Tech journalist, Mark Kavanagh, on how some of the most exciting home tech in recent years has been developed for the kitchen.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already transforming the way we live and carry on with our daily lives. It is estimated that by 2020, 25 billion smart household appliances including those in the kitchen will be connected to the web.
As well as giving us the ability to control all of these devices directly from our smartphones or tablets no matter where in the world we may be, the smarts in these machines has other benefits. Appliances can now look after grocery ordering automatically, manage your kitchen inventory, monitor both smoke and carbon monoxide — and alert you instantly to problems.
Automated pressure cookers and digital thermometers are among the essential new toys in modern homes. Smart refrigerators can keep an eye on expiration dates and advise you when you should be tossing food cartons and leftovers into the bin. Voice-activated tools will be useful if your hands are covered in flour or measuring ingredients. They can dictate recipes from your favourite food bloggers.
And whether you’re converting ounces to grams or deciphering a new recipe, smart-talking gadgets are becoming the new sous chefs. New cookers and hobs developed for home use are now so intelligent they can enable any and all of us to become a Michelin star chef. You can monitor, preheat, and adjust the temperature of your food from your computer or mobile device.
Here are three Siemens-manufactured kitchen cooking appliances that have the on-board tech to transform your life.
Siemens iQ700 (HB676GBS6B) is a black, built-in, multi-function single oven. It has a TFT touch display with user-friendly menu navigation and a bright display.
The oven is swift to heat up and spreads heat very evenly throughout. It has an excellent grill too that browns food evenly. One of this stylish-looking machine’s biggest plus points is its pyrolytic cleaning function. This means you should never have to scrub off burnt-on cooking spills inside the oven. Instead, you simply wipe down and sweep out any ashes left after the super-heating cycle.
Another big plus point is that the oven can be controlled and monitored remotely via a free app on a smartphone or tablet. Siemens’ Home Connect App comes with an array of delicious recipes. Once you have picked your favourite, you can transfer the ideal settings directly to your oven and even remotely start and end the heating process. So you get convenient cooking and delicious meals.
You can also use Home Connect to control and monitor the Siemens iQ700 Oven with Microwave (HM678G4S6B) which features a built-in steamer and a roasting sensor.
Steaming is my favourite method of cooking as it retains the most nutrients. And by combining the integrated microwave with such conventional heating methods, you can speed up the cooking time – and still achieve the same high quality results. Again you can choose recipes and transfer the ideal settings to the oven.
For an induction hob, you cannot go wrong with the 90cm-sized Siemens iQ700 induction hob (EX975LVV1E).
This has some amazing tech on board. It has an extra-large cooking surface that enables you to use tailored cooking zones. This means you can place your cookware wherever you want on the flex induction cooking zone. The intuitive controls mean you can switch between three different heating temperatures just by moving the pan. And a frying sensor means you can keep the desired pan temperature automatically after heating up. No more burned bacon or sausages.
The Home Connect App also works seamlessly with the hob. As well as being able to stop and start the heating process, the app gives you control of the hood using WiFi and allows you to run timers on all zones. These three products are not just cooking machines, they are virtual kitchen assistants designed to make you a better chef who makes the most use of their time.
Mark Kavanagh is the Chief Sub Editor of the Irish Daily Star.