Skip to main content

Best Smart Kitchen Gadgets for Home Cooks

June smart oven
(Image credit: Future)

Smart kitchen appliances give home cooks an edge in a number of ways. First, when you connect a kitchen gadget to your smartphone, you can more easily schedule when something should start cooking and monitor its progress remotely. For example, if you have a smart coffee maker, you can set it to start brewing a cup when you say "Alexa, good morning." Another advantage is that many smart kitchen gadgets, like the Anova sous vide, have recipes built into its app, which takes the guesswork out of knowing how long you need to cook a steak to make sure it's perfectly medium rare. 

From Instant Pots to coffee makers to home beer-brewing machines, here are our favorite smart kitchen gadgets.

  • Weber is launching its own smart pellet grill. The Weber SmokeFire pellet grill can both grill and smoke, with a temperature range from 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be controlled by the Weber Connect app, which will use June's smart oven technology to help determine how and for long to cook food. The Weber SmokeFire will cost $999 for the 24-inch model, and $1,199 for the 36-inch version. Both are  available for preorder at weber.com, and will ship in early 2020.
  • Anova's newest sous vide machine, the Anova Precision Cooker, which is a more powerful version of the $99 Precision Cooker Nano. Whereas the Nano is Bluetooth-only, the new Precision Cooker has Wi-Fi, and a more powerful 1000-watt heating element. The Precision Cooker is available for $199.
  • The Instant Pot Duo (starting at $45 for the Mini)—our favorite Instant Pot overall—now comes in four colors. In addition to the original black, it's now available in teal, red, and white.

Instant Pot Duo

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

1. Instant Pot Duo

The Best Instant Pot

Reasons to buy
+Intuitive controls+7 cooking modes+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer program settings than other models

Instant Pot has almost single-handedly popularized the pressure cooker market, and with good reason. Its programmable device can not only make 5-minute risotto, but can also be used to cook eggs, cakes, yogurt, and more in the fraction of the time it takes traditionally. After testing all of the company's models, the best Instant Pot is the Instant Pot Duo. It was the best at making eggs, chicken, rice, pork, and more, and it's reasonably priced. too. This model is available in 3-, 6- and 8-quart sizes.

Read our full Instant Pot Duo review.

Braun Brew Sense Drip Coffeemaker

(Image credit: Braun)

2. Braun Brew Sense Drip Coffee Maker KF6050

The best overall coffee maker

Specifications
Cup Capacity: 12 cups
Size: 14.2 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches
Features: Programmable, permanent filter, adjustable keep-warm temperature, adjustable automatic shut-off (15 minutes to 5 hours), cleaning alert and cycle, charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Attractive design+Adjustable keep-warm setting and automatic shut-off
Reasons to avoid
-Water tank and filter basket are difficult to access-Buttons can be confusing

The Braun Brew Sense Drip Coffee Maker KF6050 is the best coffee maker for more than one reason. For starters, it looks classy and will fit neatly on your countertop. Not only does it make a good cup of coffee, but has features such as a permanent filter and a charcoal water filter. It makes up to 12 cups at a time, and you can also adjust the temperature of the warming plate, to keep your coffee hotter longer.

(Image credit: Breville)

3. Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine

A reasonable price, no-fuss design and consistent brews.

Specifications
Dimensions: 12.6 x 11.8 x 7.7 inches
Materials: Stainless steel
Capacity: 64 fluid ounces
Settings: Control panel: 1 Cup, 2 Cup and Steam buttons; adjustable milk temperature and texture level
Warranty: 2 years, limited
Price: $499.95
Reasons to buy
+Compact size+Good-looking design+Easy to use+Simple maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Filter basket has a tendency to stick

While small, the Bambino is the best espresso machine because it consistently produces excellent cups of espresso. It has a 1,560-watt thermacoil, so it's ready to go within seconds with a press of a button, and can make double or single shots from a large, removable 2-liter reservoir that keeps the coffee coming. An autofrothing and temp-sensing steam wand is capable of whipping up milk for lattes, too.

Anova Nano Precision Cooker

(Image credit: Anova Culinary)

4. Anova Nano Precision Cooker

Best Sous Vide Machine

Reasons to buy
+Smaller than previous model+Efficient at cooking+Good on-device controls+Excellent app
Reasons to avoid
-Bluetooth only

"Sous vide" is a process in which you vacuum-seal something — say, a steak — in a plastic bag, then immerse it in a hot water bath for a long time. This low-and-slow cooking method results in amazingly tender and juicy meat. Anova's Nano Precision Cooker takes the guesswork out by connecting to your smartphone via an app, and alerting you when your food is ready. Plus, the app has recipes and tips from Serious Eats, one of the better cooking sites online. The Bluetooth-only Nano, Anova's newest model, is smaller than the original, yet has better on-device controls, and heats water and cooks your food just as fast.

