Smart kitchen gadgets :What makes a house smart? You presumably already have a smart TV in the living room and perhaps a smart speaker as well. If you’re serious about saving money, you’ll also have smart lighting and a smart thermostat. What, on the other hand, makes a smart kitchen?
Since the smart home category broke onto the digital landscape, a slew of companies have hopped on board, leaving us spoilt for choice, and this has swiftly grown to include smart kitchenware as well. Which smart home devices, on the other hand, are worth investing in? Which ones are genuinely practical, inexpensive, and compatible with the items you use on a daily basis?
This is the first in a series of articles on the greatest smart home gadgets on the market right now. We’ll begin with the kitchen, since, as we’ve already stated, this is one of the most difficult places to master.
The basic coffee maker is one of the few smart kitchen product categories where we’re virtually spoiled for choice, but this is without a doubt the finest. In the world of home barista-bots, Nespresso is already a household brand, and the linked edition of the machine employs the same capsule mechanism, making refills simple to come by.
The Prodigio provides everything you’d expect from a smart coffeemaker, including making cups from your phone or tablet (iOS and Android), scheduling brewing, and reordering capsules.
The coffee, on the other hand, is fantastic. Nespresso capsules are well-known in the hospitality business for their consistency and great quality, and they come in a wide variety of roasts and coffees from all over the world. When you feed the Prodigio a capsule, it produces a delicious, thick espresso with a mouthfeel worthy of George Clooney.
Smart kitchen gadgets Few things these days are as contentious as sous vide cooking, which has been made to appear considerably more complicated than it is. You can apply extremely moderate heat to food by closing it in an airtight plastic bag and heating it in a water bath, allowing you to slow cook items to scientific perfection.
Water baths are heavy ancient items that are frequently sent to the attic after a brief period of hope. Anova’s handy immersion circulator is small enough to fit in a cabinet and will clip onto the edge of any old pan to get the water up to your desired temperature and cook your food to perfection.
If you’re thinking about trying sous vide, get the WiFi-enabled gadget; it’ll let you operate your Precision Cooker from away, allowing you to drop supper into your water bath in the morning, set it to cook while you’re at work, and return home to a delicious juicy steak. The app isn’t just a remote control, though: it includes a tonne of video instructions, some very good recipes, and even some cooking advice from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of The Food Lab fame.
Smart kitchen gadgets A few herbs in a sauce or salad may completely change the flavour of a dish, but how often do you find them limp and rotting at the bottom of your salad drawer? Growing your own makes so much sense; you’ll save money and be able to take what you need when you need it.
The beauty of Click and Grow’s Smart Garden 3 is that the clever planter looks after all the hard work, like a nanny for your sproutlings, because not everyone has time to nurture their herbs from seed to stir fry. The smart soil packs use NASA-inspired nanomembranes to dose your little plants with nutrients on a regular basis, the water tank holds enough water for a month of growing, the LED lamps emit an’enhanced light spectra’ to encourage growth, and the water tank holds enough water for a month of growing.
There are many of seed packs available, and even if you’re not a herbivore, your Smart Garden can grow tomatoes, chilies, peppers, and much more. There’s also an app that you can use to keep track of your small plants from afar.
Many of us like a cheeky glass of red on a Friday night, but have you tried aerating your wines before drinking them? Some wines, particularly powerful reds, benefit from a little breathing time because oxidation softens the tannins while unwanted components evaporate, improving the smell and taste of the wine.
Aeration by traditional techniques takes time and is more art than science, but iFavine’s iSommelier uses clever technology to help you drink faster. The iSommelier draws air via a multi-layered molecular filtering system, which refines it into 90% pure oxygen that is softly pumped into the wine. Your wine aeration will take minutes rather than hours, giving you plenty of time to brush up on your wine terminology.
Also, download the iFavine app, which will offer you tips on how long to aerate different wines and a neat little progress indicator as it works on your beverage of choice.
The Nest Protect is a well-designed device on the whole. It looks prettier on your ceiling than most yellowing smoke boxes, functions as a nightlight for your hallway as you walk beneath it, and comes with a very simple app with the calming message “Everything is OK” (provided it’s not on fire, of course).
Nest Protect employs voice alarms and phone notifications to notify you of any issues, such as low battery, smoke, or carbon monoxide. You can turn off the alarm from your phone (which is useful if you’ve burned supper and don’t feel like waking up), and if you have many alarms, it will inform you where the problem is. Nest devices are also among the finest when it comes to integrating with other smart home ecosystems.
This is the battery-powered version, but there’s also one that can be connected into your mains supply for the same price. We would highly advise you to employ Nest’s installation service unless you are an electrician, having tried it ourselves. Alternatively, you may take the easy way out and return it for the battery one, like we did.
