Technology has invaded the kitchen yet again. This year, several new smart cooking gadgets will help you measure ingredients a bit more accurately, cook food over a longer period of time — it will let you know when that teriyaki chicken is done using an app — and even let you use finger swipes to control your oven. Are you ready for this new round of food tech innovation?
One of the best product names in recent memory, the SmartyPans is a cook pan you use on a normal oven. It connects to a tablet app with recipes to help you cook. When you add ingredients, the pan weighs the ingredients and shows a progress bar so you can add the right amount. The pan shows you the estimated cook time based on heat and humidity level. You’ll see warnings if you need to adjust the temp. The app includes over 350,000 recipes. The product itself is still “in the oven” and will start shipping this summer.
The Range Smart is a cooking thermometer that connects to an app. It comes in two sizes — a 3-inch sharp tip or a 6-inch round-tip. You connect to the app using an iPhone or iPad 3.5mm headphone jack. As you cook, you can see the real-time temp and get notifications that let you know when the food is cooked thoroughly. On an iPad, you can see a real-time graph that shows the cooking process. It then share this graph with other cooks who may want to follow your advice.
You might call Mellow the first genuine cooking robot. It uses the sous-vide cooking process, which involves watertight bags you insert into a vat of boiling water. The app lets you start the cooking process automatically and walks you through how to mix the ingredients. If you decide to cook salmon, you can use the machine to keep the fish cold all day and then start cooking in time for an evening meal. You can cook up to six portions at once, and the included bags seal tightly without needing a vacuum sealer. The Mellow will be available sometime this year.
Belkin deserves most of the credit for this connected cooker. First, it’s the Crock-Pot brand so it’s durable and heavy-duty for serious kitchen use. It has a dial for making adjustments even if you don’t have your phone handy. Once connected to the Belkin WeMo app, you can adjust cooking time and temperature, set the Crock-Pot to warm, or turn it off.
This small kitchen scale only has one button for on and off. It connects to an app that shows the real-time weight of ingredients, so instead of using measuring cups for sugar, you can just pour and watch a virtual mixing bar raise up to the desired amount. Want to make a double-batch of cookies? Just scale the recipe up and you’ll see the correct mixes. The app includes recipes that match the time of year. The scale is accurate to a single gram.
Similar to the The Drop, this connected kitchen scale doesn’t have quite the same trendy look for the product itself or for the phone/tablet app, but it’s a better value. The recipes can be scaled, and there are videos that show you how to make the recipes. Perfect Bake includes three mixing bowls, and the LCD read-out on the scale tells you what to do, such as pour or mix. The product also includes a kitchen thermometer and a small stand for your tablet.
Launching this May, this new cooktop can be used with any existing GE oven that can connect over Wi-Fi. A cooktop is the removable section of an oven with the burners. You can raise and lower the temp using touch sensors that work like an iPad. The main benefit to induction cooking is that the heat is transferred to the pots and pans so the burners don’t reach a scalding temp. The 30-inch cooktop costs $1,500 but other models cost up to $3,100 for the 36-inch size.