Okay, the title could be slightly misleading: the Zega cookware is not a cooking pot that heats up via a USB cable. But for the Zega Digital cookware I’m reviewing, you do need to charge up the SmartControl Knob initially. But more on that later.
First: Zega already has a great Aussie success story, as it is developed by the same team that brought you the Magic Bullet.
DRN love to check out gear that’s been conceived and developed right here in Australia. We are always keen to spread the word on them if they are good products.
Indeed, it looks like the Zega deserves to have a wider audience. And I’ll tell you why!
What exactly is Zega Cookware?
They describe this as “walkaway” cookware. When the pot has been heated up for just a few minutes, you can turn off the stove and walk away.
With the Digital product, through its intelligent control system, the Zega cookware knows when it has been sufficiently heated up and can go into “self cooking” mode. Via a Bluetooth connection and the Zega app on your phone, this smart cookware will keep you informed on how long before dinner is done.
Magic? No. This uses a high precision digital thermometer, microprocessor, an LED screen and Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to remotely monitor what’s cooking. This is all incorporated in the SmartControl knob on the lid.
I have been told by my wife many times to never walk away from the stove when I’m cooking. It’s not only my toast that I’ve burnt…
This time I could prove the Zega makes that age old wisdom a non-issue.
In fact, the Zega Cookware not only saves energy but also frees up your time. It also frees you up from worry about not getting back to your cooking when it is done. The double-insulated high-quality steel keeps it warm for quite a few hours.
Zega Cookware: The Physical Product
Everything about the Zega cookware exudes quality along with great looks!
Practicality is another feature built in from the concept: it has a meat rack and a steamer that doubles as a grater when upside down.
It comes with a lifetime warranty which really shows the confidence of the company behind the product.
The Zega can be used on any type of stove and is dishwasher safe – except for the SmartControl Knob.
This central piece of the Zega system has to be taken off if you put the lid in the dishwasher. Or when you put it on charge on the bespoke USB charge dock.
I’m not sure how many times you can cook in between charges but it does have a battery indicator in the Knob. During our testing it hasn’t budged below the 80% mark.
When charging, there’s no clear indication when it is finished which would have been nice.
The Zega App
The recipes are very instructive, although I wish there were more of them. The in-app recipes are particularly handy for guys like me who are not naturally talented in the kitchen…
The selection of recipes in the app presently seems to be mostly meals that call for onion and garlic, which are very disagreeable for at least one member of the family. So more variety and simple meals would be nice.
Zega, if you read this, please add more recipes as the feature of the app is a great one. Just limited.
Testing and Tasting
Given the above I went for the first test with my stock standard go-to meal of potatoes and 4 veg and parmesan.
Came out a treat after 45 minutes of “Self Cooking”.
This is slightly longer than I normally would have it, simmering on gas. I reckon we saved at least half the energy here.
For some more challenging dishes I was ably assisted by my wife who just knows what goes together with what.
So we experimented with minced meat and heaps of capsicum, carrot, tomato sauce and other secret ingredients to make a “sauce” to go with pasta, rice and so on.
The massive 5L pot ensured many easy meals from just 1 hour of prepping and cooking.
Conclusion: Zega Cookware with the SmartControl Digital Knob is a Winner!
Using the Zega is an addictive form of cooking.
With huge energy and time savings I reckon we have a clear winner here.
The Zega cookware delivers on all fronts with style.
Is it a must-have appliance? No, it’s not for everyone. Lots of people just love stirring in an open pot, adding stuff on the go and tasting it every 5 minutes.
I get that.
But if you have a busy life with kids asking for your attention the whole time, and you want to save on energy, you’d love this appliance.
Guess what you save on too? The noise of the rangehood! Just switch it off when you flick off the stove. You won’t have much in the way of food smells during the Self Cooking phase. And without the stove being hot and dangerous with littlies around, the kitchen has become a bit safer as well.
All in all, this appliance deserves our highest accolade: our Editor’s Choice Award, also known as our DRN Pulse Award!
Zega Cookware is available for purchase direct from the Zega website.
A special promotion presently sees Zega Digital sell for AU$199 (normally AU$299) and the Zega Analogue (no smartphone needed) for AU$149 (normally $249). Both are 5 litre pots.
We thank Zega for allowing us to test this unit.