You don’t need to be a techno-geek to use these appliances and gadgets.
by Nancy Mattia
Want to make a great pot of coffee from your bedroom? Or you’re not sure if the leftover mashed potatoes sitting in the fridge are still good? Manufacturers have your back with a slew of kitchen products you can program from your smartphone or tablet once you download the apps. “Smart appliances go beyond the call of duty,” says Melody Vaughn, an interior designer who owns Melody Vaughn Interiors in New York. “Not only do they give you the same functionality of a standard appliance but also of the higher-end appliances.” Here are six examples that are genius.
LG InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator
Knock-knock, who’s there? A fridge that illuminates its contents when you knock twice on the door, letting you see if there’s any leftover pie or if you need to buy more orange juice. Besides being a food grazer’s BFF, this smart feature prevents cold air from escaping, which keeps food fresher. “I love the concept and the look,” Vaughn says. This stylish fridge is available in stainless and black stainless.
Pantelligent Intelligent Frying Pan
This is for hesitant cooks who aren’t ever sure if the food is done. The frying pan uses temperature and time sensors to let you know when to turn over the burgers or stir the sauce, and then it tells you when everything is done. The app even has an on-screen tape measure so you can choose the right amount of time to cook meats and fish based on their thickness; you also can indicate your preference for rare, medium or well done. It even has spoken notifications so, if you get sidetracked making, say, a salad, it’ll tell you what’s going on – you’ll never serve overcooked food again.
Mr. Coffee Smart 10-Cup Optimal Brew Coffeemaker
This brilliant countertop appliance lets you schedule brew times from your phone. Just set up the coffee grounds and water ahead of time and then program it so your java will be ready when you want it. “I bought one for a client then bought one for myself,” Vaughn says. “I love making coffee as I’m walking home from the gym!”
Crock Pot Smart 6-Quart Slow Cooker
The beauty of traditional slow cookers is that when you walk through the door at 6:00pm every night after work, dinner’s ready. The downside is that if your schedule changes and you get home later, that chicken dish may have been warming for way too many hours. Technology to the rescue! Crock Pot’s smart appliance not only lets you adjust the cooking time with just a few taps on your phone but the temperature, too – it can even turn the crockpot off. ”And it looks good on the counter,” Vaughn says.
Cuisinart SmarTrack 12-Piece Food Storage Container Set
Anyone who uses the “if it doesn’t smell bad it must be good” testing method to determine if a food is still edible will appreciate Cuisinart’s containers. You log-in food on the app, such as meat, vegetables and soups, put food in the container and you’ll receive alerts when its freshness is about to expire.
Range Digital Thermometer
You’ll never have to try to read a food-splattered oven thermometer again if you have one of these gadgets. Just plug it into your phone to see temperature graphs and instant readouts of the food you’re cooking or grilling. It also sends you sound alerts during the cooking process so you can stay on top of things when you’re busy doing something else. The containers are safe for microwaves, dishwashers and freezers.