Over the past 3 years or so I’ve seen more and more food- and cooking-related gadgets. Some of these are pretty geeky, some try to solve specific problems like identifying problem foods, and others veer more towards kitchen gadget territory.
Aveine is a connected wine aerator that its manufacturer claims will let you discover “a new wine experience.” Via an app, the device will aerate your wine optimally. Continuing the wine theme, Dreenk builds up flavor profiles by measuring strength, tannins, acidity and maturity of wine. Through its companion app, it can recommend wines that you may like based on your personal flavor profile. If booze is more your thing, how about your very own still? That’s what Seattle-based PicoBrew were offering via the PicoStill add-on to their beer making system (it’s like Keurig… for beer and now booze). What about cocktails? I lost count of the number of “Keurig for cocktail” devices, which were a novelty last year but humdrum this year. Finally, if you ever felt the need for an IoT sake glass, Yume Cloud has you covered!
Ovie solves the problem of “how long have that thing been in the fridge and can I still eat it?” It bills itself as the world’s first connected food storage, but the smarts are really the button that connects to an app, which tracks the food type, how long since it was fresh, what you can make with it, and when you need to use it. Battling food waste is a worthy cause, and it is a clever idea, but one that might require a bit too much thinking about to be successful. Unilid, on the other hand, is made not to require any thinking: it is a universal silicone lid for food storage complete with a (manual) day of the week indicator. It is kind of a cross between cling film/Saran wrap and a storage container lid since it can be used for loose items like fruit as well as cookware.
For the cook, I saw Meater, a wireless smart meat thermometer. It is an attractively designed device that looks a bit like a paintbrush and is meant to be left in what is being cooked. The smarts are in the app that guides the would-be grillmaster on optimal cooking time, and projects when it will be done. Radio waves don’t do well if you encase the transmitter in metal (like when you close the lid of the grill), but they thought of that; you can either use another phone next to the grill(!) as a repeater, or they have a model with a purpose-built repeater. Anova were there showing off their excellent sous-vide immersion circulators. I have one, and they are great devices, with even better customer service. The newness there wasn’t a device, it was a re-usable silicone bag for sous-vide cooking, which is a little more environmentally-friendly than using disposable Ziplocs. Philips had their airfryers (coincidentally I just bought one, didn’t like it and am returning it), and a dedicated soup maker that looks a bit like an electric kettle, but in addition to a heating element, it also contains an immersion blender. The unequivocally cute video on their website shows it being used by two children to prepare soup, and it could be a winner given the reaction of my soup-addicted 12-year old: “That looks amazing.” Personally, I’ll stick with my InstantPot. Chefman, not a brand I’m familiar with, had a wide array of cooking devices on display, but the one that got my attention was an electric pressure cooker that integrated weight measurement. Via its app (of course), it would guide you through what ingredients to add and tell you when to stop adding them for the measuring-disabled. For those inclined towards Indian food, how about Rotimatic, a robotic roti maker? You can actually buy this now, and a friend’s sister-in-law has one. At $1,000 though you’d need to make a lot of rotis to make it worthwhile.