The Best Smart Appliances for Your Kitchen
We’ve always been fans of classic, Luddite kitchen gear. Cast-iron skillets. Japanese chef’s knives. Pour-over coffee makers. But just because we enjoy some old-school kitchen tools doesn’t mean we can’t also appreciate the latest technology available in the vast world of kitchen appliances. There is an ever-growing number of smart appliances for the kitchen now, all of which are aimed at making your life easier. Want to spend less time cooking and cleaning and more time relaxing? Then read on.
What Is a Smart Appliance?
The term “smart appliance” is a loose definition, that means different things to different manufacturers. For example, you’ll come across some “smart” appliances that don’t feature any sort of connectivity, but rather tout some form of intelligent function — maybe an automatically-adjusting cook time, or something along those lines.
That’s all well and good, but for the purposes of this guide, we’re using the more common definition that requires a smart appliance to be able to connect to the Internet of Things, allowing some level of control via a smartphone or virtual assistant. This better fits the more common definition of a smart home device, and it further supports the true purpose of these appliances: making our lives in the kitchen easier.
The Best Smart Kitchen Appliances
LG Studio Top Control Smart Dishwasher
LG, maker of some of the best OLED TVs and electronics around, is also at the forefront of smart appliances. The brand offers a wide range of connected home gadgets, but the standout is its line of smart dishwashers. This one, from the ultra-stylish LG Studio line, is equipped with WiFi that communicates with LG’s ThinQ app, allowing you to monitor cycles, receive maintenance notifications and check in on your dishwasher via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Naturally, it’s also awesome at cleaning dishes, with the quiet and energy-efficient QuadWash system utilizing four sprayer arms to make short work of your dirty dishes.
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
LG’s chief rival and fellow Korean electronics giant Samsung is also a major player in the smart appliances market, offering up competing products in basically every category. Out of all their smart home offerings, Samsung’s family of Family Hub Refrigerators is most impressive. These fridges, which come in a wide range of options depending on your needs (multiple door and freezer setups, ice/water makers, different sizes, etc.) all boast WiFi connectivity and a massive full-color touchscreen on the door. The fridges can do all sorts of things, like automatically recognize the food inside them to provide you with recipes and shopping lists. You can also monitor your fridge and control its temperature remotely with your phone or through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings.
GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
A dedicated countertop ice maker is a luxury to begin with, but one with WiFi? Well, now you’re just showing off. And while this may seem at first glance like an unnecessary product, it’s developed a cult following on the back of thousands of glowing reviews. You can control the ice maker and schedule its production through GE’s SmartHQ app or voice control through a paired Alexa or Google device, making it super easy to plan your next party. The Opal 2.0 produces uniform nugget ice that improves any drink it goes into, and it’s capable of churning out a pound of ice every hour.
Panasonic NN-SV79MS Smart Inverter Countertop Microwave
When the first smart microwaves debuted a few years ago, they were roundly mocked. But given how inconsistent microwave ovens can be when it comes to cooking, doesn’t it make sense to get one that takes care of the guesswork for you? Panasonic’s industry-leading smart microwave pairs with your Alexa device and recognizes over 100 voice commands. So when you tell it to melt butter or reheat a cup of coffee, it adjusts time and temperature accordingly, so you don’t have to do anything but put your food in and take it out when it’s done.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
Calling Breville’s Joule Oven a toaster oven is a bit of a disservice, as it does much more than your average countertop cooking appliance. The flagship of Breville’s Smart Oven line (and the only one with WiFi capabilities), Joule boasts an Autopilot feature that automatically handles every step of a recipe for a number of food types by automatically adjusting cooking modes and controlling temperature in its six independent quartz heating elements. You can monitor all of this action through a dedicated app, or control everything by voice by pairing with an Alexa or Google device.
Instant Pot Pro Plus
The hype around Instant Pots may have cooled down from the feverish heights reached a few years back, but they’re still an extremely useful tool in any kitchen. The Instant Pot Pro Plus is the best one you can get (it’s currently Amazon’s best-selling pressure cooker), and that’s thanks in no small part to its connected capabilities. This 10-in-1 pressure cooker also functions as a steamer, rice cooker, and more, and you can easily manage all of its many settings in the Instant Brands Connect app, which also gives you access to over 1,900 smart recipes. Plus, quite ingeniously, the app allows you to release steam directly from your phone, meaning no more burned hands!
Anova Precision Cooker Nano
If you haven’t cooked using the sous vide method, then you’re missing out. Sous vide is the process of cooking food at a precise temperature in a water bath, and it results in food that’s cooked to perfection — particularly meats. Anova is a leader in the space, and its Precision Cooker Nano device provides all the functionality of the brand’s larger cookers in a smaller package. The Nano communicates with your phone in the Anova app, allowing you to set timers and temperatures, and will alert you when your temperature is reached and your time is up. Our tester has found that it’s a breeze to use and results in perfectly tender meat every time — especially turkey at Thanksgiving.
