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Wallflower review: This smart stove plug is a good first step toward kitchen safety

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The Good The $170 Wallflower smart plug is easy to install: Insert it into your wall outlet and plug your electric stove into the Wallflower. You can use the Wallflower's app to check if your stove's status, and it will send you an alert if it detects that you're away from home while the stove is still on.

The Bad The Wallflower can't turn the stove off, so you'd still have to go back home if you left it on.

The Bottom Line The Wallflower would be a useful tool if you have to monitor a loved one's stove use. But it would be a better product if it shut down the stove instead of just sending you alerts.

7.9 Overall
  • Features 6.0
  • Usability 9.0
  • Design 9.0
  • Performance 8.0

The Wallflower currently only works with electric stoves, but its creators plan to release a gas version in the future.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

In the best case scenario, you wouldn't need the Wallflower. This $170, Wi-Fi-enabled smart plug connects to your electric stove and sends you alerts on your smartphone via the Wallflower app if you left your stove on when you're not home. These alerts could, in theory, prevent kitchen fires.

The Wallflower is easy to install: Plug it into your wall, then insert your oven's plug into the Wallflower.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Wallflower lives up to its promise to detect whether your stove is in use with little effort. It's also easy to use: Insert the Wallflower in your wall outlet, plug your electric stove into the Wallflower, connect it to your home's Wi-Fi network through the Wallflower app. When you turn your stove on, the Wallflower lets out a loud beep. 

From the app, you can see if your stove is in use (it doesn't differentiate between a burner or the oven being on, but it can detect when either is engaged) or still hot. You can also set cooking timers and receive notifications when the timer is up. And if you allow the Wallflower app to receive location information, it will send you a notification if the device detects that your stove is on but you're outside of a set radius of your home address. 

The problem with the Wallflower is that it doesn't do more than just tell you about the status of your stove. Unlike the $495 iGuardStove Intelligent, another safety-minded stove smart plug, the Wallflower won't automatically turn off your stove. So if you do receive an alert, you'll have to go back home or the home of a loved one to turn the stove off. 

The Wallflower will give you some peace of mind if you're the forgetful type or want to keep an eye on someone's stove usage (for example, an older adult who lives alone). Just be willing to get in your car if someone leaves a burner on.

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