Modern Tech for the Home Chef

For a long time, the kitchen was left behind by the technology that popped up in other rooms. Other than using a tablet or smartphone to look up recipes, new technology stayed away from the kitchen. But in the last couple of years, the kitchen has worked hard to catch up with innovative hardware and software. The following are just a few useful tech tools to help out in the kitchen.

iPhone Food Scale

How often have you guessed at the proportion of pasta to water? Unless you're cooking the entire box, it's probably most of the time.

You can get a food scale, but these are notoriously delicate and easily damaged. If you're cooking on the go — at a cookout or your mother-in-law's place — you don't want to have to pack this bulky item. But now there is a better option. The "Simple Scale" app for the iPhone lets you weigh light ingredients. The new features on the iPhone 6s, such as 3D Touch, provide you with a screen that has better pressure sensing to do tasks like weighing your food. It isn't on iPads yet, but Macworld predicts that it will be a "slam dunk" for future releases.

Tip: Tech goddess Kim Komando recommends putting everything you weigh in plastic to keep your phone free from gooey messes.

The Internet of Things

How old is your crockpot? If it has just high and low settings, it's time to treat yourself to kitchen technology that's amazingly smart. Wi-Fi helped create the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables you to connect devices to your smartphone for remote control through apps. But it's the hardware in these devices that make the difference. You can instruct your devices to have a meal ready at a certain time, warn you when food is about to spoil and ensure meats are cooked to safe temperatures. Here are just three examples of the IoT in your kitchen:

  • Mellow: Mellow is a sous-vide (vacuum) cooker that controls water temperature to cook and preserve meals in vacuum-sealed packages. Upload your recipes to its companion app, or use Mellow's recipes. You can even tell it when you want to eat and it will calculate the time required to prepare your meal. This way you can arrive home to a meal ready to serve and eat.
  • Quirky Eggminder: Can you tell what's going on inside the eggs in your fridge? The Quirky Eggminder can with its LED light technology. It alerts you, via an app, when your eggs are getting close to spoilage. It also keeps count of how many eggs you have (up to 14), which is handy when you're at the grocery store.
  • iGrill Mini: Monitor the cooking process without disturbing it by constantly opening and closing the grill or oven. The iDevices iGrill Mini is a small temperature probe you insert into meats. An alarm sent to your smartphone tells you when the meat has been cooked to your optimal temperature and preference, taking out the guess work for medium versus medium-well. PCMag lists this device under its best gadget gifts for cooks.

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