In today’s busy world, sometimes a little tech can be a big help, and in your kitchen is no exception. Here are some easy ways that technology can make your life a little easier in the kitchen.
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When designing a kitchen, tech is an often overlooked feature that can really expand the functionality of the hub of your home. Face it, the kitchen is usually the family gathering point first thing in the morning and throughout the day. If a little tech can make organizing family life and food prep a little easier, we say, bring it on.
The month of June, for Practical Home, is all about how adding technology in our design can help us use our spaces more efficiently and also make them work for us. Today we focus on easy updates you can make now. Next week we will discuss How to Incorporate Tech Into Your Kitchen Remodel.
1. A Smart Device
The most obvious, and easiest, way to add tech to your kitchen is with a smart device, such as the Amazon Echo. Most of us already have them in our homes, but did you know that it can help you in the kitchen as well? Not only can you ask it for the weather as you are running out the door, but you can also ask it how many ounces are in a cup. If you have the Echo in other rooms, you can even have Alexa announce that dinner is ready.
In addition to the standard features, there are also over 100 additional kitchen skills that you can enable to make Echo even more functional. Here are some of the most helpful:
OurGroceries: This skill pairs with an app on your phone so that you can easily add to your grocery list as you are pulling the last of the milk out of the fridge. The best part is that you can sync your list among multiple devices. This allows you to pull up your list at the grocery store and mark of items purchased so they will not be duplicated by other family members.
Kitchen Sink: Have an ingredient that is about to go bad? Enable this skill to give you recipe ideas.
Kitchen Scale: This skill gives you the weight of common ingredients.
2. Smart Lighting
Need help with the lights while you are carrying in groceries or want to dim them for a late night snack? This Smart Light Starter Kit from Philips will get you started. Easily switch out your current bulbs, then download their app or pair with Amazon Alexa to give you control over your lighting without the wiring. We love how you can also change the temperature and color of your lighting to fit any mood. Other bulb types available here.
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3. Robot That Sweeps and Mops
After I’m done cooking, sweeping and mopping is the last thing I want to do. This little gadget helps by doing both. Reviewers say that it works best to set nightly and wake to clean floors by morning. That is my kind of housework.
4. Home Command Central
If you want to get real fancy, this little device nearly does it all. Look up your favorite recipes or play step-by-step cooking videos. Stream audio books, music, podcasts, or movies while you cook. Catch up with the morning news at your breakfast counter. Set timers, add to your shopping list, see calendars, or make video calls. If you have other smart devices set up, you can even control your lighting, thermostat, and talk to your front door camera, all while your hands are covered in cookie dough.
5. Touchless Faucet
Speaking of that cookie dough, this touchless faucet will do the trick. It has two sensors, on the top and front, to turn on the faucet without getting dough on the handle. Great for those messy moments or those needing a helping hand (It is ADA compliant!).
6. Food Monitor
This little thermometer keeps an eye on the oven or grill and notifies you via phone app when it is done. Cook from the comfort of your couch or while you are putting in another load of laundry.
7. Protect your Device
Want to use your tablet in the kitchen for recipes, but afraid of the mess? This little stand and stylus takes away the worries. The stand holds the tablet above any spills, while the stylus is easily washable so your sticky fingers stay off the screen.
8. Smart Coffee
For those of us that are serious about our brew, this coffee maker allows you to control brewing temperature, pre-soak time, and altitude from your phone or Alexa. You can also save your favorite brewing settings for your perfect cup every time. It will even re-order coffee when you are running low.
9. Smart Scale with Recipe App
This little scale not only measures, but using the app, walks you step-by-step through hundreds of recipes. It allows you to scale any recipe by ingredient and gives you simple ingredient substitutions. If you are serious about cooking, this smart scale just might make life a little easier.
10. Touchless Trash Can
Want to go beyond a foot peddle, but still be able to open your trash can hands free? This iTouchless trash can may be just the thing. Sleek and easy to clean, it opens with just a wave of your hand.
These are just a few of the ways that tech can improve our lives in the kitchen without a lot of set-up or reworking. Read on next week for Incorporating Tech Into Your Kitchen Remodel where we will discuss more permanent ways that tech can be incorporated.