Gadget: The One Kitchen Gadget to Rule Them All

All-Clad Prep & Cook

Matthew Kronsberg wrote . . . . .

The Characteristics

All-Clad Metalcrafters LLC is a Pennsylvania-based cookware manufacturer of copper, stainless steel, and nonstick pots and pans. The company is part of the French global kitchen appliance conglomerate Groupe SEB, which this year introduced the Prep & Cook. The machine can weigh, cook, chop, crush, emulsify, whip, mix, steam, blend, grate, and knead. It has 12 speeds, 1,400 watts, and 15,000 RPMs to blend and process food, plus a heating element that can be set in 10-degree increments to warm the contents of its 4.7-quart stainless steel bowl from 90°F to 270°F. Along with buttons for speed and temperature, it offers a half-dozen preset cycles for sauces, soups, pastries, desserts, simmering, and steaming, for which a stainless steel basket is included.

The Competition

The gadget arms race means that appliance companies promise less work with every invention, whether an $80 Instant Pot, a $150 Cuisinart food processor, or $600 juicers from Smeg. The do-it-all category is still relatively new to the American market, but it’s well-established in Asia and in Europe, where the Thermomix, which pioneered the category in the 1960s, remains the best-known brand. It relaunched in the U.S. last year with the TM5, a $1,850 web-connected appliance that makes from-scratch dishes a cinch for even the most timid cook. With a list price of $999.95, the Prep & Cook stakes out a modest price point in this group, tailoring its appeal to the cook who wants style and power without overpaying for digital hand-holding.

The Case

The machine lives up to its name. It comes with four blades: a food processor-style “ultra blade” for fine chopping, another for kneading dough and crushing ice, and two plastic blades for stirring and whipping. It finely chops onions for a chili recipe in one minute, then handily crushes frozen banana chunks to make a thick soft-serve smoothie the next. Keep butterscotch pudding from scalding by swapping in one of the plastic blades and setting it on stir; or choose to simmer until your rhubarb-raspberry jam is perfectly thickened. A cookbook comes with 300 recipes, including one for a hazelnut spread that tastes like a grown-up version of Nutella. It’s also impressively quiet—important when you’re cooking a chili on low for hours on end.

Source: Bloomberg