15 smart kitchen ideas that use tech to transform the way you cook, eat and live
Smart kitchen ideas are the way to transform your space into something that functions as beautifully as it looks
Smart kitchen ideas are here to make the way you cook, eat, shop and live simpler, more efficient, and just generally more nice.
Whether you’re already well on the way to building a smart home or are just starting out, if you’re looking at new kitchen appliances, it makes sense to choose ones augmented with apps. Smart kitchen devices can — amongst other things — improve your cooking, help you track your calorie intake and offer a huge amount of convenience along the way.
Of course, all of these kitchen ideas are supervised via your smartphone and most are programmable via voice controls too. The future really is here.
15 smart kitchen ideas
1. Recipes on tap with a smart screen
If you’re already well on the way to designing your automated home, you’ll have already decided which virtual assistant you want to control everything from your lights to your thermostat. At the time of writing, the two serious contenders are Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa — two cloud-based virtual assistants that power Nest Home and Echo devices respectively.
Adding a virtual assistant to your kitchen is important for getting the most out of all the smart kitchen ideas below, but we’d recommend a smart screen over a smart speaker for one big reason: recipes. They respond to requests for recipe ideas, putting instructions or videos right up on the screen in front of you, making it easy to try something different in the kitchen.
Thankfully, there are great options for fans of both Google Assistant and Alexa. For the former, you’ll want to buy a Nest Hub (7-inch for $100 or 10-inch for $230), and for the latter you’ll want Amazon’s Echo Show (8-inch for $150 , 10-inch for $250or 15-inch also for $250.)
2. A big-screen smart home center
If a 10-inch smart screen doesn’t sound quite imposing enough for you, General Electric has something bigger and better. The $1,200 GE Kitchen Hub is a 27-inch touch screen that sits above your cooking range and doubles up as a smart hub and ventilation combo.
It has Google Assistant built in, and can do everything the Nest Hub can alongside its ventilation duties. It contains over 5,000 recipes with the built-in Flavourly app, includes a camera to make video calls and even has Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video apps pre installed in case you want to binge watch your favorite shows while you make dinner. And don't worry, we've got plenty of kitchen TV ideas to make sure this isn't too obtrusive.
3. Keep track of ingredients with a WiFi fridge
Samsung has its own idea of what should be the hub of your smart home life: the fridge. The company’s family of Family Hub branded smart fridges naturally do the main job of keeping your food cold, but add in a large 21.5-inch touchscreen for managing your smart home and leaving notes and doodles for family members to keep track of.
So far, so smart screen, but the Samsung Family Hub fridges have another key feature: a camera on the inside, so you can see what’s in your fridge when you’re at the shops to ensure you don’t overbuy. What’s more, the Meal Planner feature will suggest meals based on the ingredients sat in your fridge, and you can even intelligently track expiration dates to reduce your food wastage. Yet another thing to add to our list of surprising uses for wifi.
4. Start cooking dinner remotely
A smart electric range may sound like overkill, but it’s actually one of the big perks of a smart kitchen. Imagine being able to preheat the oven ten minutes before you get home from work — or better still, putting your meal in before you leave in the morning and turning it on just in time for it to be ready as you walk through the door.
That’s all possible with the $1,250 GE Profile electric range and other similar products from Samsung and LG. This particular model is a strong contender, however, thanks to its numerous settings, airfrying mode, self-cleaning functionality and, of course, the accompanying app.
5. An AI powered oven to cook just about anything
If you’re perfectly happy with your main electric range and want a smaller tabletop oven, then the June Oven aims to take your smart kitchen up a notch. Ambitiously, it promises to take on the role of 12 different appliances including air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker, toaster, pizza oven and dough proofer.
But it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the built-in camera, not only can you monitor your meal from anywhere, but the June Oven will use AI to assess what’s been placed inside and recommend appropriate cooking methods and timings.
6. A microwave designed with Alexa in mind
It’s clear that Amazon sees Alexa as the future of the smart kitchen, and that’s why it’s released its own $75 microwave designed from the ground up to work with the smart assistant.
While you’ll need an external Echo device to connect to it (Amazon sells cut-price bundles with the microwave and an Echo Dot if you don’t already have one), once set up you can operate the device purely via your voice. And while you can just say something specific like “Alexa, microwave for two minutes,” you can also let the virtual assistant figure out timings for you by saying something like “Alexa, microwave 1.5 ounces of popcorn.”
7. Monitor meat the smart way
The $100 Meater Plus is a wireless thermometer to help perfect your meat cooking, and thanks to its 165ft range, it’ll work with your BBQ too. It comes complete with two sensors on a single probe, measuring meat up to 212°F and ambient temperatures of up to 527°F.
