances from Miele. However, for those who are less experienced in the kitchen or who don’t want to have to deal with all the fine details of cooking the new assistance systems are a huge help. Not forgetting the inspiration factor: I’m much more likely to try out a new recipe if I know that it’s going to turn out well thanks to Miele. I’m sure that lots of people will rediscover the joy of cooking through these digital features.
How many recipes have the digital aids mastered?
Altogether, several dozen at present. But this is just the start. We are continually expanding the recipes offered.
So would it be better if I waited until Miele has made a larger stock of recipes available?
There’s no need to put off a purchase for this reason. New applications and assistance systems are added to our customers’ appliances via online updates. In practical terms, this means that a 60 cm Miele oven with camera purchased in 2019 can be upgraded to include Smart Food ID in the coming year, and will then have more functions than when it was new. Our customers will therefore always be able to benefit from brand new developments.
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Photo: Dr Reinhard Zinkann, Executive Director
and Co-Proprietor of Miele, sees great potential in new assistance systems for cooking