It’s a new era in the kitchen. Smart appliances are not just for your living room or bedroom anymore. They’re now making their way into the most important room of the house: The Kitchen!
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most popular smart kitchen devices that you might not know about and what they do to make any home cook happy.
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What is a smart kitchen?
A smart kitchen is a kitchen that integrates technology to improve efficiency and convenience. There are a variety of different smart kitchen appliances that can make cooking, cleaning, and overall operation of the space more efficient.
Big data and the evolution of IoT have meant that smarter and seamlessly connected devices for the kitchen are now becoming common. This can mean many things become easier, such as:
- Turn the oven on from work so that it’s ready when you get back.
- Receiving notifications about your dish being ready or that it’s time to turn off the oven.
- Get notified if there is a gas leak in your house.
- Automatically turn off your coffee maker after a set time to save energy, and have an app remind you the next day what setting will be right for brewing again.
- Creating a shopping list while cooking that is automatically updated.
- Having a smart fridge that monitors not only how much food you have left but also when it was last used or expired.
- Getting a notification when food is nearing its expiration date and needs to be used soon.
- Add reminders for when the dishwasher needs to be emptied, the washing machine is too dirty or low on detergent, and then automatically add that item to your shopping list, so you don’t forget again.
While individually, these may seem a bit quirky, when it all comes together, it makes a big difference.
A smart kitchen will also lessen your stress when it comes time for cleanup, with appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators now equipped with sensors to help them monitor their levels of cleanliness and notify you when they need attention.
What does IoT mean?
When researching the best smart kitchen appliance, you’ll often see the acronym IoT banded around. IoT stands for the Internet of Things. The term was coined back in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, and it’s been gaining traction ever since.
IoT refers to the ability of any object, such as your phone, car, or even a toothbrush, to be connected.
The Internet of Things is made up of physical objects which are able to connect wirelessly using machine-to-machine communication protocols like Bluetooth or WiFi.
It means that everyday objects can be connected to the internet, can sense what’s happening in their surroundings, and can send that data back to a central computer.
This data can then be used to automate processes, monitor and alert users to important information.
As the IoT becomes more ubiquitous in our lives, we’ve seen a sharp increase in smart kitchen appliances that can connect wirelessly to your home network or even to an app on your phone integration.
Which brands make the best smart appliances for the kitchen?
Samsung is among the most successful manufacturers in the world, so it’s no surprise that they also produce smart appliances.
Their range of products includes fridges, ovens, and microwaves with internet connectivity that are all connected to their family hub applications.
Their smart fridges come with a number of handy features, such as a digital recipe book, an alarm that tells you when food is about to expire, the ability to create shopping lists, and a function to change temperatures for optimal performance.
They have also been manufacturing ovens for over 20 years now, but only recently added a WiFi feature to their Smart Oven which can automatically detect the size and weight of the food inside, temperature settings, and cooking time to ensure perfect results every time.
Samsung also sells smart microwaves that are designed as complete kitchen appliances with all different types of features for preparing any type of dish from boiling eggs or making popcorn in seconds.
Another popular brand is LG. Their ThinQ range offers ovens, microwaves, and fridges with intuitive voice control to help you cook smarter.
LG ThinQ Home Appliances also come with LG’s SmartThinQ app that provides a central hub for controlling all your smart home devices.
KitchenAid makes an extensive range of smart kitchen devices that are designed to fit seamlessly into today’s modern kitchens and help you cook up delicious meals from scratch.
Their most popular smart kitchen devices are their smart cooking products, which include induction hobs and smart ovens.
Also, the new KitchenAid dishwasher has a built-in Wi-Fi connection and can be controlled from the smartphone app or over the internet for flexible scheduling of wash cycles.
GE Appliances have a variety of smart products for the kitchen. Their connected appliances, such as microwaves and dishwashers, are controlled through their mobile app or by voice.
One of their most popular options is the smart hub, a more fully integrated solution for the kitchen, in which their smart appliances will be controlled by voice and can function together as part of one system.
