When choosing appliances for your new home, you have plenty of options to consider. With smart appliances becoming more common and even standard in some areas, it’s helpful to know what features are available and how these next-gen products work, as well as how they can save energy, money and time. You may wonder if smart appliances are worth the extra expense, but their ingenious features can help you save in a variety of ways.
To get you up-to-speed on the latest in smart appliances, we’ve compiled this quick guide to introduce you to the features offered by many smart kitchen appliances, along with recommendations for specific appliances.
What it can do:
Next-level fridge things:
- Look up recipes and have the instructions read to you while you cook.
- Create shopping lists that sync to your smartphone.
- Set expiration dates and receive notifications to prevent food waste.
- Use transparent touchscreens to look inside the fridge without opening the door.
- Customize the temperature by drawer or compartment.
- Use interior cameras to double-check supplies while at the store.
- Turn the ice maker on or off via your phone.
- Receive water filter alerts.
Organizational touchscreen hub:
- Coordinate schedules for everyone in the family.
- Sync to your online calendars.
- Use all of your favorite apps.
- Upload photos for display.
- Send personal notes and to-do lists to family members.
- Leave messages for your family with a whiteboard.
- Link to a smart TV to watch from the kitchen.
- Play music.
- Display time and outdoor temperature.
- Control other smart home features around your house.
We recommend: Samsung 28 cu. ft. 4-Door French Door with 21.5 in. Connected Touch Screen Family Hub™ Refrigerator. This powerhouse of a refrigerator features all of the above, plus a FlexZone drawer with “an adjustable smart divider, easy access for kids and four temperature control settings from chill to soft freeze.” With Samsung’s Bixby, an intelligent voice assistant, you can control the Family Hub hands-free from anywhere in your kitchen.
What it can do:
- Connect to Wi-Fi to control features using AI or your smartphone.
- Connect to apps for recipe steps and to automate temps and timings.
- Receive smartphone alerts for temperatures, timers or problems.
- Provide expanded oven cycles like convection baking/roasting and proofing to help yeast-based baked goods rise before baking.
- Use new technology that helps food cook faster and more evenly.
- Use multiple oven spaces for simultaneous baking at different temperatures.
- Offer a combo option in certain models with a stove powered by gas and an oven powered by electricity.
- Provide mew coatings and surfaces for faster cleaning.
- Offer multiple types of burners for a variety of cooking options:
- Induction — Electromagnetic energy cooks food and requires specific cookware for faster cooking and more precise temperature control.
- Variable size — Selecting the correct size burner element for your cookware helps reduce heat loss and ensures faster cooking.
- Power burners — These provide intense heat when needed.
- Simmer burners — These keep food warm and use less energy.
- Bridge elements — These combine two or more burners into one large cooking surface.
We recommend: LG 6.9 cu. ft. Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Gas Double Oven Slide-In Range with ProBake Convection® and EasyClean®. Features include ProBake Convection for even baking results, EasyClean for a fast 10-minute cleaning using just water and UltraHeat 18,500 BTU burners for fast boiling and even temperatures. It also comes with SmartThinQ, one of the best smart appliance apps. Also: double oven! Also also: gas range and convection oven!!
What it can do:
- Connect to Wi-Fi to integrate with your smart home. Can also be controlled through your smartphone or AI interface.
- Use a smartphone to start wash cycles, monitor performance, check status and lock and unlock the dishwasher door (for child safety).
- Send smartphone alerts when rinse aid or detergent is low, the wash cycle finishes, or if there is a problem.
- Can download cleaning cycles for special items (like stemware or pots and pans).
- Use smart sensors to detect load size and the level of dirtiness to adjust water and energy use.
- Activate automatically during off-peak hours to save you money.
We recommend: GE Profile™ 24” Dishwasher with Hidden Controls. While this dishwasher will not help you organize your life, it will masterfully clean your dishes. Lifewire called it “Most Versatile” and “Best Cleaning Power.” It features deep-clean silverware jets, a third rack to easily clean an entire flatware collection, bottle jets to clean hard-to-reach areas inside tall items, and wash zones to run a true half-load without sacrificing cycles and options.
Stay tuned for our next quick guide for smart kitchen gadgets.
For the last 16 years, Rachel Kinbar has been a writer of articles, blog posts, white papers, essays, infographics, web copy, sales copy, scripts, poetry, lyrics, and more. She has keen research skills that she applies to a wide variety of topics, and she especially loves topics related to design, history, and sustainable living.