But the connected app won’t just tell you the temperature: it’ll also estimate cooking times for the perfect bite, too. When not in use, it sits in a handsome bamboo dock which also charges it up to 100 times with a single AAA battery, ensuring it’s ready for use whenever you need it.
8. An all-in-one smart appliance
At $1,499, the Thermomix TM6 certainly isn’t cheap, but it does offer 24 different cooking functions for the (admittedly expensive) price of one. It can boil an egg, thicken sauces, cook rice, blend soups or even ferment yogurt. All of this is taken care of via a 500W motor and scales that can measure the weight of ingredients to an accuracy of 0.1g.
While boiling an egg isn’t the most intimidating task, doing something like sous vide with it may appear a bit daunting, and that's where the smarts come in. Attached is a 6.8-inch touchscreen which is your gateway to over 60,000 recipes to get the most of it.
9. A smarter multicooker
For a budget friendly but still impressively smart option, the $150 Instant Pot Smart WiFi 6 Quart ticks a whole lot of boxes as well. An electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, bread maker and more in one compact device, the smart Instant Pot has 48 pre-sets to make food prep and cooking a doddle.
While it’s all easy to follow via the large LCD panel and accompanying buttons, you can also use Alexa to program the Instant Pot hands free.
10. Diet-friendly smart scales
Home cooking is typically more healthy than ready meals or eating out, but it can be tricky to track the nutritional content of whatever you’re cooking. That’s where the Etekcity Smart Food Nutrition Scale comes in. With Bluetooth built in, the scales sync with the accompanying iOS and Android apps to get USDA nutritional data for nearly 8,000 food items, making sticking to your plan a breeze.
And while the prospect of another app to keep track of may seem unappealing, the company has recently updated the app so that calories, vitamins and minerals can be synced with both Apple Health and Fitbit.
11. A smart garden in your kitchen
Nothing quite beats the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs, and the $350 AeroGarden Bounty allows even those not blessed with green thumbs to maintain a small but thriving indoor garden.
The 40 watt LED lamp allows plants to grow beautifully indoors, and the built-in touchscreen provides vital information and reminders to top up food and water as appropriate. The indoor garden’s status can be checked on remotely via the accompanying smartphone app, allowing you to tinker with the lights from anywhere in the world, and you can also connect it with Alexa for voice-controlled smart gardening.
12. A brew just how you like it
If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ll be pleased to hear that your caffeine habit can also be improved with smart kitchen tech. Yes, smart coffee machines are a thing.
The $250 Atomi Smart Coffee Maker is a good example of how this can work in practice. With the accompanying Atomi smartphone app, you can start grinding your beans at any time from anywhere, and ensure that your coffee is ready and waiting for you when you head down to your smart kitchen to collect.
While the grinding and brewing process can be started with a simple Google Assistant or Alexa voice command, the app lets you go deeper with specific schedules, water level monitoring and coffee strength customization.
13. Hot drinks that stay hot
If you really want to take your coffee game to the next level, you’ll want to pair that smart coffee maker with the $100 Ember smart mug — a cup that does away with the problem of hot drinks going cold.
The app will recommend the ideal drinking temperature for your hot beverage of choice, and then the cup will keep it at that level. And if you happen to prefer tea, the app will even recommend how long to leave the bag in for. Best of all, you don’t need to worry about keeping it charged: the plate it comes with wirelessly tops up the battery of the cup when it’s not in use.
14. Exact water measurements and temperature
Yes, even your water faucet can benefit from tech built in. And, thanks to the design pedigree of Moen, you needn’t know it’s smart under the surface with a classy, minimalist look.
It’s Alexa connected, and that not only means you don’t need to worry about getting the handle dirty while trying to wash your hands, but you can get specific quantities and temperatures of water on demand. Asking for water for the baby bottle, for example, might deliver 6oz at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, while requesting a tablespoon of water will deliver that amount without the need to raid the cutlery drawer.
15. Smarter cleaning
A smart dishwasher may seem like overkill, but the Miele G7000 makes a good case as to why it should be part of your smart kitchen.
As well as having an accompanying app to start wash cycles, order detergent and check up on how your dishwasher cycle is going, the smarts of the Miele G7000 really come from how it uses detergent. When you load the dishwasher, it’ll assess the quantity of dirty dishes and cups needing washing, and allocate the appropriate amount of detergent, with no guesswork on the part of the owner.
Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. He often writes for T3 and Tom's Guide. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.
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