Every room in your home can be improved with smart gadgets, including the kitchen, where you can use smart home tech to prepare, cook and more to improve the whole experience. Looking at everything from slow cookers to the best smart coffee machine, TechRadar's James Peckham has put together a guide on the best smart home tech for your kitchen so you can upgrade the way you cook and eat.
The best smart coffee machine: Smarter Coffee 2.0
You can buy smart kettles that boil when you press a button in an app, but the Smarter Coffee 2.0 can beat that by making you a whole cup of coffee at the press of a button. It can do that 12 times over before you need to refill it, plus you get to select the strength of your coffee to how you like it.
If you’re clever about it, you can even set it up so that each morning the machine makes you a cup before you wake up – a coffee ready and waiting for you first thing each morning can't be bad. You can even tag geo-locations so it’ll know if you’re on your commute home and start making a cup of coffee when you’re almost there so it’s ready when you open the door.
There’s also Alexa support here, so if you’re connected to a smart speaker – more about that just below – you can ask for a cup of coffee with your voice. Sadly, the machine can only make coffee, but if you can't function in the morning without a cup, it's exactly what you need. You'll never need to use a fiddly machine ever again.
Find more coffee machines, smart or not, in our best of guide.
The best smart speaker for your kitchen: Amazon Echo Show
The Amazon Echo Show is the perfect addition to your kitchen as it lets you play music, watch videos and look up recipes all while your hands are covered in ingredients.
Alexa is built-in here, so you can ask the voice assistant to play your favourite album or radio station while it displays the recipe you’re working on within the screen. You can also ask the assistant to skip to the next step whenever your hands aren’t free.
It’s much like having a static tablet in your kitchen that’s designed for your cooking exploits, but it also has all of the other smart features you get on a normal speaker so you can easily set timers as well as reading your recipe. The audio quality isn’t going to blow you away, but it’s enough needed to see you through serving up masterpieces.
Read our full Amazon Echo show review for more of a reason to purchase one.
The best smart connected scales: Drop scale
You probably didn’t ever expect to buy a smart scale, but if you’re a keen baker you’ll find the Drop Scale to be a great addition to your smart kitchen. Essentially, this gadget will rescale any recipe you want it to depending on how many ingredients you have.
There’s a huge library of recipes within the paired iPhone or iPad app, which you can view and it’ll talk you through the way to do it. It will then edit the recipe depending on what ingredients you have to hand.
Tap on the flour ingredient within the app, measure out everything left in your cupboard onto the scale and if it’s half the amount that’s usually used in recipe it’ll adapt it so you have the right amount of everything else for it to work.
This isn’t a particularly must-have gadget for your kitchen, but if you hate doing mathematical calculations when you’re baking you’ll find this to be the perfect accompaniment that allows you to measure out whatever is in your cupboard and make that recipe quickly and easily. Plus, it’s a pretty good pair of scales for your normal cooking to boot too.
Find more savvy scales in our buyer's guide.
The best cheap must-have kitchen gadget: Amazon Dash button
If you are doing up a kitchen on a budget, these are some of the cheapest smart tools you can install in your kitchen. Plus, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription this can make your shopping even easier than just logging online and ordering what you need to keep your kitchen working.
The Amazon Dash buttons come with different products such as the one below for Finish dishwasher tablets. Place this near your dishwasher, connect it up to your Amazon account and your Wi-Fi, then whenever you’re running low on something you’ll just be able to tap the button and it’ll be ordered immediately.
In the next few days whatever product you’ve tapped on will turn up at your door. If you’re a big Amazon user, this is a useful tool that means you’ll never end up running out of what you need ever again. Be warned if you have kids though, you may spend more time cancelling orders as young ones do love pressing these buttons and don’t often pay for what they’ve bought.
The best cooking gadget: Crock-Pot Wemo smart slow cooker
Smart cooking equipment can vary in its practicality, but we’ve chosen this slow cooker as it’s a useful way to set up your dinner to cook throughout the day so you can return home to a meal ready to serve as soon as you walk in the door.
Working much like a normal slow cooker, it has three different heat settings and also connects to your smartphone so you can play with the temperature and cooking modes even when you’re at work or away from home.
If you have a recipe to follow that won’t take the whole day, you can put everything into the slow cooker ready to go and mid-way through the day hit the switch in the app and be safe in the knowledge your dinner has just started cooking.
The app is particularly useful to turn the cooker off – or at least down – if you don’t think you’re going to be home in time for dinner.
Find more slow cookers in our guide.