Modern-Day Kitchens are the Heart of Every Home, But They're Also Becoming its Technological Hub
Today's kitchens serve a vital role in every home. Not only are they where the main meals are prepared and served, but they are the central axis around which the rest of the house revolves.
A meeting spot for family members heading out or returning home. A congregation point for friends and visitors. A hub for the most cutting-edge technology in the home.
If you're surprised by that last point, you haven't perused the latest appliances or kitchen gadgets. Kitchens have certainly evolved since their earliest days as a walled-in room serving a singular purpose, and appliance and technology companies are pushing the kitchen's place within the home even further.
Whether taking advantage of AI or our app-crazed society, they're banking on the idea that a connected kitchen is the best kitchen.
But kitchen technology isn't just about slapping the word “smart” on everything—although that certainly helps. Some of the most useful tech in today's kitchens are cutting-edge and practical.
So, let's take a tour of the modern-day heart of the home and explore seven of the best pieces of home technology for your kitchen.
The Smartest Appliance of All
We start our foray into kitchen tech with one of the most significant pieces of “wow” you could ever own—a smart refrigerator.
If you've seen these grand appliances on a display floor, you probably asked yourself “just how useful can this be?” The answer is “far more than you imagine.” For example, consider the fridge that many believe is the best of this expanding line—the Samsung Family Hub.
It's a streaming music player, a digital photo display, a virtual white or bulletin board, and a window inside your fridge—without opening the door. And that's before you access its numerous available apps. You can find recipes, create shopping lists or, better yet, actually shop for groceries and have them delivered, or order take-out and have that delivered.
And when deliveries arrive, the Samsung fridge links up with your Ring doorbell so you can see and speak with the delivery-person (or anyone else that shows up) directly from the fridge screen.
The fridge is flexible too, with three- and four-door French door versions, a side-by-side version, and a flex option that lets you adjust temperature zones.
There are other smart fridges on the market. LG and GE both produce intelligent refrigerators; the latter even has a built-in K-Cup machine! But there is nothing quite like the Family Hub.
A Heads-Up Assistant
GE might trail Samsung in the field of high IQ refrigeration, but they do produce an impressive kitchen hub of their own.
The GE Profile Kitchen Hub is a range hood with a 27-inch display screen and forward- and down-facing cameras built into it.
The first two features come with obvious implications—video chatting, recipe and cooking videos, and streaming TV and music capabilities. Yes, you can binge your favorite Netflix show while you prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The downward camera provides a birds-eye view of what's happening on the stove, which is surprisingly effective if there's more than one pot boiling at a time.
Future models will feature a microwave hidden behind the screen, along with a third camera focused on food monitoring. GE's Hub, as well as the Samsung fridge, signal a move to make the kitchen equal parts food prep and entertainment space.
Cooking With Science
Even if you've never heard of the phrase “sous vide,” there's a good chance you've tasted something that resulted from this long-standing method of slow-cooking.
Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French. A longtime staple in many fine dining establishments, sous vide cooks food uniformly according to your preferred level of doneness.
The process itself is relatively simple. Food, most often a protein, is sealed into a bag with all of the air removed. You then immerse it into a circulating water bath where the temperature stays constant throughout the cooking process. Once completed the food is then "finished" with a short sear or grill to produce its final outer texture.
That level of perfection is now readily available at home through a growing number of affordable precision cookers. Anova and Joule are two of the most popular.