Cosori Pro II Smart Air Fryer
Like Instant Pots, air fryers seem to have completed their hype cycle, but also like Instant Pots, they’re still plenty capable of churning out tasty food with minimum effort. And Cosori’s Pro II Smart Air Fryer is arguably the easiest of them all. Through either the VeSync app or voice control via Alexa or Google, you can control this WiFi-enabled air fryer remotely, check the status of your meal and more. The air fryer also features a scan-to-cook feature that lets you scan frozen foods with your phone to receive simple cooking instructions for air frying them.
De’Longhi Dinamica Plus
If you’re the type of espresso enthusiast who’s all about manual machines and pulling the perfect shot, then this may not be the espresso machine for you. But if you just want a lot of drink options and super easy ways to make them, then this machine from De’Longhi — one of the biggest names in espresso — is definitely for you. Not only does this machine feature everything you’d expect in a fully automatic espresso machine, like a built-in burr grinder and milk frother, but it also boasts 16 specialty drink recipes on tap. But if none of those are quite to your liking, then you can create your own drink via Bluetooth in the De’Longhi Coffee Link app, adjusting variables like strength, coffee amount, milk amount and temperature until you get your perfect drink, which you can then save to one of three custom profiles.
Atomi Smart Coffee Maker
Pour-over and espresso are most coffee nerds’ preferred methods for getting their caffeine mix, but it’s tough to beat a good old-fashioned drip coffee maker when it comes to making coffee for a crowd. Having said that, there’s nothing “old fashioned” about the Atomi Smart Coffee Maker. WiFi-enabled, this coffee maker — which also houses a built-in burr grinder — allows you all sorts of control via the Atomi app or by using your voice with Alexa or Google Assistant. You can schedule your grinds and brews for the week, receive notifications when your coffee is ready, change your brew strength, warm up old coffee and more, all without touching the machine.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from a 12-cup drip coffee maker is this pod-based single-serve coffee maker. Debuting in 2022, Bruvi is unlike most coffee pod machines in that it actually makes great coffee (plus, you can throw the pods away as they’re designed to break down quickly in a landfill). Our tester found that Bruvi excels at making regular coffee and makes passable cold brew and espresso, and its WiFi abilities offer lots of potential. In the Bruvi app, you can schedule your brew to occur at a certain time and day, track which coffees you’ve brewed before (and when), and order more pods when you’re running low.
Read our full Bruvi review here.
There’s a growing segment of great smart countertop ovens out there — June Oven and the Anova Precision Oven come to mind — but Brava remains the cream of the crop. That’s due in large part to its proprietary cooking technology that utilizes six focused lamps in three separate zones that allow for an unfathomably wide range of precisely cooked meals. You can cook multiple foods at different temperatures simultaneously, fry eggs, sear steaks — you name it — all with no preheating or cooling down. Its cooking prowess makes it a great oven, but what makes Brava a great smart oven is its WiFi-connected app that allows you to choose from over 6,000 recipes and follow your meal’s progress on your phone by viewing a livestreaming video of the meal cooking from inside the oven.
Bosch Benchmark Induction Cooktop
With gas stoves coming under fire lately, there’s no better time to get an induction cooktop. And if you’re going to make the upgrade, you might as well go for the most technologically-advanced one you can get. Bosch’s Benchmark Induction Cooktop features five cooking zones and 17 touch-controlled power settings, allowing you faster and more precise cooks than what you’re used to. It’s also equipped with Bosch’s Home Connect Wi-Fi, giving you control via Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to do things like turn off your cooktop remotely (hello, peace of mind!) and pairing your cooktop to one of Bosch’s Home Connect Range Hoods for an automatic and seamless stovetop cooking experience.
GE Profile 30″ Smart Built-In Convection Single Wall Oven with In-Oven Camera
Smart countertop ovens are pretty great, but their obvious shortcoming is their small size — after all, they have to fit on top of a counter. GE Profile invites you to go big or go home with its full-sized smart built-in wall oven that functions similarly to our favorite smart countertop ovens but on a much grander scale. This 30″ oven utilizes European-style convection heat for even cooking, and features additional settings for air frying, dehydrating and more. Best of all, the oven’s WiFi connectivity syncs with the SmartHQ app to let you do things like start your preheating from the grocery store, receive notifications about your oven’s status, and, like with Brava, view a livestream of whatever you’re cooking thanks to the in-oven camera.