What are the most popular smart kitchen appliances?
One of the most popular smart appliances is a fridge. This appliance can be connected to smartphones and other devices, which means that you could set up alerts for when the milk runs out or if there’s food in your refrigerator past its expiration date.
Other benefits of a smart fridge include:
- Being able to create a shopping list while you’re in the kitchen and being able to make sure that your fridge is stocked with food from all of the necessary departments.
- The latest smart appliances are also capable of monitoring how much electricity they use, which means it will be easier for people who want their refrigerator to help them save on bills each month.
- Knowing what is in your fridge is a great way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your groceries and it also means less wasted food.
While these are just a few benefits that are quite generic to most smart refrigerators, each brand will also have its own spin on things. For example, Samsung smart fridges have a built-in camera that will help you keep an eye on your food.
ThinQ, by LG, has a voice assistant that can help you find a recipe to make.
There are loads of features that keep getting more expansive with each new model.
Similar to a fridge, a smart freezer will help you save on bills and make sure you’re not losing any food.
A smart freezer can tell when a door is open for too long or if the power goes out, whereas a regular freezer will stay running until it runs out of electricity.
Also, an IoT-connected freezer, such as the ones from LG, will let you know if the ice cream has melted because someone left the door open for too long.
The way a smart freezer works is that it monitors your energy consumption and uses data to predict when you’re going to need more power so that it can charge up in time. This means fewer waiting times while food defrosts.
A smart oven can help you with your baking or cook better meals by letting you set cooking presets for specific dishes and giving you exact temperature control.
It can be controlled remotely through a home device, or it may even come with its own app to help make the cooking process more efficient and less stressful.
Connected ovens can be preheated from your phone over WiFi or Bluetooth or and will send you alerts when it’s time to take out food.
Another smart appliance you can get for your kitchen is a dishwasher.
The most common smart features for this appliance are AI load sensing technology, which will best set the temperature of the water used based on what you have put inside; cycle control, which allows you to set the length of time needed for a cycle; and energy-saving features, which will make sure that you are not wasting water or electricity.
A smart dishwasher is a type of appliance which has an in-built display screen and other features like voice activation, self-cleaning modes, usage reports generation, etc.
Some models have the capacity to connect to the internet, usually via an app that is installed on your smartphone. With this app you will be able to:
- Create a customized cycle that can be saved and used again at any time
- Monitor the progress of your wash
- Receive notifications when cycles are done
- Control this appliance from any location with an internet connection
The biggest advantage, however, is usually energy consumption. They will adapt to the load to ensure that the right amount of water and energy is used which will over time help to reduce your household bills.
Small smart kitchen devices
There are a number of smart countertop appliances that can help you boss the kitchen in your smart home. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular gadgets for the kitchen.
A smart microwave can be programmed to cook and time food. It’ll also tell you the temperature of your dish so that it’s never overcooked or undercooked!
The smart microwave will typically have a built-in camera as well which is used for scanning barcodes on food packages in order to bring up instructions, cooking times, etc.
Sous vide is a method of cooking that involves cooking food in a sealed bag or container that’s immersed in water at an accurately regulated temperature.
A smart sous vide kitchen product will typically have the ability to set and monitor temperatures, timer, etc., plus it’ll be able to sync with your other smart kitchen devices so you can keep tabs on what needs doing next without having to constantly check things.
They are a great way to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection while also retaining the most nutrients and flavor.
A smart countertop convection oven is a precision cooker that will allow you to remotely set the temperature control and timer, remotely monitor cooking progress via your smart device, plus it’ll have a built-in programmable food probe or meat thermometer that can automatically turn off the oven when your desired doneness is reached.
A smart air fryer is also a great option. An air fryer will allow you to cook your favorite fried foods without using any oil. That way, not only are they healthier, but the cost per serving goes down as well!
Smart coffee makers will usually have app and voice control for brewing coffee, and also include an integrated grinder. The best models will allow you to set the time for brewing or choose from a wide range of different settings that should suit most tastes.