This may be a divisive decision because investing £100 on a wireless camera for your fridge sounds excessive – but when compared to the cost of a true smart fridge, which can run into the thousands of pounds, it appears much more sensible.
Fridgecam is a device that allows you to view into your refrigerator when you’re away from home. So you can see if you need to purchase butter or how much wine is left, for example. It also promises to be able to recognise food products and expiration dates, alerting you when the bacon is about to expire (hallelujah).
Yes, it solves a first-world problem. However, its developers, Smarter (who also create the popular iKettle, which is now available in its third generation with an updated software), claim that it will save you hundreds of dollars every year, so even if that figure is massively overblown, it should pay for itself. Whether you’re thinking of buying a smart fridge, start here and see if you still want to spend thousands more.
Smarter’s webstore is where you can pre-order the Smarter Fridgecam.
Amazon Dash buttons are basically free since, while you pay $5 up front, you get a $5 discount on your first buy when you activate the button.
If you frequently use Amazon to acquire kitchen supplies, a Dash button can come in helpful. They’re internet-connected one-touch buttons that order a thing from Amazon automatically. Dash buttons are battery-operated, so you can place them next to whatever product you’re using and press them when you’re out of juice. If the order was successful, an indication light will illuminate.
The buttons are primarily branded, and the things you may get are restricted, but Amazon Dash Wand fills in the gaps, allowing you to order items with a barcode scanner or by asking for them with your out-loud talky words. It doesn’t buy them right away; instead, it places them in your basket, waiting to be purchased. However, if you shop from Amazon frequently or utilise Amazon Fresh, it can save you a lot of time.
Amazon Dash buttons are available for purchase.
Although no one needs their kitchen scales to be connected to the internet, the Drop scale does it in a way that makes cooking more enjoyable. Your iPhone or iPad (it’s not available on Android yet) becomes the screen, displaying step-by-step visual recipes and assisting you in measuring the correct quantities. Drop can easily change the other components for you and propose alternatives if you wish to scale the recipe up or down, or if you run out of anything.
The scale is stylish and long-lasting, with a wipe-clean surface and no cords. The app’s most recent version also includes cocktail mixology in the same simple, enjoyable manner as the many culinary recipes. Drop is a little pricey for scales, but if you’re going to get some anyway, it’s worth the additional money.
This is a nice product with valuable smart features added, similar to the coffee machine, so you won’t regret having one even if you just use it sometimes. Cook4Me is a sophisticated pressure cooker that can prepare meals for up to 6 people and keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. The machine comes with recipes, and you can transmit (many!) more to your cooker directly from the iOS/Android app.
It doesn’t, strictly speaking, take care of the entire process for you. You’ll still need to cut your own onions and prep everything for the dish, but Cook4Me takes care of the actual cooking, and because it’s a pressure cooker, it speeds things up substantially compared to a traditional oven braise.
Cook4Me appears to have been created for the YouTube age; it truly guides you through the cooking process, even if you have no idea what you’re doing, and you can monitor your food from the app to ensure nothing overcooks or gets cold. It’s enormous, it’s pricey, but it’s a blessing for the lazy chef.
Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, can’t offer you a helping hand in the kitchen, but she can spare you from having to use your own – a lifeline if you’re in the thick of a sticky bread session. Set several timers, check on how long they’re left on, set alarms for specified times, and convert recipe book measures – such annoying US cup proportions – into accurate metric ones, all with voice commands (takes a little getting used to, especially if you’re British).
You can ask her to add goods to your shopping list, reorder stuff from Amazon (useful if you run out of clingfilm in the middle of a meal, for example), and, best of all, use her vast range of Skills (like apps) to obtain recipe and drink combination recommendations. The most recent and finest of these is Amazon Alexa’s support for Sonos, allowing you to request music via Echo and have it sent everywhere in the home. The Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar? Don Maclean, have you ever heard of American Pie? Red Wine, Red Wine UB- I’m going to quit now.
What did, and didn’t, make the cut
It’s easy to get caught up in the smart home’s buzz and enthusiasm – and businesses are no exception. Tech companies appear to be playing a high-stakes game of “Will It Wi-Fi” with our personal belongings, but that isn’t the question they should be asking. You can put a chip in almost anything; the question is whether or not you should.
We might have compiled this list by identifying the best available product in each area, such as the best linked dishwasher and refrigerator. However, for many items, even the producers are baffled as to why their product is linked.
That’s why we’re sticking to items where smart functionality is truly beneficial, better than the non-smart option, and more than just “it has an app.”
The smart home as a category has a long way to go. Fortunately, so does our series on the goods that have so far succeeded.
Following that, we’ll go into the bedroom – see you there.
- Smart bedroom: 8 gadgets for a blissful night’s sleep