The kitchen is often called the heart of the home. Between cooking, eating, cleaning, relaxing and entertaining, it’s a hopping place in most households, and technology can significantly enhance its fun and function.
The latest devices can not only help with prepping meals, but also add Jetsonian convenience and control (appliances communicate with you via phone or smartwatch) and allow for hands-free access to music when you have guests.
The following ideas (big and small) can take your kitchen into almost futuristic levels of tech.
Smart speakers and plugs
Smart speakers are perfect for the kitchen, as you can use your voice to set timers (so your food doesn’t burn), listen to recipes (step by step) or hear the news while sipping your morning coffee or tea.
Often sold in a pack, affordable smart plugs are also great for the kitchen. Simply plug a Wi-Fi-enabled power adapter into a wall outlet, then plug anything you like into the smart plug (like a coffee maker). Now you can control the old-school device with an app or your voice, or set timers and schedules.
Why clean your own mess when you can have a robot do your bidding?
Increasingly smart robot vacuums suck up dirt, crumbs, pet hair and more by autonomously navigating around your kitchen (even under tables and between chair legs). Bonus: They work in other rooms of your home, on tile, hardwood and carpet.
Many models can also drive themselves back to a charging base where they empty the dust bin into a larger compartment, which doesn’t need to be emptied for months at a time.
Smart appliances offer many innovative features. For example, your dishwasher can push a notification to you when your load is done. You might want to preheat your oven (via an app) while walking home from a stroll around the neighborhood. Or you could be pinged on your smartphone if someone left the fridge door open.
Smart appliances can also autodiagnose by communicating with the manufacturer to identify an issue before you spend money on a technician’s house call to tell you the same thing.
Marc Saltzman is a tech journalist and host of the Tech It Out podcast. He answers selected questions in this column and regrets that all questions can’t be answered individually. Twitter @marc_saltzman Email email@example.com Please include “Tech Connection” in the subject line.
COSTCO CONNECTION You’ll find a selection of smart appliances, smart plugs, smart speakers and robotic vacuums at Costco.com.
Boost your skills
Free recipe apps for your smartphone or tablet are powerful kitchen tech tools. They’re packed with great ideas for all tastes, plus eating plans. Most include photos and videos too. Popular picks include Allrecipes, Tasty, Food Network Kitchen, Yummly, Cookpad and Kitchen Stories.
Some apps let you change serving size and automatically adjust ingredient measurements. Others let you specify what you have in your fridge, cupboard and pantry, and then tell you what dishes you can make with it. —MS
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