While our technology has grown by leaps and bounds, one thing doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon: we all need to eat.
While you could try your hand it some future food options (like Soylent), it’s likely most people still want to eat their meat, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. But just because you’re still eating the same food our ancestors did, doesn’t mean you have to make it the same way.
Kitchen technology just keeps getting smarter and smarter. In this article I’ll be looking at some of the coolest kitchen gadgets that are either already available to buy or soon will be. In their own way each of these five futuristic food machines will make your food better and your life easier.
If you can get over the dumb play on the word “smartypants” the Smartypans idea is a very smart one indeed. Hey, maybe they deserve to be a little smug.
How it works is simple in principle. The pan has a weight and temperature sensor. It also has a lithium battery in the handle and a Bluetooth chip to connect to an app on your phone. To use it you pick a recipe from their database and then follow the step-by-step instructions.
The pan weighs the ingredients as you put them into the pan and known how hot and how long each stage should be. The end result is that you get better-cooked food. You also don’t have to handle your phone while you cook, since it works with voice commands.
Even better, it also calculates the nutritional and caloric content of your food as you make the meal and can send that info straight to your Fitbit.
2. Zera Food Recycler
This is a very cool idea that was shown off at the 2017 CES. It’s a machine from a company called Zera that will take all your food scraps and process it into fertilizer that you can use on your home garden.
According to the company food waste makes up 20% of the space on landfills, which means that if every person recycled and reused their own food waste they’d make a big difference to the wastage problems of the world. Not only that, if you use that fertilizer to grow more food you’ll save on your food bill as well. Cutting organics waste from your trash will also eliminate the nasty odor and disease potential of rotting food.
The Zera is available for preorder at a rather hefty $1200, not including the $100 a year for the special additive it needs to do the recycling, but if you’re all about the environment you may be the early adopter that they are looking for.
3. Samsung Family Hub 2.0
Internet-connected fridges are the classic joke item when people talk about the internet-of-things revolution, but if you actually take the time to look at what Samsung’s latest smart fridge does it all begins to make sense.
The Family Hub 2.0 as it’s called, is a beast of a machine and looks great. Importantly, you can get the Family Hub 2.0 technology in a range of different fridge styles now, so I guess enough people bought these to make it worth expanding the product line.
Of all the items on this list, I think this is the most appealing to people who just like gadgets in general.
4. Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Wi-Fi
The sous-vide craze is in full swing and hipsters all over the word are stuffing their meat in bags and cooking it over hours with sophisticated temperature controllers. Apparently meat made this way is out of this world, but you have to commit to the money and effort to get those results.
The Anova is a WiFi-enabled sous-vide cooker that tries to make the process a little easier for the average person. All you do is attach it to any pot, pick the time and temperature, put the meat in a special bag, and then cook it in water.
As far as I can tell the Anova is the simplest sous-vide cooking solution on the market.
5. June Intelligent Oven
If sous-vide is just too out there for you, then maybe something a little more traditional will do the trick. You don’t get much more traditional than an oven, but this intelligent oven from June is not your 1950s roaster.
On an electromechanical level this is a pretty impressive machine. It uses carbon fiber heating elements, has two adaptive convection fans, a digital scale and a high-precision thermometer.
The “special sauce” comes in the form of the June Food ID system that can tell what sort of food you want to cook. There are just over 50 cooking programs built into the oven and it can be updated. As with all the other gadgets we’ve looked at here, there’s a companion app, but if you’re on Android you may be out of luck, since the site only mentions iOS.
You’d have a hard time finding a person who just hates food. Everyone likes a delicious meal. But almost no one wants to go through the effort of making it in the first place. With a new generation of kitchen gadgets such as these it won’t be long before just about anyone can make 5-star grub without spending years in chef school.
It is a pity that smart kitchen gadgets are so expensive though, but the prices are sure to come down as they become more mainstream. The next step is of course a fully-automated robotic kitchen, but that may still be a long way off, even for the richest food fans.