We home cooks have all felt the same struggle: the struggle of having countless different kitchen tools and appliances, each effectively only doing one thing. There’s the slow cooker, the frying pan, the thermometer, the scales, the probes, and so many more. All of them taking up large amounts of space, conveniently designed to be excruciatingly difficult to be put away.
So-called all-in-one cookers solve only a small part of the problem and they take up a fair chunk of real estate themselves as well. However, London startup company Njori believes they have found a solution, an “intuitive” smart induction cooker known as the Tempo, a compact culinary jack of all trades.
Cooking by precise temperature
I’ve had a chance to correspond with Njori’s co-founder, Jack Raison, and he shares that “the Njori Tempo offers a level of cooking precision that is not possible with a traditional cooktop. You get constant temperature feedback and the Tempo will automatically monitor and regulate temperatures for you so you can achieve consistent results.” With built-in scales for exact weight control that can be used for portion allotment or finding the perfect percentage of reduction in a sauce or glaze, a simple control panel that features a magnetic patent-pending dial, and a built-in probe and thermometer, the surprisingly compact kit works on one simple premise: cooking by precise temperature.
The direct contact temperature sensor’s function “continually monitors the pan temperature as you cook.” Raison explains this as a function that “ensures you get consistent results and helps you to refine your recipes.” Furthermore, he describes this particular function of Tempo as a “gamechanger” for both the home cook and the high-end chef, explaining that it will change the way people think about cooking food.
Beyond that, Raison also hopes that, with Tempo’s function, “recipes will start to be written in exact temperatures rather than just terms like ‘medium high’, which is wildly different depending on what cooker and pan you are using.” He believes that having exact temperatures for recipes would help “make following recipes more accurate with better results (the) first time, resulting in more confidence in the kitchen.”
The Tempo has several applications, one of which is its sous-vide feature, a method of cooking using a water bath and vacuum-sealed bags once thought to be the “preserve of professional kitchens.” Now, thanks to an included attachable water circulator and probe, anyone can turn a pan into a water bath “perfect for gentle cooking”. Njori claims that with this, cooks can easily create “melt-in-the-mouth Asian pork belly, Korean beef short ribs and tender teriyaki salmon at home.”
In addition to the sous-vide, the Tempo can also serve as a slow cooker base, allowing customers to turn their pan of choice into a slow cooker capable of producing “succulent stews or casseroles.” According to Njori, “users can even place the probe into a piece of meat and set the ideal temperature to ensure it’s cooked to perfection.” Also using the probe accessory, the deep frying feature automatically adjusts temperature as cold chicken goes into the pan, cooking ingredients evenly and easily. Some may say it could use some additional applications to further streamline the cooking process, and thankfully Njori is expecting to provide updates and enhancements via USB.
Cooking up the idea
While the tech features of the Tempo sound exciting, the real reason it was developed was to satisfy the co-founders’ passion for perfectly fried chicken. This obsession drew Raison and co-founder, Nick Orme, to try every possible method of ingredients, tools, and cooking styles, hosting nightly chicken parties to test their creations on “as many friends as (they) could squeeze into (their) one-bed flats” until they stumbled upon the perfect recipe.
However, in their search for the perfect recipe, they realized that there was a “motley crew of clunky kitchen gadgets involved in pulling off such gastronomy, all taking up prime real estate in our tiny kitchens.” This led the two to develop a compact, temperature regulating cooker that ultimately became the Tempo.
Today, Raison believes that “the multifunctionality and versatility of the Tempo opens up new possibilities.” Njori hopes that, in the coming years, they can continue sharing their love of fried chicken and cooking in general with the world. As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign for this smart cooker surpassed its goal by more than $100,000. If you’re up for some smart cooking, the campaign is still open for 10 more days with available packages starting at around $450.
YouTube: Njori Tempo – The smart cooker for adventurous chefs
Photo credit: The images are owned by Njori and have been provided for press usage.