The best smart kitchen tech for culinary perfection
Now you're cooking
Too many cooks might spoil the broth, but you can never have enough gadgets in the galley. Looking for a smarter sous chef? Or a microwave that can make grilled cheese in a jiffy? Go from kitchen nightmares to culinary nirvana with best smart kitchen tech.
From Wi-Fi fridges to connected cookers, the list below features all the ingredients for a Michelin star upgrade. So whether your blender’s on the blink or you want a better way to weigh, add these appliances to the mix and you’ll be cooking with gas.
Additional copy by Jack Needham and Carrie Marshall
The all-in-one appliance: Instant Pot Pro Plus
The Instant Pot Pro Plus is a 10-in-one jack of all trades, master of most of them. What does it do? It pressure cooks. It steams. It…rices. It makes yogurt. It warms things up. It sautés, as well as probably a few more things we’re yet to discover.
The Instant Pot Pro Plus is wirelessly controlled through the Instant Brands Connect app. Open the app, select from one of over 800 recipes and the app will program the pot to cook whatever you want to perfection – all hands free. Yes, that includes crispy roast potatoes and slow cooked meats, ideal for out of sight out of mind cooking.
The precision probe: Meater
Still poking your pork to check when it’s done? A springy loin might mean it’s medium-rare, but there are smarter ways to cook a steak than sticking a digit in it.
Insert Meater’s wireless wand into your cut before setting it to sizzle and the connected probe will send live heat readings to your smartphone. Besides ambient and internal temperature updates, the Guided Cook System can walk you through every step of the piggy prep process, while the Advanced Estimator Algorithm actively calculates how long it will be until your meat is ready to eat.
The better blender: Vitamix Smart System Blender
There’s more to blending than making a big mushy mess. And if it’s smarter smoothies you’re searching for, Vitamix has the answer. Drop a Self-Detect container on top and its self-cleaning Smart System Blenders will wirelessly work out its size, then adjust the run time to suit. And with presets for everything from soups to spreads, it’s never been easier to blitz up a treat.
Want more creative control over your combinations? Pulse modes and variable speed settings let you experiment with textures, while custom timers mean you can adjust the duration to suit your density preference. Models like the A2500i ship with physical buttons, while the A3500i features a touchscreen interface for slicker inputs.
The on-demand oven: Bosch Serie 8
Buy the Bosch Serie 8 oven from Currys
Coming home to hot food is the dinner dream. Bosch’s Serie 8 smart ovens let you realise it, even if your grub’s left home alone. Put your meal in the main chamber and set it to commence cooking later in the day. Running late? Fire up the Home Connect app and you can push back the start time from afar.
The app is also home to a host of recipes. Select the one you fancy and it will send the right settings straight to the Serie 8 via Wi-Fi – no twiddling necessary. Haven’t got your phone to hand? Use the touch display panel on the oven itself to pick the dish you’re putting in: it’ll take care of the heating mode, timings and temperature automatically.
And if it’s a quiche, cake or cookies that you’re cooking, the oven’s PerfectBake smarts will continuously monitor humidity and adjust settings accordingly. You can check the status of your creations from your smartphone – or ask Alexa for an update: the Serie 8 also plays nice with Amazon’s voice assistant.
The gifted grinder: Sage Barista Express Impress
We’ll happily admit that the Brits can’t exactly match the coffee culture of Italy, America, Australia, Mexico, France, Chile, Ethiopia, Cuba and probably around 75% of the world. But boy, do we enjoy coffee.
The process of making a banging coffee can be tricky and time-consuming, but not with the Sage Barista Express Impress. The coffee machine floats between a fully manual espresso maker and a fully automated bean-to-cup machine. It also gets rid of the guesswork and experimentation in coffee creation by delivering water at a fixed 9 bars of pressure and 65-70º C. That leaves you with but one important task: setting the coarseness of the grind (a job that you should nail dead-on within a couple of trial cups).
Not only does the Sage Barista Express Impress perform, it also looks like it could be on the counter of a traditional Italian deli. For an extra boujee brew, treat yourself to a Aerolatte Milk Frother for a bargain price.
The Wi-Fi fridge: Samsung Family Hub
Spelling silly words with magnetic letters is the most important part of owning a fridge. Sure, there’s the whole ‘keeping food cold’ thing, but why stick a gleaming metal monolith in your kitchen if you can’t leave naughty messages on it?
Luckily, Samsung’s over-the-top cold box does both of those things with aplomb. The French door fridge-freezer is fronted by a 21.5in touchscreen. Besides scrawling across it, you can browse the web, watch TV and even view what’s inside without opening the door (thanks to built-in cameras).
AI smarts monitor the contents to keep you posted on grocery stocks and expiry dates, while incoming Google Assistant support means you’ll be able to control the rest of your smart kitchen from the fridge – making it a proper hub for the home.
