Following IFA 2018 the world of the smart home finally appears to be coming commonplace within the kitchen. Whether you are getting a completely new kitchen or just looking for some new tech to get to make things a little easier when cooking we have compiled a list of our top things to buy for your kitchen.
Having something that can simplify cooking, or automate some parts of it would be ideal for me, I would happily pay a lot more for a smart oven.
At IFA we saw Grundig launch an oven that has a proper automated cleaning system that shoots water across all the surfaces of the oven, something my oven desperately needs.
Bosch and a few other companies already have ovens and microwaves available to consumers with Home Connect technology which allows you to control and monitor things via your phone. This technology is available in several of their appliances
Kitchen Sink Waste Disposal Unit
These have been around for decades, but seem more popular in the US rather than the UK. As someone that cooks a lot, it is annoying having to constantly wipe my places clean before washing them or putting them in the dishwasher.
Having previously reviewed the Appkettle, I still use and love it. As with many Smart Home products it really just fuels laziness, but I like to think of it as being time efficient. In the morning when my Girlfriend wakes up, I tell Alexa to boil the kettle so when I walk downstairs the water is boiled for me, and I am not waiting around. Similarly, the kettle is boiled for me when I get home from the office in the evening.
Smart Coffee Machine
I had some mixed feelings towards the PrimaDonna Elite, it is an amazing coffee machine with a great user-friendly interface, but the Bluetooth function was poor, and it was painfully expensive.
Philips this year had the LatteGo which isn’t as technically advanced and no Bluetooth connection as far as I am aware, but it promises to bring advanced coffee functions to the home at an affordable price with minimum maintenance.
If you have deeper pockets, Bosch has the built-in bean to cup coffee machine with home connect, but it will set you back over £2k
I am not sold on the idea of Smart Fridges, but with the growing market towards them, it is hard to ignore. Samsung is leading the way with this tech as they have head smart fridges on the market for a couple of years now. LG had a large smart appliance presence and with their LG InstaView ThinQ Fridge, you will never have to worry about missing that one crucial ingredient. Thanks to the 29-inch touchscreen located on the front of the fridge, you can see exactly what is inside without even opening the door. The HD transparent LCD touch-screen also allows you to set food expiration dates, leave notes for your family and even upload photos.
The InstaView ThinQ refrigerator is also compatible with SmartThinQ so you can create and instantly share shopping lists between your smartphone and fridge. You can remotely check on the contents of your fridge, meaning even if you are already at the grocery store you can see exactly what items you need.
Electric Pressure Cooker
Not smart, but an electric pressure cooker is like a slow cooker on steroids, what would take many hours to make you can easily do within an hour with a pressure cooker. They often have multiple functions including the ability to make rice, yoghurt and many other things.
I actually use the Ninja Blender Duo as it offers the best balance of performance and price in my opinion. But Philips had a Connected Blender on show this year which is app-enabled and includes built-in scales that can guide you through recipes and provide you nutritional data. It may be a bit over the top, but it is a great feature for anyone wanting to stay on point with their diet.
A Good Quality Kitchen Knife
Not everything needs to be smart or connected, when it comes to the kitchen and cooking, one of the most important tools you can invest in is a decent chefs’ knife. It doesn’t have to cost hundreds, but maintaining is quite important. I have used an IO Shen knife for years, and I have tried using a whetstone but without proper practice, they seem hard to master. I instead use Shinkansen ‘Water' Sharpener; the trick is not to use a sharpener that shaves the metal off to sharpen the knife. A water sharper may not be ideal for a knife worth hundreds, but it will be perfectly fine for affordable quality knives.