Portable and lightweight
App-enabled guided cooking
Smart cookware isn’t oven-safe
The system is too dependent on the app
About Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System
The Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System consists of two parts: the induction cooktop and the smart cookware. The cookware options include a 5.5-quart Chef’s Pot, an 11-inch Smart Pan, an 11-inch Nonstick Precision Pan, and more. The cookware and the induction plate can be connected through the Hestan Cue app, which will then allow you to adjust the cooking time, temperature, and use other smart features at the swipe of your finger.
If you aren’t sure about the app-enabled functions, you can also opt to use the Hestan Cue induction cooktop manually by sliding the touchscreen bar on the plate to control the heat.
The Hestan Cue induction cooktop and the smart cookware can be purchased in a six-piece bundle for $599, which includes the 11-inch Smart Pan, the Chef’s Pot, and the 3.5-quart saucepot. For this review, we tested two separate products: induction plate, which costs $299 and the 5.5-quart Chef’s Pot, which is $249.
In our tests, we investigated its induction ability and heat distribution to see if there were any hot spots. Then, we let the app guide us through a few recipes to see if the cooking tutorials are actually helpful for home chefs. We also checked out its temperature monitoring function by deep frying batches of chicken.
What we like
It’s super portable
We’ve tested a handful of induction plates, but the Hestan Cue is one of the lightest we’ve worked with. We wouldn’t mind throwing it into the back of a car if we were heading to a rental property for a weekend getaway. Similarly, if you live in an RV and want to upgrade your kitchen, this induction cooktop might be a relatively affordable alternative to installing a new RV-compatible stove.
The guided cooking experience is helpful and fun
If you’re not an experienced cook, the Hestan Cue app is here to rescue you from kitchen disasters. In its massive selection of meals, you can filter by cuisine, type of smart cookware used, and difficulty level. I made banh mi chicken sandwiches by following the app. Not only did the app show me how to cook the chicken step by step, it also taught me how to assemble the final sandwich.
It’s a well-made kitchen appliance
The Hestan Cue induction cooktop heats up quickly, thanks to its induction technology. There were no noticeable hot spots during testing, which is expected given the Hestan brand reputation. We’ve tested Hestan cookware and can confirm this brand makes quality products across the board that are made to last.
You have the option to monitor cooking remotely
One of the key features of Hestan Cue is the ability to monitor the cooking process from the Hestan Cue app. For instance, if you were to cook a piece of steak, you can plug in the weight and thickness of the steak and set the desired doneness, and the smart system will do the rest. We used this feature to make a few dishes—while it’s useful for some cooking situations, we think sometimes the temperature reading can be misleading (more on that later).
It’s compatible with any induction-friendly cookware
You’ll lose the smart functions of the Cue, but it’s possible to use magnetic, flat-bottomed induction-compatible cookware with this induction cooktop while using the Manual Mode (cooking without the Cue app or "smart" functions). For better results, Hestan recommends cookware with a base diameter between 5 and 9 inches.
What we don’t like
Temperature readings might be less accurate with liquid content
The temperature control mode is designed to be used in place of a meat thermometer. During testing, we weren’t surprised that we received incorrect readings from the built-in temperature control when deep frying with a pot full of oil since the temperature probe is only sensing the temperature from the bottom of the pan. Thankfully, the pot of oil eventually reached the temperature for frying.
It’s not waterproof
Anecdotally, a friend of ours who is also a Hestan owner spilled boiling water when cooking pasta in the pot. The hot plate was destroyed during the process, likely due to hot water going through the vent and making the hot plate inoperable. We did not test this for ourselves because we needed the product to remain operational for other tests.
The Hestan Cue smart cookware isn’t oven-safe and won’t work on a regular stove
The battery-operated Hestan Cue smart cookware won’t work on a typical stove and it can’t go in the oven because of its vulnerable hardware components. Unlike other induction-friendly cookware we’ve tested, this smart cookware won’t work beyond its primary function.
Should you buy the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System?
Yes, but you can probably skip the smart cookware
We recommend getting the Hestan Cue induction hot plate, but the smart cookware isn’t necessary if you already have induction-friendly pots and pans. The main difference between Hestan Cue’s smart cookware and standard induction-friendly cookware is that you’ll need to use Manual Mode for the non-smart cookware. We used the Manual Mode for most of the tests and the food came out just as good.
Overall, the Hestan Cue hot plate is a well-designed, portable induction cooktop that can benefit most people, even without the smart app. However, if you’re working on your chef skills, pairing your hot plate with a Chef’s Pot or a Smart Fry Pan may be a better choice. For folks with a small kitchen, this set-up will give them an additional cooktop and a wider range of dishes to learn how to make.
You’re on your way to becoming a kitchen master. Take the next step and sign up for Chef's Course. You’ll get weekly tips, tricks, and recipes from top chefs sent straight to your inbox. It’s a whole master course for free.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Valerie Li Stack
Senior Staff Writer@
Valerie Li Stack is a senior staff writer for Kitchen & Cooking. She is an experienced home cook with a passion for experimenting with the cuisines of countries she's visited. Driven by an interest in food science, Valerie approaches the culinary scene with a firm grasp of cooking processes and extensive knowledge of ingredients. She believes food speaks to all people regardless of language and cultural background.
Checking our work.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.Shoot us an email