The first time you lay eyes on the CookingPal Julia, it’s hard to tell exactly what it is. Is it a fancy coffee maker, a weird new blender, or a newfangled sous vide machine? Turns out, it’s none of those things. Instead, it’s the latest take on autonomous cooking machines that look to take the burden of cooking in our not-so-distant future.
Billed as an “intelligent autonomous cooking system,” it’s a one-pot cooking appliance that can guide users through recipes, telling them what to put in, while doing most of the actual work itself. And yes, the actual work included chopping, blending, kneading, and all other sorts of things, allowing you to eliminate many of the prep work that traditionally come with cooking food at home.
The CookingPal Julia consists of two parts: a countertop appliance that looks like an excessively large food processor and a companion tablet that you can use to interact with the system. Why is it so big? We’re guessing mostly because it does everything. It has, for instance, a built-in scale in the rear section, so you can weigh each ingredient right on the darn thing, as well as integrated blades that allow it to perform all chopping and slicing duties, eliminating the need to mess with a chopping board during food prep.
The main cooking vessel is a 3-liter pot with a convenient handle on the side and a removable measuring cup on the lid. Inside the pot, right at the bottom, sits a blade that it uses to chop up any food when the recipe calls for it, so it can serve as a limited food processor of sorts, as well. Aside from the pot, it also comes with a steamer tray that you can swap into the cooking slot, as well as a simmering basket that you can place inside the pot to keep food away from the blade. There’s also a butterfly whisk and a spatula that can be attached inside the pot, as needed.
The CookingPal Julia’s companion tablet is, of course, where you interact with the system. You begin each cooking session by choosing a recipe, with the option to ask it for recommendations, upon which it will prompt you to input either the kind of food you like or the ingredients you currently have on hand. Once you’ve picked a recipe, the system then walks you through each step of the cooking process, telling you everything you need to do, from weighing the meat on the integrated scale and adding a specific quantity of ingredient to attaching any of the included accessories. Basically, your job is to dump the ingredients in the order it recites, then leave it to manage everything else. You can keep tabs on the status of the food using the tablet. Once you’re done cooking, the unit can also clean itself (just pour water and detergent into the bowl), although it’s also dishwasher-friendly, if it requires a more thorough cleaning.
The CookingPal Julia will come out in the third quarter of 2020.