Wifi kitchen gadgets

This year has seen the market flooded with a slew of wifi-enabled gadgets and home automation products, and even regular kitchen appliances are getting the high-tech, ‘internet-of-things’ treatment. At the popular American blog OnePlus blog they recently listed just a few of the latest connectable gadgets.

Belkin has been partnering with various home brands to bring their WeMo home automation platform to everyday appliances, notably resulting in wifi-ready slow cookers and coffee brewers.

The Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker allows you to control cooking times and temperatures straight from your smartphone via an Android application. It will also send notifications when cooking is complete.

Mr. Coffee’s WeMo-enabled coffee brewer takes the form of their 10 Cup Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker. Similar to the slow cooker, settings can be altered and brews can be scheduled via the WeMo application. How did we ever survive without the ability to make a pot of coffee from 500 miles away?

Phillips takes the concept even further with their HomeCooker neXt prototype. Like something straight out of the Jetsons, this auto-dinner contraption is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster, combining a food processor, steamer, blender, and electric cooker. Using an Android application to browse and send recipes straight to the device, users will be walked through the entire cooking process. The HomeCooker neXt will even stir the cooking food at the correct intervals, making the entire process rather fool-proof. The bad news is that Phillips has yet to announce a concrete release date, so our evenings will still be filled with regular cook-it-yourself grub for the time being.

Nomiku Sous-Vide

We have been strong proponents of sous-vide cooking for a while now. French for ‘under vacuum’, meats or vegetables are placed in air-tight plastic bags and then into a hot water bath. Because temperatures are much lower than with other cooking methods, it can be a long process (taking days in many instances). It’s worth it, though, as the resulting food is impossibly moist and evenly cooked. Our celebrity chef Paul Foster frequently uses our KitchenAid sous vides during his cookery demonstrations.

Unfortunately, this process is difficult. Without precise temperature control and timing, things can go horribly awry. Like, petrol-station-food-at-3 am awry. If your budget doesn’t run to a KitchenAid system then a gadget known as sous-vide immersion circulator can handle most of the process for you, leading to consistently-perfect results. And, this year, a company called Nomiku took the next logical step: adding wifi. Users can browse, create, and share recipes via the aptly named ‘Tender’ mobile application. Then, instructions can be sent straight to the device from your phone.


While not strictly a kitchen gadget, Vessyl helps to monitor your intake of sugar, protein, calories, fat, caffeine, and more. A seemingly ordinary (albeit beautifully-designed) cup, Vessyl is lined with sensors that identify what beverage you are drinking and how much of said beverage you’ve drank. What makes Vessyl a solid piece of future-tech, though, is its ability to differentiate by brand as well. If you pour, say, a Diet Pepsi into the Vessyl, sensors will automatically recognise the drink by name and send all relevant nutritional data back to your smartphone. Simples.

It’s a great office party accessory for your informal ‘who has consumed the most absurd amount of coffee today?’ competitions.

LG’s HomeChat

This is where things get a bit spooky. LG recently released its HomeChat line of wifi-enabled home appliances in South Korea (though international versions are being planned). In the kitchen, this line includes the ‘Smart Refrigerator’ and ‘SmartLightwaveOven’. Both are controlled using Line, a hyper-popular texting application in parts of Asia.

The idea here is that you literally ‘talk’ to your home appliances via text messages. For example, text your SmartWaveOven what food you will be cooking, and it will automatically preheat to the correct temperature. Send a text to your Smart Refrigerator letting it know that you are going on vacation, and power-saving mode is wirelessly enabled. The Smart Refrigerator even includes an internal camera that keeps track of your supplies, so users can check what foods need to be purchased right from the supermarket. And, because your newfangled refrigerator knows what foods you have on hand, it will happily suggest compatible recipes (which take into account your health requirements and BMI). Great. Now your appliances will tell you that you’re fat.

Something for the future perhaps but do pop in and see us, were here to help.