A smart toaster oven is a kitchen appliance that can be controlled remotely with a companion app or the internet.
The oven will have sensors on it so that when you use your mobile device to adjust the temperature and select different settings depending on if you are toasting bread, bagels, or any other toastable doughy goodness.
Smart pressure cooker
A smart pressure cooker is also a great kitchen appliance for making home-cooked meals fast and easy while ensuring the preservation of nutrients, flavors, and textures.
The pressure cooker will know when to start and stop cooking by sensing how long the pot’s lid is open, measuring temperature changes inside the pot, or if someone releases steam from a valve on top of the unit.
The smart pressure cooker also monitors what you have chosen to cook in it and for how long, so you never have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your food.
Slow cooker or instant pot
Smart Instant pots are excellent if you want to have a delicious meal without all the work.
The smart instant pot was designed as a precision cooker with smart tech that allows you to control it from anywhere in your home or out and about and set cooking modes.
Whether you want something ready early or if someone is coming over unexpectedly, this appliance can take care of it with just the click of a button.
They are also great if you are working all day, unsure when you will be getting home. You can prepare all the ingredients in advance and control when the cooking starts from your phone, ensuring a freshly cooked meal waiting for you when you walk through the door of your smart house.
I’m a fan of smart faucet tech, which is also becoming more popular and has been designed to save you time.
With the touch of a button or just by walking into your kitchen, water will start flowing from your faucet. And when it’s done, sensors in the faucet detect that there is no longer any movement and automatically shut off for safety purposes.
I also love that it can deliver specific amounts of water on demand. Great for recipes or keeping track of your daily water intake.
Read our Best Touchless Kitchen Faucet Reviews here.
How do I make my kitchen a smart kitchen?
Start with a smart speaker, display, or hub
Whether you choose an Alexa device or Google home, these smart speakers will be the heart of your smart kitchen. These devices allow you to do everything from checking the weather and listening to music to controlling your smart lights or turning off your coffee maker before work.
They are also great for getting recipes while cooking. When chopping and dicing, a phone or tablet can be frustrating with your fingers covered in gunk; this is where voice commands really come into their own.
Next is a smart appliance that’s right for your lifestyle.
To help narrow down which gadget is right for you, think about what types of food you like to cook most often. I would recommend starting with the smaller ones like a coffee maker or cooking devices such as the instant pot or pressure cooker.
This will ensure that your new smart home gadgets are most useful to you. Plus, the smaller ones can be more affordable, and if they don’t work for you, it is not as much of a loss in terms of cost or space used.
Go all in
Once you have got used to the smart life and decided to expand, it is time to consider larger appliances such as ovens or refrigerators.
If you are an avid baker, for example, a smart oven will give you the most convenience. For those who want to focus on healthy eating, refrigerators with cameras will be very useful because it allows them to keep track of everything they eat and if it’s fresh or not.
Is a smart kitchen worth it?
Ahh, the million-dollar question. Well, at least the fair few thousand dollar question!
It depends. While certainly offering you some cool time-saving and cooking hacks, a smart kitchen isn’t going to change your life and come at a price. But they are cool.
Let’s be honest, using voice commands and having an LCD display on your fridge door is pretty fun and will certainly make your friends jealous. But essential? No!
Having automatically generated grocery lists is great if you often forget things at the grocery store, and notifications, when food is expiring, are certainly a good way to cut down on food waste. But it’s all just a luxury.
Fundamentally it comes down to what you can afford. If you have the disposable income to drop a couple of extra grand on a fridge, then yes, do it. You’ll love it.
IoT in the kitchen and smart appliances are the way of the future. There is no better time to get started on your very own smart kitchen than now if you can afford it.
IoT gives you a whole new level of control and information about what’s happening in your home, from anywhere with an internet connection. You can set up alerts for when something needs attention or just check in from time to time.
So, what will your first kitchen gadgets be?