What Smart Appliances are Available for a Kitchen?
Read on to find out how smart kitchen appliances can save you time, energy and even money
Bristling with intelligent features, smart appliances can nimbly adapt while in use, beefing up fan extraction or adjusting dishwasher water levels, for instance. They can connect you with recipes, remind you when a deep clean is in order, or prompt you if there’s a problem. Here, four experts talk about how smart appliances are transforming kitchens.
Professional advice from: Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens; Emma Merry of Emma Merry Styling; Inga Kopala of Amberth; Neil Pooley of Miele GB
Some of us are still wrapping our heads around the concept of induction hobs, so smart appliances can feel positively futuristic. “A lot of clients don’t know much about them,” Inga Kopala says. “Often, it’s the younger, tech-savvy people who are interested in them.”
Diane Berry agrees. “I know lots of us (especially the older generation like me) will be thinking, why bother with a smart appliance? Is this just something else that can go wrong?” she says. “But the list of positives they supply is endless.”
Anyone who’s interested in smart appliances expects them to add value and make their lives easier, according to Neil Pooley. “They want remote control and status updates, allowing them to check on their appliances or amend, stop and start programmes from outside the home.”
Next-level functionality that makes life easier is the standout benefit. “Imagine being able to get a warning if your freezer is losing temperature, because someone accidentally pulled the plug out or didn’t close the door,” Diane says. “Instead of losing all your food, you can deal with it straight away.
“Or, if you’re lying in bed thinking, I forgot to turn on the dishwasher, you can do it with one click on your device,” she continues. “Miele [for example] has dishwashers that hold a week’s worth of detergent. As long as the door’s shut, hey presto!”
If something goes wrong with the appliance, it can be easier to detect the issue. “An engineer may be able to diagnose the problem remotely,” Diane says. “This saves time. They can get any necessary parts before visiting your home and should be able to fix it quickly.”
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Most smart appliances can be networked conveniently and securely, either through the manufacturer’s app or via a smart home app such as Home Connect.
“We all have phones, so it makes sense to have our home appliances interacting with our devices,” Diane says. You can then also control your smart devices via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa using voice commands.
“Not always,” Emma Merry says. “It’s a case of weighing up the impact they have on your daily life. The new smart coffee machines, for instance, allow you to pre-set your favourite coffee via your phone, meaning you can jump out of the shower and your coffee’s ready to go. This saves you time and money, as you’re not stopping at a coffee shop on the way to work. Effectively, the machine has paid for itself within the first few months.”
When it comes to large, built-in smart appliances, such as ovens and fridge-freezers, though, do expect a higher price tag. “People who are into tech and want the latest stuff that will be up-to-date for longer feel it’s a great investment,” Inga says.
Here are the smart appliances our experts find most useful:
Smart ovens “These are a game changer for busy families,” Emma says. “The ability to control the oven from your phone is fantastic. You can create a meal, put it in prior to leaving in the morning, then turn the oven on while waiting for the train home.”
Diane agrees. “You can have dinner in the oven and go out, but then you might get delayed. No problem. You can simply pause the oven or turn it off,” she says. “Some smart ovens even have the option to partly open the door to help drop the heat quickly, so your food doesn’t burn.”
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She also rates smart air friers, which can connect to your pre-selected recipe and cook it all to perfection. “You can pre-load the fryer earlier in the day with your prepared produce and use your phone to select the recipe and start time. Many of my clients find this function invaluable,” she says.
Inga singles out smart sous vide precision cookers, which she says are becoming popular. “The food is sealed in a plastic pouch and the sous vide cooks it slowly at a very low temperature in a water bath, preserving the food’s nutrients,” she explains. “They can be controlled remotely from your phone.”
Has any of this made you rethink your kitchen’s tech possibilities? If so, which item would you add? Share your thoughts in the Comments.