Smart appliances for the smart chef

Whether for a master chef or a culinary novice, smart appliances add convenience to any kitchen. Smart kitchen appliances can provide step-by-step guidance or even perform the cooking themselves.

Smart appliances typically rely only on Wi-Fi (paired with a custom smartphone application), while others can work with common smart home systems like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Let’s look at a few smart appliances for the home chef.

Cooktops and ranges

Induction cooktops are an innovation in themselves. Induction cooking works by delivering energy directly to the cookware, using a magnetic field that warms the inside of cookware specifically made for induction cooking. Induction cooktops are 32 percent more energy efficient than gas cooktops and 75 percent more efficient than electric ones.

Like other smart cooktops, smart induction models recognize when a pan is placed on an element and automatically turn off when a pan is removed. Brands like Samsung and Bosch offer additional smart functions like synchronization of the cooktop with a (brand-matched) smart ventilation hood. The smart hood activates as soon as cooking begins and adapts to cooking intensity on the fly. Smart ranges can also include this function and often feature a barcode scanning system that allows you to scan store-bought foods, prompting the oven to start based on the instructions.

Smart ranges can be controlled remotely to preheat, change and monitor temperatures through the companion app or an integrated home system. A few brands offer a Wi-Fi-connected cooking thermometer to allow remote monitoring, leaving the home chef free to do other things while an app keeps an eye on cooking progress.

Many smart ovens and cooktops also have guided step-by-step recipes within the app to help control the cook time and temperature.

Countertop ovens

Manufacturers are adding smart functionality to countertop cooking options. The June Oven includes an in-oven camera that allows progress to be tracked from its app. The app provides progress monitoring with push notifications to your phone when cooking is complete.

Tovala offers a smaller countertop oven for ready-to-cook meals. These ovens use barcode scanning technology for both Tovala meals and those from the grocery store. The Tovala app also uses push notifications to track progress.

Like Tovala, the Breville smart oven offers guided recipes and an app that directs cooking temperature and function, such as air fry or bake, as the recipe advances. This smart oven also monitors and stabilizes temperature from all sides for more efficient cooking.

Microwaves, multi-cookers and gadgets

Other common kitchen appliances and small devices are getting smart, too. However, these devices feature a smaller set of functions than those already mentioned.

Microwaves from manufacturers like LG, Whirlpool, GE, Sharp and Toshiba include the barcode scanning function to allow product-specific cooking instructions to be sent to the appliance.

Smart kitchen scales, air fryers and pasta makers are able to connect to your smartphone for guided measuring and cooking. Smart coffee makers can connect to Amazon Alexa or Google Home with smart functions to set brew schedules and brew strength.

If you’re looking for a smart kitchen gadget that won’t break the bank, try a smart meat thermometer. These handy devices work with an app to specify optimal cook time and temperature, and they notify the chef when the meat is ready.

As appliances and kitchen gadgets get smarter, home chefs will have more options for convenience and functionality.

Photo above: Induction cooktops, like the Samsung model shown here, transfer heat directly to the cookware, which is specially made for induction cooking. Photo credit: Samsung