If you thought your Cuisinart was at the height of high-tech gadgetry, wait until you see what’s cooking in the field of kitchen technology.
From automated appliances and voice-enabled personal assistants to a host of wireless widgets, today’s kitchens are full of cutting-edge — all designed to help you organize, prepare, cook and serve meals for you and your family.
We’re not quite living like The Jetsons with Rosie the Robot zipping around but there’s plenty of amazing technology you can pick up today.
Here’s a taste of what’s out there.
1. Jovial over java
What’s the only thing better than having great coffee made in your home in under a minute? The answer is having the coffee brewed simply by tapping on an app, maybe while you’re still in bed.
It’s possible with the Nespresso Expert by De Longhi ($379), a connected coffee machine that seamlessly links with the Nespresso app via Bluetooth to allow you to prepare a cup of Jo from anywhere in your house.
The app also helps with brewing schedules and maintenance alerts and tracks your capsule stock so you know when to reorder. Available in black or gray, other features include support for five cup sizes, including espresso and Americano. Plus you can choose from three different temperatures: warm, hot and very hot.
2. Under pressure
Microwave ovens, move over. While it might not seem so high-tech on the outside, the Ninja Foodi ($329) cooks your meals so darn quickly (and evenly) that it’ll seem like science fiction.
I tested out this 6.5-quart “pressure cooker that crisps,”— dubbed the world’s first combination cooker — known for fusing pressure cooking, air frying and tender crisping (yes, that’s a verb). It’s even capable of thawing and cooking frozen ingredients into a steaming hot meal in as little as 20 minutes.
In other words, you can cook a frozen chicken breast, veggies and rice all under one lid, simultaneously in no time flat. The unit includes both pressure and crisping lids, a basket, reversible rack, recipe book and more.
3. Kitchen companion
Voice-activated “smart speakers” such as Google Home Mini ($79) or the larger Google Home ($179) have a sensitive microphone that listens for you to say its wake word (“OK Google”) and give it a command. You’ll hear a human-like female voice respond to your request, whether you asked to play some classic rock, tell you a recipe, or adjust other smart home devices you may have, like lights or a thermostat.
Other good uses in the kitchen include setting a timer for the oven, learning a new language while sipping a glass of wine, or asking how many calories are in a donut you’re tempted to eat. Grandkids over? They can use Google Home as a homework helper, too.
4. Wash this
Spend less time preparing to have friends over for cocktails and more time enjoying their company. The new 2018 line of LG QuadWash dishwashers with TrueSteam ($1,899) produces less water spots on glasses so you won’t have to polish glassware before you pour some drinks.
And the high-temp steam also means you can skip the pre-soak phase as it helps to break apart any dried food on plates before the main cycle starts. Oh, and it’s called “QuadWash” as there are four spray arms instead of the two you see in conventional dish washers, which translates to cleaner dishes.
With the EasyRack shelf, you can easily adjust the height to suit what you’re placing on top of it, such as serving pieces, spatulas, large knives and such.
5. Seeing is believing
This fridge may be cold, but the tech is super hot. Samsung’s Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators ($4,599 for Stainless Steel; $4,799 for Black Stainless Steel) are available in 3-door and 4-door French door models and they house several innovative features including an intuitive app that lets you see inside your fridge (via a camera) when you’re, say, at the supermarket and can’t remember if you need milk, eggs or cheese.
The 21.5-inch LED touchscreen can serve as a digital corkboard, recipe book, photo album, music player and more. And Samsung’s voice technology lets you utter verbal commands to ask about weather, time, add products to shopping lists, manage to-do-lists and more.