Zega's cookware is high quality and well-designed, even without considering the smarts embedded in it. It features a patented double-wall thermal insulated design - which means it has two 18-10 stainless steel walls which trap a thermodynamic layer of air between them. This keeps heat and moisture inside the pot like a thermos. You heat it for minutes but it cooks for hours off the stove without any stirring or gas or electricity. It saves time and money, is good for the environment, and it locks in more flavour and nutrients. It has five litres of capacity.
The build really is impressive; it looks good, feels solid, and my wife commented how she liked the way the steamer basket sits in the pot and how it lifts out. She said this was a really good design. Nicely, it was developed here in Australia, too.
The Zega cookware comes in both an analogue and a digital model. Functionally, they are the same except for the lid and control knob. The analogue unit contains a bi-metal thermometer in its lid. You drop in your ingredients, heat it up until the thermometer’s needle touches the red zone, then switch off the stove and let it cook by itself. The digital model, which iTWire tried out, has a SmartControl knob with a digital thermometer, microprocessor, Bluetooth connectivity and an LED screen. This model integrates with the Zega app so you can remotely monitor your cooking. The knob easily detaches, and this is the part you charge via USB, and which you keep out of the dishwasher.
Brendan Dunne, co-founder and lead designer, Zega, said “we know that one of the biggest barriers to creating healthy and nutritious home-cooked meals is a lack of time, so we wanted to design stylish, high-quality cookware that takes care of the cooking for you. Zega’s unique design and SmartControl technology mean you can simply pop in the ingredients and walk away – leave the house, pick up the kids from school, whatever you need to do – and come home to a healthy, home-cooked meal.”
It's a device that experienced chefs and cooks can use, and also one that even those less competent and skilled in culinary ways can use too. I made my own soup and stew and I have to say it was pretty good. My experience was just as Zega said - figure out your ingredients, get it to the right temperature, and then leave it to sit by itself. In fact, I even took it from the kitchen to my desk and let it sit there while I worked away. Then, yes, I will admit I ate right out of the cookware itself but I was continuing my green credentials by saving electricity and by saving cleaning unnecessary bowls.
Zega provides a series of recipes online and within the app such as ham hock, lamb shank stew, minestrone, and Thai red curry. Of course, what you can create is limited only by your imagination.
Zega really has made a clever device that helps people create quality meals with a minimum of work. Both the analogue and digital models are dishwasher safe, include a lifetime guarantee, and provide 30 days free returns.
You can buy it online from Zega; normally the RRP is $249 for the analogue model and $299 for the digital model but Zega has it on sale right now for $149 and $199. This is good value, and let me assure you if I could create edible meals using it, you certainly can.
You can see it in action here: