If you have the space on your counter, you can get high-tech cooking devices that do all the work for you. The Tovala Steam Oven, for instance, is a super-functional multi-purpose smart oven capable of baking, broiling, and steaming foods through app control and QR codes. The Brava Oven is similar, with a touch screen and an app that let you access a library of recipes and cooking presets.
The AmazonBasics Microwave, meanwhile, costs about the same as any other small 700-watt microwave, and instead of direct app control, you can simply use Alexa voice commands to cook. It isn’t terribly powerful, and you need a separate Echo device in order to use the voice functionality, but it’s priced similarly to models that don’t do nearly as much, making it a great buy for Alexa users.
If you have the money to spend, you can get smart versions of large appliances, too. Companies like LG and Samsung have been working on connected refrigerators and ovens for a few years now. Some, like LG’s SmartThinQ fridge, let you check their status through your phone so you can make sure things are working properly and that you have enough ice. Others, like Samsung’s Family Hub fridge, have their own touch screen and can function as a communication center for your home, and even have cameras inside so you see what you’re low on while you’re out shopping. We’ve yet to test either of these refrigerators, but they look very promising based on what we’ve seen so far.
These larger smart appliances carry a significant premium, and you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on each. On the bright side, they tend to be equivalent to the highest-end non-smart appliances from manufacturers, in terms of design, build quality, and features. You can expect stainless steel finishes and other very nice touches you won’t find on cheaper options.