The Key Components of a Smart Kitchen You Need to Know

A smart kitchen is a modern kitchen that uses smart devices and Wi-Fi enabled kitchen appliances to streamline the cooking experience. Smart kitchens focus on healthy cooking practices as well as automating the cooking process. The purpose of s smart kitchen is to improve the efficiency of cooking, reducing the time you need to spend watching over your food as it cooks. Smart kitchens are tailor-made for your specific cooking needs. Below are some must-have appliances and kitchen designs that will bring your kitchen into the modern era of cooking.

Must-Have Appliances

Wi-Fi Enabled Devices

While a regular refrigerator or oven will work fine, by investing in appliances that are designed with a Wi-Fi connection, you are investing in a kitchen that has interconnectivity. You can control Wi-Fi enabled kitchen appliances with your phone, streamlining all of your cooking with the touch of a button. Kitchen appliances that are currently being designed with a Wi-Fi connection include refrigerators, ovens, coffeemakers, and stovetops. Wi-Fi connected smart appliances are longer lasting than non-Wi-Fi enabled devices. With a Wi-Fi connection, the manufacturer can send software updates to improve your device. They can compile data on how well your device performs. Manufacturers can troubleshoot problems as they arise, rather than requiring you to call a repairman. Most smart devices have Wi-Fi connectivity, which leads to a high warranty period while requiring little maintenance. Wi-Fi connectivity can also allow you to search for recipes on the spot.

Smart Refrigerator

Smart refrigerators are designed with Wi-Fi connectivity and touch screens. Some feature the ability to look for recipes or order more food through local or big brand delivery services. Additionally, the touch screen can allow you to observe the unit’s internal temperature. This allows you to adjust the temperature as desired. Some also have a built-in coffee maker, which saves you space and time. Smart refrigerators tend to be bigger than refrigerator models from ten years ago, however, a kitchen remodel would need to include reconfiguring your kitchen to fit your new fridge. A smart refrigerator will be useful because you can program its functions and settings using the touchscreen or an accompanying app. These are a common appliance found in smart kitchens.

An Air Fryer

Air fryers allow you to fry your food while using little to no oil. Rather than using oil to fry your food, the air fryer crisps food by circulating hot air around it. It is not only a healthier alternative to oil frying but also it does not require you to be present for the cooking process. With a Wi-Fi connected air fryer, you can control your food’s cook time from anywhere else in your home using an app. Like a crockpot or rice cooker, air fryers are often programmable, capable of cooking food such as popcorn, French fries, and steamed vegetables – all without the empty calories that come with traditional frying methods. Air fryers are becoming a staple appliance in smart kitchens due to their healthier cooking methods as well as the air fryer’s ease of use. They are a low hassle and can cook a multitude of recipes.

A Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is an artificially intelligent software that can be interacted with to complete commands or answer questions. Some common examples include Amazon Echo and Google Home. A virtual assistant lies at the heart of a smart kitchen because they can connect to and coordinate all of your appliances. You can link virtual assistants to the other Wi-Fi enabled devices in your home. Many companies offer speakers that allow you to verbally interact with virtual assistants.

So, if your oven has Wi-Fi connectivity, you can command your virtual assistant to assist you in the cooking process. For example, you can ask your virtual assistant, “set the oven to preheat at 350 degrees.” You can also ask your assistant to set a timer, convert a measurement, or provide recipe substitutes. Additionally, you can use your virtual assistant to play music or to text someone – all while you’re still cooking. A virtual assistant ties all of your devices together and is the key to streamlining your kitchen experience. Virtual assistants are a hands-free alternative to using your smartphone to run your smart kitchen.

A Tablet

A tablet is a very kitchen-friendly smart device. You can use a tablet to watch a step-by-step recipe video or you can use it to read a recipe. You can also use it to video chat with friends or family so that you can cook while staying in contact with loved ones. Tablets are an alternative to using a virtual assistant because they can do everything that a smart assistant does. However, not all tablets are capable of responding to verbal requests.  But their large screen makes searching questions and reading responses very easy to do.

You can build a tablet mount into your backsplash or you can hang a tablet mount from the underside of a cabinet. This will make your tablet eye-level, preventing you from having to crane your neck and look down every time you want to use your tablet while cooking. A hanging mount keeps your tablet away from food and it clears more space for you to cook. Tablets and virtual assistants have similar price points.  Ultimately the choice comes down to how you run your kitchen: either you work with your smart devices by interacting with apps, or you program your smart devices through verbal commands with a virtual assistant. Either a tablet or a virtual assistant will be necessary to command your smart kitchen.

The Remodel

For decades, people considered the living room the focal point of a home’s design.  Smaller closed off kitchens were typically hidden in the back of the home.  Today, however, designers have realized how integral the kitchen is to family life. Kitchens are the hub of home activity. Modern kitchens are open in their design, with few – if any – walls between the kitchen and the rest of the home. Many modern designs combine the kitchen and living room into one large room. Keep this in mind as you design your smart kitchen remodel. In addition to installing new appliances, there are other kitchen remodel aspects that you will need to consider while designing your smart kitchen.

Programmable Lights

Many lighting systems now come with an app, so you can control all of your kitchen’s lighting with the touch of a button or through your virtual assistant. Installing programmable LED lights will allow you to dim or alter the color of your kitchen’s lighting. This will save you plenty of money and power. At the end of the day, you can turn off the kitchen lighting from the comfort of your bed. If you have a young child that is afraid of the dark, then you can turn the light on for them via an app, without having to escort them to the kitchen yourself. A virtual assistant will also be capable of syncing with your lighting system. If you ever worry about leaving lights on while away from your home, app-connected lights will provide you peace of mind. Keep reading here for information on LED lighting in your kitchen and in your home.

Hidden Surge Protectors

The downside to using many smart appliances is the need for multiple outlets. If you install a tiled backsplash along a kitchen wall, then you do not want to ruin the pattern by installing outlet covers in the middle of the backsplash. Since smart kitchens focus on improving efficiency, install a surge protector instead of simply installing a two-outlet cover. You can install a surge protector on the underside of some cabinets.  That hides it from view and keeps your kitchen looking clean and tidy. However, you will have over eight outlets at your disposal to power appliances with. Note that surge protectors and power strips are two different types of power suppliers.

A power strip is a multi-socket electrical strip that has a single cable that powers the unit. The problem with power strips is that they have few – if any – protections. Surge protectors function similarly to power strips in that they also offer multiple sockets. However, surge protectors are designed to prevent voltage spikes from affecting the appliances plugged into the sockets. Additionally, surge protectors have an on/off switch, so they are capable of saving power in ways that many multi plugs cannot. A surge protector will allow you to work with multiple appliances at once, without having to install numerous sockets. Additionally, they can prevent your appliances from becoming damaged during a power surge. Installing a hidden surge protector in your kitchen will help declutter your countertop.  It will also help you save energy and money.

The design of the smart kitchen should keep your needs in mind. Smart kitchens are efficient yet healthy, with many smart kitchen appliances designed to cook food in a healthier manner. The key to a well-designed smart kitchen is to invest in Wi-Fi enabled devices that one master device can control.  They can be controlled either by a smartphone or tablet or by using a virtual assistant. A smart kitchen will save you time and money.  It allows you to spend more time with your family while your food safely cooks.

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