Nine products to give your kitchen some smarts

From intelligent cookers to voice-activated trashcans.

Smart kitchen items
Give your kitchen some zest.Naomi Hebert via Unsplash

As this year's Consumer Electronics Show demonstrated, product slingers are all excited to put smarter digital assistants in your pocket and connected devices in your home. As tempting (and terrifying?) as it is to create a giant network of smart devices that are all able to talk to each other to do your bidding, you really don't need an expansive, expensive set-up to upgrade your routines. For example, you could start with the just a few items in your humble kitchen. Below, some solid ways to give your canteen some added acumen.

Anova smart sous vide

Anova smart sous-vide
Never overcook a meal again with this smart sous vide that lets you evenly cook your food at a specific temperature.Amazon

A sous vide lets you evenly cook your food at a specific temperature, making it pretty darn hard to overcook your meals. The Anova precision cooker is an immersion circulator, meaning it moves and heats the water it’s submerged in. It connects over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can monitor your food's progress from anywhere in the house. There's also an app with more 1,000 recipes. In short, to use a sous vide, all you do is place seasoned food in a plastic bag, drop the bag in a deep pot or container of water, and let the Anova cook it at the right temperature—anywhere between 77°F and 210°F.

Breville Smart Grill

The Breville Smart Grill
The Breville Smart Grill isn't WiFi connected or virtual assistant-enabled, but it will sense fluctuations in the temperature.Amazon

Breville’s Smart Grill is a countertop grill, griddle, and panini press. While it isn’t WiFi-connected or assistant-enabled, it uses Smart Element IQ tech to adjust the heat if the machine senses any fluctuations in the temperature. The heating elements within the nonstick cast-aluminum grates ensure your cooking is even, especially in super high temperatures. The cooking plates are removable and dishwasher safe, and you can adjust the height of the top plate if you want to put 4 pounds of brisket on your 'wich.

Crock-Pot WiFi-enabled slow cooker

WeMo connected Crock-Pot
Be able to control your crock-pot with your phone.Amazon

This stainless-steel smart Crock-Pot—that will definitely not catch fire—connects over WiFi, so you can change the settings from your phone. In the app you can monitor the temperature, modify the cooking time, or check how much time is left. The removable, six-quart heat-saver stoneware is dishwasher-safe, so it's all relatively easy to clean. If you're as helpless as me and need to cook from recipes, check out this Crock-Pot recipe book.

Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm

Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
A smoke alarm that alerts your phone when its batteries are low and tell you which room a fire is in.Amazon

Smart, connected appliances are meant to put your mind at ease. The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm—which we previously graded 4.5 out of 5—will send an alert to your phone when its batteries are low, as well as tell you which room a fire is in. The sensors can even determine whether or not a fire is fast- or slow-burning. The units check their sensors up to 400 times a day to make sure they are always working.

simplehuman Smart trash

simplehuman smart trash
Be able to control your garbage can with the wave of a hand or the sound of your voice.Amazon

This receptacle can be opened with a wave of your hand or by saying “open can.” It holds 58 liters of trash (or whatever), has a built-in trash bag holder in the back. For what it's worth, I bought this and everyone made fun of me—until they tried it. Whenever people are over, I can hear “open can” from the other room.


The GeniCan is a smart way to make a grocery list. Scan the UPC barcodes of your trash before you throw it away and the items appear on a shopping list on your phone.Amazon

If a voice-controlled garbage can isn’t smart enough, the GeniCan is what you want. The device sticks to your garbage via a magnet, scans UPC barcodes of items as you throw them away, or lets you add items with your voice if they don't have a barcode. The scanned or spoken items, are automatically added to a digital grocery list on your phone. The GeniCan connects over WiFi and allows you to set up automatic ordering through Amazon Dash if you don’t have time to go to the supermarket.

Meater WiFi meat thermometer

Meater wifi meat thermometer
The Meater meat thermometer lets you check the internal temperature from your phone.Amazon

The Meater is like any meat thermometer, but with wireless connectivity, so you can monitor your food's internal temperature from your phone. It's got a five-inch-long probe and charges in a AAA-powered wooden box. Pretty classy. The internal sensors read up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and the external part of the probe measures ambient temperatures up to 527 degrees.

Drop smart kitchen scale

Drop Scale
The Drop Scale measures ingredients as you add them to the bowl so you never over-add ingredients.Amazon

Like any food scale, the Drop Scale measures ingredients as you add them to the bowl. What makes this device different is that it connects to your smartphone, meaning it'll let you know when you’ve added the right amount of an ingredient for a specific recipe.

Smarter Coffee Maker

Smarter Coffee Maker
The Smarter Coffee Maker connects to your smartphone, will order new beans once you run out, and can brew up to 12 cups.Best Buy

The Smarter Coffee Maker lets you brew a cup of coffee from your bed that’ll be ready by the time you reach the kitchen. It connects to your smartphone or tablet, orders new beans once you run out, and can brew up to 12 cups. If it's late in the day, or if you're trying to wean yourself off the good stuff, the machine can make you a weaker cup.

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