Microwave cookery made easy (honest)

So your microwave's even more difficult to programme than your video? Don't despair. Rosie Millard found one that does it all itself

Everyone knows the implicit contradiction behind microwaveable, so-called "convenience" foods. What a bore all that reading up on the back of freezing-cold packages is. Endless information about times, wattage levels, stirring levels, temperatures. And then there's the stress of setting the timer, all before supper. It's enough to make you want to rush out and buy an Aga.

Yet the microwave market is now worth pounds 192m and over 1.4 million households have one. It seems as if we're all hooked on popping our trays on to dinky little turntables and watching our pre-prepared Lean Cuisine bubble, despite the tiresome preparation.

Enter the Sharp LogiCook, the first "artificially intelligent" microwave, which promises to cook your food for you all by itself, no further instructions necessary.Simply pop your desired "meal" on the plate, and the LogiCook will take charge. "Sort of virtual reality," comments my husband, viewing the machine with suspicion.

The LogiCook does sound like something out of Doctor Who. Armed with sensors, weight gauges and an electronic brain, it can tell the difference between a frozen chicken curry and a ready-to-eat cod pie simply by doing a few calculations and adjustments based on the steam emitted by whatever you want to eat. Freaky.

Eating is about all you have to do with food organised by a LogiCook. That, and piercing your food in five places. These culinary stigmata appear crucially important for those embarking on LogiCook haute cuisine. There are even little diagrams in the booklet showing you exactly where you are meant to pierce. And that's it. Goodbye pestles and mortars a la Elizabeth David: this is cooking with panache.

I advance upon my LogiCook bearing a properly pierced frozen chicken and broccoli bake. I place the tray on the turntable and press the FOOD button (there is also a DRINK button, when making that cup of tea seems just too much like hard work). I have deliberately chosen a tricky number for the LogiCook brain (developed by British academics for the Japanese company Sharp). The instructions on my bake are not straightforward: rather than a single temperature, it's high for six minutes, low for four. Will the LogiCook cope?

"Do not open the door during cooking," says the booklet sternly. "LogiCook technology senses humidity emitted from food and drink as it determines the heating time." Fine, I think, casually flicking through my accompanying LogiCook Recipe Guide. "God!" says my husband, getting very excited about the process. The LogiCook dutifully, nay, perfectly cooks the bake: it does high for six minutes, low for four and then bleeps and tells me, with flashing red letters, to stir. Humbled, I stir. We take our supper upstairs and eat it sitting in front of the television. Well, you have to do these things properly.

The Sharp LogiCook costs pounds 329.99.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn