The Best and Most Innovative Smart Kitchen Appliances
With the rise of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), smart technology seems unstoppable and is finding its way into many everyday applications, even things like smart toys for your children.
Kitchens always have been a space that is filled with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, and kitchen appliances like fridges and ovens have been some of the most technologically advanced contraptions in many people’s home. With the entrance of the IoT into your kitchen, expect many more gadgets to become ‘smart’.
Useful smart kitchen devices aren't just smart because they're connected to the IoT; they're smart because they are genuinely helpful and use smart technology to take some of the effort out of your cooking chores.
What exactly is a smart kitchen, and why would you invest your time and money in acquiring smart kitchen devices for your home? By the end of this article, you'll be tempted to get at least one smart kitchen appliance for your home.
Connected Cooking – What are smart kitchen appliances?
Smart kitchen appliances are designed to make them easier to use and remove tedious routine work. Like other smart technologies, these appliances are integrated with sensor technology, a certain amount of computing power, one or more actuators, and communication capabilities such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, advanced user interface, even artificial intelligence (AI), for enhanced functionality and a more interactive experience.
‘Work smarter not harder’ certainly applies big time when it comes to doing routine chores in the kitchen. From smart fridges that help you with your dinner preparation to voice-activated kitchen faucets that can fill that baby bottle at the right temperature, the connected kitchen is one that saves you time by lending a helping hand.
Let’s take a look at some of the most innovative and best kitchen IoT devices on the market.
Best Smart Kitchen Faucet
The kitchen faucet is one of the most used, if not the most used, appliance in the kitchen. No surprise then that several manufacturers have several really innovative solutions.
Take for instance the Sleek U by Moen Smart Pulldown Kitchen Faucet with Voice Control and MotionSense: It can be controlled with four methods that you can mix and match, independent of the handle position – Voice, App, Hands Free, or Manual.
Precise water measurements allow you to dispense water at the desired temperature, up to 120 degrees F (49 °C), and volume as little as 1 teaspoon or as much as 15 gallons (68 liters).
Specific voice commands allow you to combine specific temperature and specific measurement or mix generic commands, for example “Alexa/Hey Google, ask Moen to dispense 1 cup of hot water”; Create your own personalized presets in the app to facilitate quick delivery of common tasks, for example “Alexa/Hey Google, tell Moen to fill the baby bottle”.
Best Smart Kitchen Scale
Next up, kitchen scales – a must-have if you use recipes for your cooking. We like the Kitchen Connected Scale & Recipe App from Drop.
At its most basic, the Drop Scale lets you put ingredients on its heat-resistant surface and view the resulting weights right on your phone or tablet using your Drop Recipes app.
Choose from hundreds of delicious, tried and tested interactive recipes and let Drop guide you through them step-by-step. Using clever extras such as Recipe Rescaling (got a little extra zucchini to use up? No problem) and Ingredient Substitutions (prefer coconut oil to butter? Let Drop tell you how much you need!) the Scale and App combined ensure you can make great food at home, every time.
Best Drip Coffee Machine
Today’s cutting edge smart coffee machines are operated via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and enable you to start the brewing process from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet. Smart coffee makers allow you to start brews and adjust settings on your smartphone to craft your perfect cup of coffee. You can also set schedules. For example, you can add grinds before you go to bed, and have your coffee maker ready to brew a hot cup of Joe right when you wake up.
The Atomi Smart Coffee Maker is a relatively affordable and simple machine – a standard programmable drip coffee maker, with a familiar glass carafe under a basket filter. It's compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, so you can get it brewing with your voice alone.
A more upscale model is the iCoffee Remote Brew with Smarter App. Using the Smarter app, available for iOS and Android, you have complete control. Choose strength, cup size, and grind settings directly from the app wherever you are. Start your morning with a fresh batch by setting the alarm in Wake Up mode.
Smarter Coffee even knows when you step through the front door, prompting you to start brewing a pot with Home mode. You can also connect Smarter Coffee to your favorite smart home devices, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and more.
Best Smart All-in-one Kitchen Machine
Definitely not cheap, but the Thermomix TM6 is second pair of hands in the kitchen that will speed up your meal prep and do the cooking for you. It replaces over 20 appliances in one, you can chop, blend, whip, weigh, mill, knead, mince, sear, sous-vide and much more, all at the touch of a button. You can use it to whip up everything from banana bread and scones to butter chicken, pumpkin soup, pizza dough or mashed potato – the recipe possibilities run into the many thousands.
