NASA may be better known for its work in space, but we may or may not be more grateful for its work with grilled cheese sandwiches. Even though we're not reaping the benefits yet, the delivery method for grilled cheese (and possibly even pizza, fries and hamburgers) has been changed forever.
It all starts with the Smart Box.
— CNET (@CNET) July 28, 2014
The Smart Box is the brain child of Jonathan Kaplan, who just happens to be the brain behind Flip. After Kaplan sold his camera company for an extremely large sum of money, he opened The Melt -- a California based, ultra-swanky griller of cheese.
Kaplan was able to build a machine that makes making grilled cheese easier, but he soon found a flaw in the delivery method -- after testing the "ooey gooeyness of the cheese" in 7 minutes, the sandwich became cold and tough.
The Melt needed a way to keep customers happy and sandwiches hot, so Kaplan and his team turned to NASA consultants for help. What they came up with was a delivery game-changer: an invention called the Smart Box.
The Smart Box is a two-part system including a cardboard carry-out box with special holes for airflow, and an "aluminum mass" full of heating plates and fans designed to carry the box. If that sounds confusing, check out pictures to get the complete gist.
Still only available in its San Francisco locations, The Melt hopes to bring its Smart Box to locations in Southern California as soon as possible. Minimum orders are also $50, so you're going to need a lot of friends to order a lot of sandwiches to make delivery worthwhile. We're just keeping our fingers crossed for its eventual patented takeover of all things takeout.