Read our full Anova Nano Precision Cooker review.

iGrill Mini

(Image credit: iGrill)

5. iGrill Mini

Best Smart Thermometer

Reasons to buy
+Small+Easy setup+Long temperature probe
Reasons to avoid
-Only one temperature probe port

How do you know if the turkey is done? You could keep opening the oven and sticking a thermometer in the bird, but what if you could simply sit back and watch the football game and get an alert on your smartphone when the bird is cooked? That's where the iGrill2 comes in handy. The Master Kit comes with three meat probes as well as an ambient temperature probe, which makes it great not just for grilling, but smoking meat as well, too. The iGrill2 works over Bluetooth (it has a 150-foot range), and its app has recommended temperatures for all sorts of meats and doneness levels (rare, medium rare, etc.), and can send you alerts when what you're cooking hits a preset temperature.

Read our full iGrill Mini review.

Drop Scale

(Image credit: Drop)

6. Drop Scale

Best Smart Kitchen Scale

Reasons to buy
+Accurate+Non-slip top+Automatically changes recipe proportions
Reasons to avoid
-Requires smartphone to view weights

If you don't use exact measurements when baking, your pie or cake could turn out to be a disaster, which is why a kitchen scale is essential. Drop's connected scale makes baking easy for newbies, guiding you through recipes on your iPhone or iPad, ingredient by ingredient. If you want to double the recipe, a clever feature in the app will automatically change the amount of ingredients proportionally.

Traeger Ironwood 650

(Image credit: Traeger)

7. Traeger Ironwood 650

Best for Barbecue

Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Helpful app+Maintains a steady temperature+Well built
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Can’t view cook history in app-Hard to clean out fire pot

The one thing that will mess up a brisket, or any smoked meat, are spikes in temperature inside the smoker. Traeger's Ironwood 650 is a Wi-Fi-enabled smoker that not only monitors, but regulates its temperature automatically. You can also control the grill using an app, which is also packed with recipes. The Ironwood 650 uses wood pellets, so fuel costs are slightly higher than traditional charcoal smokers. However, we can't argue with the results: delicious, delicious barbecue.

Read our full Traeger Ironwood 650 review.

PicoBrew Pico C

(Image credit: PicoBrew)

8. PicoBrew Pico C

Best homebrew machine

Reasons to buy
+Simplifies beer-making process+Lots of beer recipes+Can also be used for sous vide and cold-brew coffee+Makes great-tasting beer
Reasons to avoid
-Basic interface-PicoStill loses wireless connection-Instruction manual could be clearer

Brewing your own beer can be a messy and inexact process. The PicoBrew looks to make doing so as easy as pressing a button. All that you need to do with this machine is insert packets of hops, yeast and grain, and the machine (mostly) does the rest. A few weeks later, and you've got 5 liters of beer. PicoBrew also partnered with more than 50 breweries, so you can replicate that awesome IPA that you can't find in any store. Plus, a new PicoStill attachment lets you distill spirits, too.

Read our full PicoBrew Pico C review.

June Smart Oven

(Image credit: June)

9. June Smart Oven

Best Smart Oven

Reasons to buy
+Automatically recognizes food+Clear door lets you see food cooking+Records time-lapse video of cooking
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Monthly subscription

A camera built inside the June smart oven not only lets you watch from your smartphone as your food cooks, but this oven has AI, which uses the camera to identify what you put in, and immediately suggests the optimal cooking time and temperature. At $500, this large device isn't for everyone, but it'll give you a taste of the future. 

Read our full June smart oven review.

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.

  • Pokes28
    Better than the iGrill is the Tappecue. Costs a bit more, but it is a better unit. I've tried both and much prefer the Tappecue unit. They came out with a new unit a few months ago which is the one that I waited to purchase. It uses wifi for connectivity instead of bluetooth. That means that I now have the ability to monitor what is going on inside my smoker when I'm at work or out running errands. Setup is easy and the accuracy seems better than the iGrill. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the iGrill is bad. It is still a fine piece of equipment. I just prefer the other because it gives me the freedom to have my phone more than 30' (bluetooth distance) away from the thermometer to see what is going on.

    I'm not posting the link to their site (though logic will get you there) as I'm not paid to promote their product.
    Reply
  • mprospero
    Thanks for the tip - We'll have to check it out.
    Reply
  • aeioussmith
    I hope you can give a review on kitchen tvs like CabiTV Kitchen TV by Evervue USA Inc. It seems like a great product.
    Reply