Mar 13, 2019

Learn Which Smart Kitchen Appliances Can Improve Your Health

Appliances have come a long way over the years and now with smart kitchen appliances you can even preheat your oven while you’re heading home. Smart kitchen appliances typically come with a heftier price tag, but some can also offer health benefits which overtime could outweigh the increased cost. Read on to find out which smart kitchen appliances can help improve health.

What is a Smart Kitchen Appliance?
According to Home Advisor, a smart appliance is specialized equipment using technology to think for itself. Smart kitchen appliances combine technology with traditional appliances and may do things such as preheat your oven from an app, keep track of your grocery list and text you while you’re at the store, and adjust cooking times and temperatures if you get stuck at work.

How Can Smart Kitchen Appliances Help Improve Health?
Some smart kitchen appliances could have more benefits than just convenience. By allowing you to replace time spent searching for recipes and meal planning with exercising, spending time with family and friends, and doing other good-for-you-activities, certain smart kitchen appliances could help save on health care costs – a long-term win.

Which Smart Kitchen Appliances Can Help Improve Health?
Refrigerator – Yes (for the over-scheduled recipe searcher and meal planner)Smart refrigerator
Smart refrigerators offer a wide range of potential health benefits. They can keep your shopping list up-to-date and ensure you don’t forget your fruits and vegetables (whether fresh, canned or frozen). They can set expiration notifications, search recipes and plan meals based on what you already have which reduces food waste and leads to less money and time spent grocery shopping. Lastly, they can allow you to see the contents of your fridge via an app to remind you of what you have and what you need. The best option right now seems to be the Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator. Its “View Inside” cameras let you view the contents inside your fridge from your smartphone, and an item’s expiration dates can be automatically tagged, eliminating the time (and memory) required to check dates yourself.  It even has a Meal Planner app which offers customized recipes based on pre-set dietary preferences and restrictions. What’s also cool is that, through “The Deals” app you can get coupons saved directly to your Family Hub’s Shopping List, link coupons/deals to your smartphone, or digitally “clip” them to loyalty cards including ShopRite, InstaCart, FreshDirect, Amazon and more. For Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Dash app allows members to access their existing virtual dash buttons straight from the Family Hub screen. However, starting at $3,600 this refrigerator costs about the same as most of our first cars and since the technology is so new it’s not clear how long it’ll last or how much it’ll cost to repair when something does break.

Crock Pot – Yes (for the ride-or-die crock pot user)
Smart crock pots allow you to adjust cooking time and length from an app, which could be helpful if you get delayed coming home. However, most traditional crock pots have a pretty lengthy warm setting that automatically takes over after cooking is complete and since you can’t monitor how the food is cooking from afar it’d be difficult to know whether the time or temp needs to be adjusted. Some brands have a feature that allows you to turn off the crock pot from an app which could be helpful if setting it to warm would cause the contents to overcook. However, at nearly $200 I wouldn’t recommend this for the occasional crock pot user.

Meat Thermometer – Yes (for the keto-crazed or busy family)
Smart meat thermometers are reasonably priced compared to their traditional counterparts and can help help prevent meat from overcooking while not having to open the oven and check the temperature every few minutes. For example, the NutriChef Smart Bluetooth BBQ Grill Thermometer is only $29.99 and sends you a notification when meat reaches the set temperature.

Oven – Yes (for the over-scheduled recipe searcher and meal planner)
For years I’ve been saying to my husband that I wish I could preheat my oven on the way home, so I can pop dinner in as soon as we get back. Smart ovens let users control their ovens remotely and some have voice control linking with other smart home appliances like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Like remote start for your car, smart ovens can turn on and off and adjust cooking temperatures from a smartphone or via voice activation. They can also integrate with apps such as Yummly and SideChef to get recipe directions, preheat the oven to the correct temperature, cook food for the right amount of time, and turn off based on recipe instructions. Importantly, smart ovens also have built in alerts to let you know if there’s a problem. Starting at about $2,000, these ovens aren’t for the occasional cook.

Other Smart Kitchen Appliances – No
Other smart kitchen appliances including blenders, dishwashers, and food scales aren’t that different from their traditional counterparts and seem to only save you the hassle of getting up and turning them on and off.

Final Thought
If you’re building or upgrading a home that you plan to stay in long term AND you live a busy lifestyle that could benefit from spending less time planning and preparing meals, then certain smart kitchen appliances can help improve health. However, if you’re not super into meal planning or app-assisted devices then the increased price probably won’t translate to improved health. Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share!

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