Many people are utilizing smart home devices throughout their homes: smart speakers in the bedroom room, smart TVs in the living room and smart cameras and doorbells inside and out for extra security. However, the smart home revolution is also slowly but surely entering one of the most used rooms in a house: the kitchen.
Yes, not only can smart kitchen products help you make better meals for yourself, your family and friends, but they can also save you some time in the long run. They can also add an extra degree of safety when using things like over ranges.
In this article, we take a look at the best smart kitchen products that you can purchase today. As you can see, there’s no shortage of ranges, refrigerators, and more products that add connected features.
Best smart oven range – LG LWC3063BD
The center of the kitchen is the oven range, and more and more of them are adding connected and smart features. The best one you can buy currently is the LG LWC3036BD. This is a 30-inch electric range with a microwave oven on top. With the use of the LG SmartThinQ smartphone app, you can start preheating the oven from anywhere, even if you are driving home, so you can save time. You can also remotely turn the oven on or off with the app, and if you are at home, you can even use voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa service or Google Assistant. The range can also send your phone alerts when your food is finished cooking, among other things.
LG sells a number of smart oven ranges, and in 2019, they will get even smarter. All of the company’s 2019 smart ovens, including the LG LWC3036BD, and even LG’s 2018 smart range models, will add support for the popular Tovala meal kits and frozen food products. All you will have to do is scan the Tovala meal’s barcode with the company’s smartphone app, then you just put that meal in the supported LG smart oven. Finally, use the app again to start the oven, and it should cook that meal to its required temperatures automatically, without you having to guess or type in any numbers. That’s pretty cool. You can get the LG LWC3036BD smart oven range at P.C. Richard for $3,330.
GE PGS960FELDS – If you prefer a gas stove to an electric range, you should check out the GE PGS960FELD smart oven. It’s also a 30-inch slide-in range that can be controlled by a smartphone app to start up, preheat and use voice commands from Google Assistant and Alexa. It doesn’t have a microwave add-on, but it’s priced a bit less at just under $3,000.
Best smart refrigerator – Samsung Family Hub
The refrigerator is the other major appliance in the current smart kitchen, and Samsung has led the way by introducing new and cool connected and smart features to its Family Hub product lineup. It launched the first Family Hub refrigerators in back in 2016. Not only do they have Wi-Fi hardware, but Samsung added a big touchscreen to the front door as well. Basically, this refrigerator is also a large Samsung tablet.
The 21.5-inch Family Hub touchscreen, combined with your smartphone, allows you to actually see inside the refrigerator itself, without having to open its doors, to see if you need to go to the grocery store to pick up some items. You can create your shopping list on the touchscreen, and then send it to your smartphone when you are ready to leave. You can even look up recipes on the screen as well. However, it can do so much more. You can hand write notes on the screen for your family member to see, and each member can have his or her own calendar of events that can be shown on the screen. Of course, you can stream music and watch videos on the Family Hub, and it can even serve as a security hub, allowing you to control lights, cameras, door locks and more. It also supports voice commands via Samsung’s Bixby assistant. You can get the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator in a number of options (three-door, four-door French and four-door flex), They don’t come cheap; expect to pay between $2,800 and $4,100 for a Family Hub smart refrigerator.
LG InstaView ThinQ – This smart refrigerator is actually not out yet as of this writing, but it’s looking like it’s about as close as you can get to the Samsung Family Hub. The LG InstaView ThinQ will also have a larger 29-inch touchscreen that, combined with its own smartphone app, will have many, if not most of the same features as its major competitor in the smart refrigerator space. It’s due for release later in 2019.
Best Smart Microwave -AmazonBasics Microwave
Everyone needs a microwave to quickly heat up, or in some cases reheat, food items. Wouldn’t you rather have one that can be controlled by your voice? The AmazonBasics Microwave does just that, with its support for Amazon’s own Alexa digital assistant. Alexa already has a large number of preset microwave settings for food and drinks that can be used with this device. For example, all you have to say is “Alexa, reheat one cup of coffee,” and the microwave will do so, with the appropriate heating and time settings. No more guesswork here.
The AmazonBasics Microwave costs $59.99, but it does require the use of an Amazon Echo speaker to work. The good news is that for a limited time you can get a free Amazon Echo Dot with the purchase of this smart microwave with the promo code “ADDVOICE” that can be added at checkout.
Best smart slow cooker – Crock-Pot WeMo-Enabled Slow Cooker
If you are a chef in your smart kitchen that prefers to cook your food in a slow cooker, the Crock-Pot team have released a smartphone-controlled cooker that should allow you to cut out some tedious tasks. The six-quart slow cooker supports the WeMo app, and you can use it to set the temperature and time on the cooker for your meal’s ingredients. You can adjust the cooking time or temperature for those ingredients if you want to get things done faster. When the meal is finished, the cooker can send a notification to not just your smartphone but everyone else who has been waiting to check out your newest dinner creature.
Be prepared to pay more for this Wi-Fi and smartphone-enabled slow cooker. This Crock-Pot model is priced on Amazon at $519.
Best smart coffee maker – Behmor Connected Coffee Brewer
While we wait for Keurig to make a truly connected coffee maker (seriously, why haven’t they put one out yet?), the clear leader in smart coffee makers is Behmor. Indeed, this brewer is controlled either with voice commands (Amazon Alexa) or via a smartphone app. This product can save different brewing profiles so that when you wake up in the morning all you have to do is tap on the app or speak to start the coffee making process. In addition to all of its connected features, the Behmor is just an excellent coffee maker, period. Its design ensures that your coffee grounds can be pre-soaked with water so that you get the best-brewed coffee. Also, its double walled stainless carafe will keep that coffee warm for hours after brewing. It’s available for Amazon for around $160.
Best smart cooking accessory – Drop Scale
Yes, you can buy a food scale with Wi-Fi? However, you might want to ask why you would need one. Well, the Drop Scale not only allows you to weigh your ingredients, but it can connect to a dedicated smartphone app that shows you step-by-step interactive recipes that could be made with those ingredients. This feature is especially useful if you need to change ingredients or food potions. The scale and the app will be able to show you alternatives to those recipes on the fly and it will even tell you if you need, for example, more flour or less milk for your creation. It’s availabe on Amazon for $47.
Chef Steps Joule Sous Vide – If you are into Sous Vide-based cooking (sealing food in a plastic bag and then heating it up in a pot of water), the Chef Steps Joule Sous Vide accessory is perfect for you. Just insert it into a pot of water with your sealed food and it will heat it up quickly and precisely. The Joule smartphone app lets you control the temperature and it even allows for Alexa-based voice commands. It’s on sale at Amazon for $180.
Best smart kitchen display hub – Google Nest Hub
If you cannot afford to get Samsung’s connected Family Hub refrigerator, the recently renamed Google Nest Hub smart display (formerly the Google Home Hub) is perfect for the kitchen counter. Its 7-inch screen is controlled via Google Assistant voice commands, which allow you to look up online recipes and you can watch tutorial videos on how to cook via YouTube. This smart display can also be used to control other smart devices in your kitchen, and indeed in your entire smart home. You can purchase it via the Google Store normally for $129, although currently its priced at just $99.
Amazon Echo Show – If you are more of an Amazon Alexa digital assistant fan, the current Amazon Echo Show smart display might be a better choice. It even allows for video calls so you can chat with family or friends while you cook. However, its larger screen might be a bit too big for your kitchen counter. It’s on sale for $230.