Cooking recipes are tyrannical. They dictate instructions and fail to account for discrepancies in resources or ingredients—let alone the skill level of the cook. Wouldn’t it be nice if the relationship between recipe and cook were a bit more… responsive?
Well, that’s exactly what Drop strives to do. Drop is an iPad-connected smart scale with an app that guides you through recipes, adjusts ingredient quantities according to your needs, and recommends substitute ingredients in case you’re missing some.
But it’s not merely a matter of halving the total ingredient quantities.
Let’s say you’re making cupcakes but you only have 12 oz. of chocolate frosting instead of the 16 oz. the recipe calls for. With Drop, you can weigh however much you have left of a given ingredient, and the app will adjust quantities for the rest of the recipe accordingly.
More broadly, Drop bills itself as a “kitchen scale and digital baking assistant,” and it can do a lot more than modify recipe quantities. It can also guide users through various cooking instructions, recommend ingredient substitutions, and update shopping lists.
Here’s a really nifty feature if you’re concerned about operating an iPad with doughy hands: It automatically directs you to the next step after you add ingredients to a mixture (thanks to the precision scale). Finally, a timer helps notify you when steps need to be taken.
But I think the real appeal here—at least for me—is the recipe substitutions feature. How many times have you overlooked an item on a recipe, or simply forgotten to purchase it? The worst part is the dread of not knowing if you’re skipping a crucial ingredient and not knowing if there's something else you can use. Would it be better to substitute that item with a similar ingredient, or to simply skip it altogether? Drop gives you that info, and it seems like it could be a real lifesaver.
Drop is not the only such product on the market. Prep Pad, while not exactly a cooking assistant, helps keep users informed of their dietary habits. By placing ingredients on the scale and conducting a quick search or barcode scan, an associated app can provide precise nutritional data according to weight.
A host of other scales already on the market—such as Escali SmartConnect, NutriCrystal, and Smart Diet Scale—include similar dietary functions, but lack the comprehensive cooking assistance that Drop offers.
Starting Tuesday, you can pre-order Drop for $80—a 20 percent rebate on the list price of $99.