Choose from the Samsung Family Hub range direct from Samsung here
The well-equipped weigher: Salter Cook Bluetooth Digital Kitchen Scale (£30)
A dash of lime, a pinch of salt: for those of a culinary disposition, vague quantities are an opportunity to show off pro seasoning skills. For the rest of us, it’s all a gallon of guesswork.
Prefer to portion with more precision? Pair Salter’s Bluetooth scales with your smartphone and connect to better prep: besides accurate measurements in metric and imperial, you can follow recipes through the Salter Cook smartphone app for weigh-as-you-go instructions in real time.
The Aquatronic mode also makes it a cinch to mix liquids for smoothies or cocktails – because not every measure needs to be liberal.
The smarter sous chef: Google Nest Hub Max
Buy the Google Nest Hub Max direct from Google here
Google Assistant can’t whip up a smooth batter for your pancakes, but it can tell you what ingredients you need to make it yourself. And Google’s Nest Hub Max is the best way to have the helper on hand while you whisk.
Essentially a speaker stand topped by a 10in tablet, the domestic display can set timers, convert cups to metric quantities and even cue up YouTube cooking demos on command. Need entertainment while your buns are in the oven? Besides smart home control and voice assistance, the Nest Hub also plays nice with Netflix. Hey Google, play Chef’s Table.
The plonk preserver: Haier Wine Bank 50 Series 7 (from £749)
Buy the Haier Wine Bank 50 Series 7 direct from Haier here
No kitchen is complete without a wine stash – and Haier’s clever cooler takes better care of your bottles. Shipped in two sizes, the largest Series 7 can store up to 77 vials of vino across two temperature zones. Fire up the hOn partner app to tweak the Celsius setting, as well as perusing programs tailored to perfectly protect your treasured collection. You can also scan individual tipples for tips, reviews and food pairings powered by Vivino.
Left to its own devices, the Bank 50’s UV screens stop harmful rays from getting through the glass, while a Natural Airflow System circulates filtered air for clean, consistent humidity. LED lights inside illuminate your inventory without transferring heat, plus the anti-vibration design prevents tiny tremors from stirring up sediment in your favourite vintage.
The dinky dunker: Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano (£85)
Sous vide is so much more than vacuum sealing scrummy food and dunking it in water. OK, so there is a lot of sealing and dunking – but the key to delicious results is constant temperature. Want a hot ticket to haute cuisine? Anova’s smart stick makes precision immersion easy peasy.
Connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, the Culinary Precision Cooker Nano can control temperatures with an accuracy of 0.1°C. Simply clip the Nano to the side of an existing pot, add your bagged-up grub and its heating coil will do the rest. You can monitor progress remotely from your mobile, where you’ll also find recipe inspiration from fellow food nerds.
Buy the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano direct from Anova here
The magic microwave: Sage Quick Touch Crisp (£350)
Buy the Sage Quick Touch Crisp direct from Sage here
If you’re needing your microwave to do more than just reheat soup, the Sage Quick Touch Crisp tailors to your microwave needs with a bunch of smart features. The Quick Touch promises to grill, toast, and heat without making food soggy. An inner panel offers ten options to heat your food in different ways, whether you want to make a jacket potato or simply defrost that chicken you forgot to take out of the freezer. You can set custom cooking parameters to make sure your favourite food is cooked right every time, while an integrated crisping pan ensures a lazy dinner is still a tasty one.
The Sage Quick Touch is on the expensive side. For a very solid cheaper alternative, we’d recommend the feature-packed Samsung Solo.
Jura Ena 8
In addition to the high-spec, high-quality components that make Jura bean-to-cup machines so loved by coffee aficionados, this connected maker also offers compatibility with Jura’s own JOE smartphone app. JOE lets you store your favourite recipes and settings, and recall them with a tap. You can even ‘order’ different coffees via your Apple Watch.
Hoover HOC3358IN WiFi
You can spend huge sums on a smart oven – but you don’t need to, as this clever Hoover demonstrates. It may look like an ordinary single oven but it has built-in Wi-Fi so you can monitor and control it from the Hoover Wizard app. If you’ve ever cursed the timer on a traditional oven, the ability to program it via an app is a huge selling point here.
Hoover H-Wash 500
Brands including Hoover, Bosch, Grundig and others have now extended app control across their range of home appliances. This Hoover uses an app like the company’s smart ovens, with the ability to remotely monitor and control your wash. It has
a large 9kg capacity, intelligent sensing to customise each wash cycle and a steam option to reduce creases.
Amazon Echo Show 10
The 10in Echo Show is a superb device for your kitchen, because in addition to media playback and hands-free smart home control – handy when you’re elbow-deep in a chicken – its screen is more than big enough for you to watch TV, follow cooking videos or just check the instructions for a recipe, automatically swivelling as you move around the room.