Palate Is A Smart Grill That Takes The Work Out Of Cooking

While the standard George Foreman has long been the go-to grill for busy executives on the go, it’s time for Big George to hang up his gloves. Palate Smart Grill is on the scene and launching at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014.

This smart grill will cook almost any food perfectly based on weight, composition, and desired done-ness and can be controlled via your mobile device.

“With the Palate Smart Grill, you start the cooking with a few taps on an iPad, and the grill executes a precision-temperature cooking process that cooks the food exactly the way you want it,” said CEO Eric Norman. “With the Smart Grill’s technology, food is cooked perfectly even if the meal is delayed because guests are an hour late; it’s impossible to overcook or undercook the food.”

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What witchcraft is this, you ask? I’ll let Norman explain:

The Palate Smart Grill’s approach to precision-temperature cooking does not involve vacuum-sealing food and immersing it in water. Instead, the food is placed within a fully contained countertop electric grill with cooking plates that have embedded sensors in them to measure and control temperatures to within 0.2° Celsius. The home chef uses an iPad to indicate the desired doneness of the food, which is achieved at a precisely controlled low temperature, and when the home chef is ready to serve the food, she can easily put the finishing touches on it by grilling and searing the food at a temperature as high as 600°F, all with the same device. The Palate Smart Grill can cook precisely at any temperature and achieve a higher temperature than any electric contact grill on the market, so the customer can completely replace an existing grill.

Product Interface

We saw the device a few months ago and it is, in short, awesome. The food that comes out of it is perfectly cooked based on programmed profile. The searing function alone – the process of caramelization at high temperatures – is well worth the price of admission.

Created by Eric Norman, Don Norman, and Jim Reich, the product is launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Eric Norman-Palate Home-lg

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Judges Q&A

Q: Are people fanatical about this?
A: People want great food

Q: Who is your target and how did you identify it?
A: The primary users we want to identify are these food enthusiasts who want the best meat. People value convenience. When their foodie friends tell them about this they will want it

Q: What are the steps? Is it so easy that even I can make this?
A: It’s one touch… You can make this steak no problem

Q: Can you tell me about design?
A: It’s beautiful. We wanted something to be proud of on your counter top

Q: What’s the manufacturing process?
A: It’s not unusual for hardware development to break out some of the key parts, so we’ve done that. It’s our electronic board driving it, our sensors. It has some mechanisms we’ve designed… We’ll be crowdfunding manufacture [at a later point].

Q: How defensible is the technology here?
A: There are several patents on the tech… but this isn’t just a matter of making a little tweak here and there. To get it right we have to get everything right — thermal design, control algorithm — so it never overshoots and that’s a big shift for these guys. You have to think about what’s going on inside the food where you can’t even put a thermometer in it

Q: Does most of the processing happen on the device?
A: The control part of it happens on the device… Recipes on the backend.

Q: Where do you see it fitting in on the never cooked before vs somebody who is master chef in their own home?
A: Our dev chef is a great example… he was really blown away by… the lack of moisture loss. The food is really juicy. Those people are going to be blown away

Q: I can cook fish in this?
A: Fish is amazing

Q: Do you have any awareness of altitude?
A: Shouldn’t be a major effect here. We’re detecting thermal mass and heat. We control all the heat