Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stone Wave Cooker: Microwave Gourmet, or Just Hot Air?

The Stone Wave Microwave Cooker is a type of small pot designed to cook food in your microwave. It is made from a ceramic material; the inside has a non-stick surface. The lid of the cooker features a "steam release chimney" to allow steam to escape during the cooking time. Here's how the manufacturer describes the Stone Wave cooker:

"Stone Wave will help you prepare delicious, gourmet foods in your microwave that your whole family will love, in just five minutes! Its secret is in the specially designed chimney that allows steam to escape, while the custom dome circulates heat evenly, infusing flavor into every bite! And with Stone Wave's non-stick surface, you can make everything from eggs to baked desserts without butter, fats, or oils, for healthy, mess-free meals!"

Two local television news programs have recently tested the Stone Wave, and both found that the microwave cooker "works," if by works you mean "food put inside the cooker is cooked by the microwave." But does the Stone Wave provide any advantages over other cooking vessels that can be used inside a microwave? Does food microwaved inside the Stone Wave Cooker have better taste, better texture than microwaved food cooked another way?

Seattle TV station KOMO tested the Stone Wave cooker by preparing several recipes from the cooker's accompanying recipe booklet. That included an omelet, a chocolate souffle and an apple crisp. Here is their video report:

The results were not impressive. The food inside the Stone Wave did cook, but words like "dry" and "rubbery" were applied to the resulting foods. The Stone Wave, in other words, offered no improvement over ordinary microwave cooking.

Charleston, W.Va., station WCHS also recently tested the Stone Wave Microwave Cooker and got similar results. (You can watch their video report here.) WCHS also tested the Stone Wave by cooking an omelet and the apple crisp dessert. Its conclusions included these:

"We first made a simple omelet by whisking eggs inside the cooker, adding chopped onions, green peppers and tomatoes. After 90 seconds in the microwave, we were left with fluffy but dry eggs. "Our second dish was baked apple crisp. We cut up an apple, added water, sugar, cinnamon, butter, topped it with Japanese panko breadcrumbs and put it in the microwave for three minutes per the directions. While the dessert smelled like oven-baked apple pie, it tasted and looked nothing like the popular American treat. The apples were soggy and the dessert was runny; nothing was crisp."

The impression we're left with is that food will indeed cook inside the Stone Wave microwave cooker, but it won't cook any better than other microwaving methods. If you've tried the Stone Wave, let us know what you thought of it in comments.

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