Your microwave might be smarter than you think. Here are the small appliances that use connected capabilities to help out in the kitchen.
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Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Slow Cooker
Monitor your pot roast from afar with the Crock-Pot WeMo Slow Cooker from Belkin. Set the timer and heat settings from the app and monitor your machine on your phone so you don't have to stay close while you slow-cook your dinner.
The WeMo Slow Cooker was one of the first smart small appliances we tested. A more recent machine has made a lot of its capabilities feel redundant...
The Instant Pot Smart lets you slow-cook or pressure cook. In fact, you can cook just about anything, which is part of why this gadget has become a hit with home cooks. The Instant Pot app lets you control the various settings remotely and search for recipes to try out something new.
The Bluetooth-enabled Cinder functions somewhat like a George Foreman Grill. Use the two nonstick plates on the top and the bottom to evenly heat your meal, and you can control the precise temperature of your food with the app.
The Behmor Connected Coffee Brewer surprised us with cleverly integrated smarts. Using the app, you can control the coffee-brewing process, right down to water temperature, presoak time and the type of roast. Plus, Behmor's machine makes a mean pot of drip coffee.
You can control the Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation brewer with your voice through Amazon's assistant Alexa or Google's comparable Google Assistant. Smarter's coffee maker also has a built-in grinder so you can go right from whole coffee beans to a fresh cup of java.
With a built-in camera and Wi-Fi connectivity, the June oven will recognize your food and figure out the best way to cook it. June can bake, broil, roast, toast, air-fry and more -- and all of that functionality is packed into a machine the size of a toaster oven.
A countertop steam oven, Tovala can also recognized proprietary prepackaged meals and cook them automatically. The meals tasted much better than standard frozen dinners in our tests, and Tovala handles all necessary steps to get them ready to eat.
GE Smart Countertop Microwave Oven with Scan-to-Cook Technology
A more traditional small appliance than June or Tovala, this GE microwave has all of the normal functions and even the traditional appearance of a microwave. Beyond the basics, you can use an app to scan prepackaged foods and send the cooking directions to the machine, and you can control the microwave with your voice through Alexa.
We saw a Whirlpool microwave with similar scan-to-cook functionality at CES. The premium over-the-range machine also works with Alexa as well as Google Assistant. Plus, you can search recipes in the Yummly recipe app, then send the instructions for one that catches your eye to the oven.
Part of the Paragon Cooking system, the Paragon Mat helps you precisely control the temperature while you cook with a pan. It's Bluetooth-enabled so you can use the Paragon app for recipes and cooking guidance.
Put the Anova Circulator onto an ordinary stock pot, fill the pot with water and toss in some vacuum-sealed food. Anova's gadget helps make the sous vide style more accessible for home cooking. It'll maintain a consistent temp in your water bath and you'll be able to cook your meal to a precise temp. The Wi-Fi version of Anova's cooker offers recipe assistance and remote control of the temp. You can also control the Anova Cooker with your voice through Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
Like the Anova Cooker, Joule attaches to a pot of water and heats it so you can sous-vide your dinner. Joule's app also provides info and educational tips to help you get better at cooking as you work. You can also control Joule with Alexa.
Mellow's water bath can heat or cool your food. Toss in your dinner before you leave for work and Mellow will keep it cold at a food-safe temp all day. Then it'll switch over to the proper temp to heat it in time to have it ready for you when you get home. You can control and monitor Mellow with an app.
An induction cooktop from the popular website Buzzfeed, Tasty One Top works with a temperature probe for sous vide cooking, or you can use it as an induction burner. Pick a recipe in the app and it'll walk you through the instructions while automatically setting the burner to the right mode.
Part sous vide machine, part refrigerator and part all-in-one cooker like June or Tovala, Suvie keeps meal kits cool with jackets of chilled water until the appropriate time. You'll need to place your protein, your starch and other meal components in different containers in the machine, then Suvie will heat each appropriately in order to prepare your dinner. The app will walk you through the process and offer cooking advice.