CHiP Smart Cookie Oven
Credit: Alex Golov

Recently, crowdfunding campaigns for single-purpose appliances have clearly jumped the shark more than this actual shark jumping Kickstarter. We’ve seen dedicated home tortilla toasters, hard cider makers and molecular gastronomy “spherificators” just to name a few – all with their merits and shortcomings. And that class of Kickstarter has a new entry: The CHiP Smart Cookie Oven. It’s a dedicated cookie baker because… maybe your oven isn’t working so good?

Like most of these Kickstarters, CHiP has its benefits. The machine offers up two major selling points: speed and convenience. Unlike a normal oven which can take time to heat up, CHiP promises to “bake perfect gourmet cookies in under 10 minutes,” preheating quickly and using custom temperature programs for different types of cookies as it goes. Convenience-wise, CHiP also offers its own “Dough Pods” (hello, Keurig of cookies!): Simply plop them into the CHiP, scan the package with your smartphone to let the machine know how to bake them, and you’re off to the races.

But, even if you are thrilled at the prospect of not needing to wait an extra 10 or 20 minutes for the oven to heat up, there is a big downside to CHiP: It only cooks four cookies at a time. That means CHiP is a timesaver if you want cookies for yourself (you selfish jerk!) but if you’re firing up cookies for an entire party, 50 minutes for twenty cookies suddenly seems far less easy that just using the big oven you already have.

Looking soley at the time saving capabilities does ignore the possibility that CHiP may make superior cookies. “Different cookies go through different chemical reactions as they bake, CHiP detects the temperature at all times to ensure that each cookie is perfectly baked,” the Kickstarter brags. If that system leads to a mind-blowing product, then maybe CHiP is worth the super early bird price of $99. But with an estimated delivery date of October 2017, you’ll be keeping your fingers crossed for a long time before you find out.

In the end, if you have the patience to wait a year for a slightly faster, dedicated cookie oven, shouldn’t you also have the patience to wait a few extra minutes to bake cookies in your oven? Also, what is the sound of one hand clapping?