Best appliances to smarten up your kitchen in 2019

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It’s 2019 and the future is here. Rather, a version of a once-unimaginable future is happening right in front of our eyes. We use our voice to turn things on and off and we have fun, automated lighting. And, now, more than ever, we have eyes and ears in places we never thought possible.

One area where we spend a majority of our home life is in the kitchen. It’s the central hub for meals and, more often than not, we end up there during parties, too.

If you’re looking to start building out a “smart home” or are maybe interested in a more advanced kitchen, we’re here to help.

What follows is a list of gadgets and gear that we think make for an exciting, practical, and interesting kitchen. Some are items we’ve spent plenty of time with while others might be from brands we trust and respect. Either way, start here if you want to smarten up your kitchen in 2019.

Meater Wireless Meat Thermometer

When it comes to roasting the perfect ham or grilling the perfect steak the key is to get the internal temperature to its sweet spot. The Meater is a digital thermometer that takes the guesswork out of things and tells you exactly what’s going on inside.

Charged in its wooden case, the thermometer pairs via Bluetooth and gives users a real-time look at the internal temps for whatever you’re cooking. Put it in the oven, take out out on the back deck, or pack it up for the park. It’s small, convenient, and really quite helpful.

It’s not just about telling you the temp, either; it also provides you with estimated cooking time and even helps you to better understand the subtleties in preparation between various meals.

We liked the original model but had a few issues with connection breaking over distance. The new version looks to extend things about five times as far.

Google Home Hub

This one might be a bit of a cheat because of its overall versatility but we’re huge fans. Sure, you can put the Home Hub in just about any room of your house, but we find it works exceedingly well in the kitchen.

Whether it’s asking Google to tell us how many ounces are in a quart or setting a timer for 20 minutes, the Assistant comes in handy when it’s on your kitchen counter.

Unlike what you might get in a Google Home or Home Mini, the Home Hub offers up visuals. This is incredibly valuable for finding recipes or watching tutorials on YouTube. Take your time with step-by-step walkthroughs for properly dicing onions or pull up the latest episode of Hot Ones.

Chances are very high that on a given day you will walk into or through the kitchen on your way out of the house. Why not glance at the calendar or see how traffic is as you head for the door?

We also like casting videos from Netflix, YouTube TV, and other apps when cleaning up the kitchen, too. This helps pass the time when we’ve got a bunch of dishes to wash or want to spend just a few more minutes at the kitchen table with dessert.

Lenovo Smart Display

Take all of the stuff we love about the Google Home Hub and turn it up a notch. It’s bigger, louder, and a bit more stylish.

The wood grain back is modern and retro at the same time, making the Smart Display fit with any decor. We started out using ours in the office but ultimately moved it to the kitchen where it gets more daily usage.

Not only do we appreciate having the larger screen (10-inches) and speaker, but we’ve also come to like the front-facing camera. Indeed, it’s fun and convenient to chat over Google Duo with friends and family.

Another key reason to keep devices like these in the kitchen is that it’s a perfect control center for other connected cameras, lights, and speakers. $200 at Lenovo; $150 for 8-inch model

Gourmia Air Fryer

You know what stinks about grease? It stinks. Sadly, too much of the food we consume tends to be fried in oil. Tater tots, hash browns, fries, chicken, and a whole array of foods end up getting tossed in a stinky, messy fryer. An air fryer solves that problem, and addresses other common pain points, too.

We’re fond of the Gourmia GTA2800 Air Fryer particularly because of its size and flexibility. It doesn’t just replace your greasy deep fryer, but it also helps with cakes, popcorn, pizza, and rotisserie chicken.

The front panel has a number of (20) helpful preset options that function much like the popcorn button on your microwave. In other words, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it method that gives users peace of mind. There are, of course, manual controls with time and temperatures, too, so feel free to explore with your recipes.

As if these weren’t reason enough, the Wi-Fi connectivity adds a whole other layer of awesome. Stay out of the kitchen and on the couch, checking on the status of your dinner without missing a moment of True Detective. $280 at Gourmia

GE Kitchen Hub

It’s certainly not the cheapest item on this list, and it might cost more than some of your kitchen appliances. But, don’t let that deter you from considering the GE Kitchen Hub.

Image created by Kitestring.

The GE Kitchen Hub is designed to fit in the space above your oven range and houses both a touch display and a ventilation system. Moreover, it has an overhead camera which can snap pictures of the meals you’re preparing as it happens. Another camera is found on the front which means video calls, checking the front door, and virtual face-to-face interaction.

The Kitchen Hub is enabled by the U+ Connect platform and lets you manage your smart home from one central location. Want to play music? Dim the lights? Start the washer? Brew coffee? All of these are possible, plus myriad other controls.

Like other smart displays and smart speakers, the real fun comes in the way they all work together. To that end, the Kitchen Hub ties into Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Dash Replenishment, Nest Labs, Drop, IFTTT, SideChef, Hestan Cue and Innit. Price starts at $1,200 with availability expected in May 2019.

Smarter WiFi Coffee Maker

Because a day doesn’t officially started until we’ve had our cup of caffeine, this one is near and dear to our heart.

It’s one thing to set an alarm to brew your pot of coffee every morning but what happens when you get up later than normal? Or, maybe you’re super ambitious and get the day going early. The Smarter solution lets you control things from an Android or iOS app, allowing for on-demand brew and at-a-glance view of water.

For those of you who have already gotten started on a smart home, you’re probably using either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Fortunately for you, this coffee maker lets you tie right into your favorite digital aid. What’s more, you can also connect it to IFTTT and have even more fun with integrations.

Choose between bean-to-cup or filtered coffee, selecting desired strength, pre-heating time and between 4-12 number of cups. It’s everything you want or need in a traditional coffee maker, plus the smarts you expect in 2019.

Philips 27-inch Kitchen TV

The 24-inch LCD screen is wrapped by a thin white bezel and a woven gray mesh cloth covers a pair of 8-watt speakers. Minimalistic and stylish, it matches pretty much any decor. Also included are two HDMI ports and a far-field microphone which catches all of your voice commands.

Unlike other smart kitchen displays or tablets available, or on the horizon, the Philips 24-inch Kitchen Android TV can function as a stand-alone device. One can download additional apps via Google Play store, for example, or work with other devices through the HDMI ports.

We’re big fans of the way Google Assistant works with a display; we’re in love with our NVIDIA Shield TV and the Android TV experience. Pairing the two, in the kitchen, seems like a match made in heaven.

It’s not clear how much the Kitchen Android TV will run or when it will be made available. For now it appears that it’s simply a proof of concept or a tease of things to come.

KitchenAid Smart Display

Whirlpool owned KitchenAid is ready to take back their domain from tech giants with its very own smart display. The 10-inch smart display doesn’t share the style or colors you’ve come to expect from KitchenAid’s ever-popular stand mixers, but it does include IPX5 water resistance. A feature that is quite important when you’re working in the kitchen.

What truly makes the KitchenAid smart display stand out from the crowd is the integration with Yummly. With a voice command, you’ll be able to open Yummly, choose a recipe, and get step by step instructions.

If you’re a fan of the Whirlpool-owned service this could be a big deal for you because Yummly will offer personalized recommendations based on your past choices. There is even going to be a Yummy Pro service with a video walkthrough of recipes from celebrity chefs.

Beyond that, the KitchenAid smart display will be like any other Google Assistant smart display on the market –with the ability to show you videos from the web, set timers, play music, control your smart home and more. Should range from $200-$300 when it debuts later in 2019.

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