This weekend, the world's small appliance makers will descend in force upon Chicago to showcase their creations at the International Home and Housewares Show 2016. Somewhere within these trade show halls that are jam-packed with every conceivable household gadget, there are five products we are compelled to hunt down and hopefully experience firsthand. This diverse group of gizmos include everything from advanced countertop multicookers with Wi-Fi and automatic stirring action to app-connected espresso makers, and even robotic pancake artists.
We expect to find a lot more high-tech appliance treats at IHHS 2016, tasty or otherwise. But based on what we know now, this is our current hit list of new home products we're very excited about and plan to see in person as fast as humanly possible.
Gourmia GKM9000 Wi-Fi multicooker
We expect that plenty of fancy multicookers, singular kitchen appliances designed to tackle a variety of culinary tasks, will be unveiled this year at IHHS. A machine we simply can't miss seeing in action is the $600 Gourmia Wi-Fi multicooker. Running the Android operating system, this compact machine allegedly can cook pasta and rice, steam vegetables and knead dough, plus chop, whip and puree like a food processor. The Gourmia even features a 7-inch LCD screen and links to Wi-Fi networks to look up recipes online and walk home cooks through their proper execution.
Krups T.8 Moka Brew
Most coffeemakers tend to look more or less alike, but the $150 Krups T8 Moka Brew isn't one of them. Something of a cross between an old-school siphon brewer and traditional stovetop Moka Pot, the T8 Moka Brew certainly isn't a new design. Krups already sells a variant of this machine in Europe and offers a similar product in the US. That said, this is the first time this particular model (KM46895) will arrive on American shores. Regardless, we haven't had a chance to take any version of the Moka Brew for a spin and would love to see what it can do.
Nespresso Prodigio Espresso Machine
The first of the Nespresso line of pod-style espresso machines to offer smart abilities, the $249 Nespresso Prodigio will link to a companion mobile app and communicate with smartphones and tablets via wireless Bluetooth networking. It's so equipped that you'll be able to command the Prodigio to brew from a distance, like when lounging on the living room sofa or even while still in bed. Just make sure the machine has a cup to decant into and plenty of fresh water, and is pre-loaded with your favorite flavor of aluminum Nespresso pod.
Who doesn't like pancakes? We do, especially when they're printed in the form of fancy designs from a machine with 3D printer-like precision. Meet the $300 Pancakebot, which not only draws an endless variety of edible pancake shapes, it also cooks what it stencils on its own electric skillet. We saw an early prototype of the Pancakebot last year at IHHS, but the appliance's retailer, Storebound, says it has begun shipping the final version in earnest. Storebound also plans to demo the completed shelf model this weekend, and we'd like to be on hand for a taste test.
Tim3 Machin3 Pasta Machin3
Eating homemade pasta is one of life's greatest pleasures, but actually making it from scratch can be an intimidating challenge. 3 Squares, the people who brought us the versatile Tim3 Machin3 multicooker, suggest you try another one of its creations, the $200 Pasta Machin3. Making its debut at IHHS 2016, the appliance supposedly can conjure 10 different types of fresh pasta such as angel hair, spaghetti, penne, linguine, pappardelle, and even dumplings, to list just a few. All you need to do is fill the machine with flour and water.