Some of us aren’t savvy in the kitchen, but none of us are immune to the reality that much of our waking lives revolve around acquiring food and drink. Where, when, and how will our next meal or beverage come to be? Flexibility is key when you’re assembling a home environment that will work to keep your day on track, and optimizing your kitchen is one of the very best places to start. By swapping in modern updates to your older, traditional appliances, you can shave down prep times and gain back valuable minutes you didn’t even know were missing. Some of these smart devices work on timers or communicate via Bluetooth, and others are so versatile that they stand to replace multiple appliances at once, but they’ll all make your life in the kitchen a little easier and a little more fun.
Here are some of our favorite unique kitchen appliances currently on the market.
Best for drinks: Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig
The Drinkworks Home Bar from Keurig is a sleek, one-of-a-kind way to stay in, entertain, and bring the bar to you. Using a system similar to that of Keurig’s well-known, pod-based coffee makers but churning out alcohol instead of espresso, the Drinkworks Home Bar sits neatly on your countertop and delivers up fresh beer, cocktails, and carbonated libations of all sorts with a simple press of a button. Store the separately-sold pods in your fridge, load them into the machine, place your preferred glass below, and hit the button—it’s that easy.
Best for groups: Hamilton Beach Works with Alexa Smart Coffee Maker
Never worry about waiting for your morning joe again—this coffee maker from Hamilton Beach can ensure that you have coffee in your mouth mere seconds after you wake up, if that’s what the day calls for. With its 12-cup capacity and Alexa compatibility, this machine is as fitting a choice for larger families and offices as it is for daily use in any home where busy people live. It remains connected to Wi-Fi even when you’re away, allowing you to control it with your voice from anywhere. Schedule brewing times as well as change the strength of your brew and power on and off without fiddling with buttons, and operate worry-free thanks to its auto-shutoff function.
Best multi-cooker: COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer 5.8-Quart
Air frying may very well be the wave of the future when it comes to compact and healthy cooking methods, thanks largely to a reputation for delivering crispy outer textures and thorough roasting using simple electric power. This air fryer from Cosori is Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible and boasts a spacious 5.8-quart cooking compartment that can easily fit a handful of veggies and a steak or two. It has a sleek black design and a non-stick, front-loading basket with a tapered touch screen for control. Thanks to its app compatibility, you can also set and adjust your cooker remotely if you’re juggling tasks.
Best space-saver: Tasty by Cuisinart One Top Smart Induction Cooktop
This stylish and compact induction cooktop from Cuisinart is the ultimate way to untether yourself from your stove and expand your countertop or any other available workspace in your kitchen into a usable pan-heating area. Designed specifically for ease of use and esthetic pleasure, the Tasty cooktop grants users full control over momentary temperature of pots and pans as well as remote connectivity via phone. The app includes hundreds of recipes, and its precise temperature reading specs allow for employing a wide range of cooking styles from sauté to sous vide.
Best for precision: Etekcity Digital Bluetooth Kitchen Scale
Precise measuring of ingredients is an oft-overlooked step in the kitchen, but it’s essential when it comes to taking granular control of a diet or baking a dish with very specific requirements. Take the guesswork out of judging the contents and weight of your dishes with this Bluetooth-enabled scale from Etekcity that’ll both save time and increase the accuracy of your cooking. Its stainless steel surface is easy on the eyes, and the digital readout pulls from a database of over 250,000 food products to provide an accurate measurement of your ingredients’ fat, vitamin, and caloric content, and then some.
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