Food and Beverage

Opal makes easily chewed crushed ice for when you chill out

Ice: the ingredients don’t vary much and neither does the recipe. It can be made into perfect spheres at home. However, those who frequent some of the finer concession sands may encounter  a form of crushed ice that’s easy on the teeth and soaks up the flavor of that which it cools.

That ice, as it turns out, is called “nugget ice” or “pellet ice” and a company called Scotsman claims to have invented it in 1981. Scotsman does make a home nugget ice maker, but it stands nearly three feet tall; most of the company’s focus is on large industrial systems. Enter the Opal, a countertop nugget ice maker that has the look of a modern stainless steel appliance and is almost a tenth of the price of the competition. Opal’s proposition is pretty straightforward. Pour in water and wait. The product makes up to a pound of ice per hour, which is faster than most freezers. its clear, LED-lit receptacle can store up to 3 lbs.

Connected Objects Cooking

June smart oven cooks for you all months of the year

Cooking at home can be the ticket to lower dining costs and better health metrics, but many people have a limited culinary repertoire and sometimes even less skill. Indeed, cooling remains one of the few arts that can help sustain us or at least allow us to better enjoy  a critical component of life.

June is a countertop convection oven that can cook a wide range of foods via a number of techniques. including roasting, toasting and broiling.Among the tech components that differentiate it from similar looking devices are a 5″ touchscreen on its front and a n HD camera that can relay video to a smartphone, providing easy answers to the perennial question, “What’s cooking?” Its smartphone app can also show the progress of a cooking task graphically.

Food and Beverage Interviews

The Backerjack Interview: SYNEK’s Eric Stoddard on tapping into the countertop beer market

Having raised nearly $650,000 and netting a Backerjack Editor’s Choice Award, the SYNEK countertop beer dispenser has been dubbed, somewhat misleadingly, “the Keurig of beers.” Backerjack caught up with Synek’s director of customer engagement Eric Stoddard, to trade drinking stories about how company came back from a slow campaign start and was accepted into the camaraderie of small, local brewers

Backerjack: Could you talk a little bit about what SYNEK is?

Stoddard: Sure. It’s a countertop beer dispenser that gives you access to any beer at home on draft at very high quality. The bag holds up to 30 psi, and you can get it from any tap anywhere — whether it be your local brewery or wherever it may be — and you can take that home and you get a shelf life of 30 days.

Backerjack: So, unlike Keurig where you can buy a K-Cup, this is more like a storage method where it stores already brewed beer?

Stratter: Yeah, we’re sort of packaging company, a social packaging company because of how ingrained we are with breweries and helping them connect with their customers. There’s a lot of big issues in this industry, and how we came about as an idea was by considering the problems affecting lots of breweries. Smaller guys can’t afford to buy equipment because it’s a huge fixed investment upfront, so they have no way to get beer unless they use growlers.

The bad thing with growlers is that the beer only lasts for two days, three days if you’re lucky, once opened. It isn’t the most feasible option for most people. We’re trying to expand on that where now we offer this gallon size bag that’s able to be filled up the exact same way you would a growler and it’s available to a larger group of people. Now, these smaller breweries have a way to get higher quality beer out of the brewery.