Major features of the Thermomix TM6:
20 functions and 12 modes including sous vide, slow cooking and fermenting for making yoghurt.
Touchscreen cooking and Wi-Fi connectivity.
120 pre-programmed recipes, plus a further 80,000 recipes to search via the Cookidoo online recipe library/app – a six-month subscription is included with your purchase and costs $49 per year after that.
Ability to use step-by-step guided cooking, pre-set recipes or manual cooking.
Best Smart Instant Pot
"What is an Instant Pot, and why is everyone obsessed with it," you ask? Imagine having a slow cooker that also functions as a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, and a yogurt maker. That’s the Instant Pot. This multi-tasking 8-in-1 cooker is simply an electric pot that lets you cook fast (with the pressure-cooking function) or slow. People love it because it’s a convenient, time-saving device that lets you quickly cook dinner without keeping an eye on the stove.
Although the Instant Pot comes in various sizes and forms, the Instant Pot Smart Wifi 6 Quart. Control your Instant Pot Smart Wifi in the palm of your hand with the Instant Pot app or through voice with Alexa. Includes access to 1,000 plus pre-programmed recipes and verify cooking progress, share cooker access with family, and receive alerts on your mobile device.
Best Smart Countertop Toaster Oven
The Tovala Gen 2 Smart Steam Large Countertop WiFi Oven allows you to choose between five separate functions – steam, bake, broil, reheat and toast – similar to other high-end ovens, but its main attraction is its wide array of smart features.
With the Tovola app you can control the Gen 2 from your smartphone. Simply set the cook mode and time from your phone and let Tovala oven's automated cooking do it's thing. Once set you can check on your food's progress from anywhere in the house, including time remaining and oven status, and get notified when it's done. You can also set a smartphone alert for when your meal is done.
Tovola's library of recipes allows you to easily create chef-developed meals from scratch in your own home. Just follow the directions to prep your food and then let Tovala steam, bake and broil your food to perfection.
The Gen 2 also sports a built-in barcode scanner. With the scanner, you can take foods from your freezer, scan them, and receive cooking instructions. This system is made to work with Trader Joe’s Frozen Foods, and works with any of their ingredients.
Best Smart Microwave
The Toshiba ML-EM34P(SS) Smart Countertop Microwave Oven features hands-free operation through its integration with Alexa. Using an echo device you can control it by voice command or app. A built-in humidity sensor automatically adjusts cooking power to achieve optimum heating for whatever you are making. It also features a preset timing menu with 23 options for everything from pizza to vegetables.
Best Smart Thermometer
The MEATER+ is a wireless smart meat thermometer for the oven, grill, kitchen, BBQ, smoker, or rotisserie with Bluetooth and WiFi digital connectivity. This premium product is aimed at both amateur and more experienced BBQers, and it is much more than just a digital reader with Bluetooth.
A guided cook system walks you through every step of the cooking process to guarantee perfect and consistent results. You can also set up custom alerts and notifications based on temperature and/or time.
Even more impressive is the MEATER Block, a set with 4 probes: Dual temperature sensors in each probe can monitor internal meat temperature up to 212 F and ambient / external temperature up to 527 F simultaneously.
The wooden block has built-in WiFI with a range of up to 165ft over your home wireless network.
Best Air Fryer
Can your Air Fryer be monitored and controlled through your smartphone or tablet – from anywhere? How about sending you a text once the cooking is done? This marvelous COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer can do it all.
Whether you’re controlling your air fryer directly from the display, remotely through the VeSync app, or just with the sound of your voice using Alexa or Google Assistant, cooking is always a breeze.
No matter what your skill level is in the kitchen, 100 detailed step-by-step recipes with supplemental videos in the VeSync app make cooking simple.
Best Smart Fridge
Keeping the expensive items for last, let's first look at smart fridges. Designed to be the a digital hub, many of these fridges feature one or more large display screens, a range of sensors and even cameras: Being able to look inside your fridge from anywhere is a cool feature.
Take the Samsung flagship Family Hub™ has Alexa built-in, and lets you control your Samsung smart appliances and devices, stream music, share pictures with your family, and so much more, all right from your fridge.
The downside is that it works mostly only with Samsung SmartThings and a handful of companies that Samsung has partnered with, like Amazon Dash, Instacart, Fresh Direct, Shop Rite, Nespresso, Uber, Pinterest, GrubHub, Ring, and HomeAdvisor.