clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This $400 Smart Oven Makes Idiot-Proof Meal Kits

Plus more food news to know this week


You need a $400 smart oven to cook these idiot-proof meal kits

Meal kits, with their pre-portioned ingredients and handy visual step-by-step guides are a dime a dozen today. But what if you’re too busy to add ground beef to a hot skillet and pour over taco seasoning? What if you’re too terrible a cook to do that without torching half your kitchen?

The folks at Tovala, the newest meal kit challenger, have a solution for all this — they supply both the packaged ingredients and an oven that will read meal barcodes and automate the cooking process — as long as you shell out $400 for it. All you have to do is try not to burn your hand pulling them from the heat. (Good luck with that!)

This business model might seem familiar — the much-maligned Juicero is a similar machine, in that it squeezes $8 Juicero-brand packets of fruit and vegetables for single-serve glasses of juice... until people figured out you could get the same result squeezing with your hands. Will people figure out you can get the same result here with prepared ingredients, a conventional oven and a timer? Only time will tell.

McDonald’s new burger has kale and sriracha and other things millennials like; looks terrible

I can’t believe I even have to write this, but my god: Kale does not belong on a burger.


A mystery restaurant kept hilarious notes on a bunch of its high-profile guests. This week, the notes leaked

Anyone who has worked in hospitality knows that staff keep tabs on customers all the time, including in the form of notes on the restaurant computer system. So what happens when a restaurant accidentally emails that list of notes to a journalist? The New Yorker writer Hannah Goldfield kept everything anonymous, but tweeted out an incredible thread of notes about customers. The tidbits set out who under-tips, who’s got VIP connections (e.g. “Meryl Streep’s nephew,” “Danielle Steele’s daughter”), and who’s just banned altogether.

An In-N-Out employee revealed the inner workings of the burger chain in a Reddit AMA

For anyone who’s ever wondered why their In-N-Out trays are so over-stuffed, or what compels the staff to drop so many damn napkins in an order, this is for you. The anonymous burger slinger dropped some surprising facts about how the chain operates, including the limits of the secret menu. Apparently burgers can’t be made any bigger than a 4x4, mostly because it’d be too messy to be presentable.

KFC is launching a “healthy” spinoff restaurant in China

There are no Double Downs here. K Pro is the Colonel’s latest effort in Hangzhou, a light and airy store that’s all about fresh juices, grilled chicken, smoked salmon, and everything else you’d expect to find a Whole Foods rather than a KFC. Said grilled chicken can’t even be purchased by the bucket, which begs the question if it’s really a KFC at all.


Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day