Spotlight On… Technology in the KitchenSeptember 27, 2016
Smart homes are becoming more common these days, with thermostats that self-adjust to save money, home security systems that allow us to control our lights, garage doors, and more from anywhere, and appliances that can also be controlled over the internet and will tell us when we need to order more detergent or milk. But although the smart refrigerator is a neat idea, they get talked about more than they actually get used.
But what about our kitchens (apart from a smart fridge)? When the time for kitchen remodeling comes around, should you upgrade your cooking space to the modern, tech-driven world?
Just because we might enjoy a traditional kitchen that hearkens back to the turn of the last century, that doesn’t mean we can’t have it wired up with the latest advances from this century. From easy-access outlets, to docks for our screened devices and charging stations, our kitchens have new jobs they can do for us beyond the old heat-and-serve.
Modern appliances have more advanced functions and iPad docks are taking the space of cookbooks. Small adjustments like these can keep your remodel minor while adding major boosts to functionality. There’s no denying that having your iPad at hand to find recipes or watch videos with cooking instructions is more than handy. At the very least you should consider a functional holder or docking station for a tablet.
Out of the many ways to incorporate tech into your kitchen, one that is most likely to be stay useful from generation to generation of electronics is outlets and charging stations. Aside from simply adding outlets to your kitchen, there have been a few innovations that keep them close to hand, yet out of the way and out of sight. A charging station relies on an outlet, and can be as elaborate as a built-in, or as simple as a dock or repurposed drawer.
These are relatively minor upgrades, but you can get as techie as you like these days. While your tablet may have voice controls in the form of Google or Siri or Cortana, if you really want to go all out you could invest in an Amazon Echo device (that answers to Alexa) that’s always listening. This can find your recipes and play your favorite music by voice control among many other basic functionalities. But with the right equipment (like these for example) it can even go as far as to download the recipe and preparation instructions to a smart oven, turn it on and begin preheating, then let you know when your meat has reached the perfect temperature through an app on your phone.
There are cutting boards that will weigh your ingredients, smart pans that will adjust to the perfect temperature depending on what you’re cooking, and many more options depending on how much you want to spend and what you want to do.
For seasoned chefs this might all be overkill, but you don’t have to go full Jetson’s to find a little more ease in your cooking through technology. After all, we all have both hands going when we cook, and they’re usually wet or covered in something. So having some hands-free options might be a nice addition for you, even if you don’t need your oven to tell you when the roast is done.
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