Easy Upgrades for a Smarter Kitchen
Looking for ways to make your kitchen smarter and more user-friendly? Here are a few high-tech upgrades to turn your kitchen into a state-of-the-art hub for your home.
Nix unsightly cords and be free from the limits they impose by going with helpful innovative features for faucets, lighting and small appliances that operate on batteries.
Touch-activated faucets: Say goodbye to fingerprints with these faucets activated by touching the spout or handle with your forearm or wrist. Some more advanced models include an LED light that changes color to indicate water temperature or low battery power.
Wireless task lights: Streamline work zones by illuminating them without the hassle of power cords. Some easy-to-install lighting systems, with their self-adhesive base or screws, are perfect for mounting under kitchen cabinets. There are others that automatically turn off after 30 minutes to help extend battery life. In addition, since battery-powered pendants and wall sconces are able to be installed without an electrician, they allow homeowners more freedom and flexibility than traditional corded options.
Battery-operated kitchen utensils: Unleash yourself from cords and electrical outlets with battery-powered whisks, salt and pepper grinders, egg beaters, blenders, food choppers, handheld milk frothers (cappuccino, baby!), kitchen timers, and digital food scales. Not only do these simplify repetitive tasks, they allow you to conduct your food prep anywhere you like.
Over the years, refrigerators have evolved from simply keeping food cold to serving as digital tools for the entire household. They now incorporate built-in TV screens, streaming services, virtual voice assistants, and Wi-Fi connections to display photos, timer functions, or look up recipes. Some models now have detachable screens that make recipes portable while cooking, and are tied to mobile apps that allow you to check the contents of your refrigerator remotely while grocery shopping.
The inside of refrigerators have changed quite a bit as well. From independent temperature controls for individual compartments, to door-in-door compartments providing easy access to condiments, the end result is fresher food for longer periods of time. Also, in addition to ice makers and cold-water dispensers, many new models feature coveted hot-water dispensers for instant tea or hot cocoa enjoyment.
Faucets & Dishwashers
Kitchen faucets: These workhorse products we use every single day have been upgraded with improved technology to safeguard our health. For instance, there are now faucets featuring integrated filtration systems that work to keep fresh filtered water available on demand. Also, new motion-activated faucets not only conserve water but also boost hygiene, while new and improved soap pumps on the market automatically dispense liquid soap when a hand draws near.
Dishwashers: While dishwashers continue to get quieter, they also feature customizable designs like adjustable racks and third-level racks. Half-load settings reduce water waste, and automatic soil sensors adjust water levels and cycle length based on what is being washed and how soiled it is. Some more advanced models can even self-diagnose service problems.
Ranges, Ovens & Cooktops
When it comes to ranges, ovens and cooktops, the focus has been on accelerating cooking times without draining energy or affecting quality. Like refrigerators, many now use Wi-Fi to store recipes, offer cooking tips and to automatically preheat and set timers. Advanced models feature smartphone apps for checking oven temps or timers remotely.
In addition, through the use of internal sensors, it is now common for modern microwave ovens to adjust cook times automatically. One smart over-the-range microwave even has a popcorn setting with a sound sensor to measure time between pops to save you from the dreaded burned popcorn.
Not to be left out, induction cooktops now have the technology to not only recognize the size, shape and position of cookware on its surface, but to transfer programmed settings to the next location.