5 Unique Kitchen Appliances You Never Knew You Needed Until Now

Gone are the days when the most innovative item in your kitchen was a wine fridge. Today, the appearance and feature set of appliances has expanded dramatically, to include touch screens, futuristic AI and machine learning. Not only can you find the standard “old faithful” home appliances in a space age look, with many different colors and unique form factors (including bright red washer-dryers with curved edges, for example)–high-tech advancements have also made modern kitchen appliance features even more amazing. We think the following computerized kitchen products might soon make your “must-have” list:

1. Wi-Fi Refrigerators 

Appliances that connect to the Internet for remote control and monitoring, in almost every form, are either already on the market (or coming soon). Some of the most imaginative Wi-Fi kitchen appliances include smart refrigerators. These intelligent ice boxes can alert you if you’re out of milk, and maybe even re-order for you. (Automated, drone delivery of that milk is still in the future.) With a smart fridge, you can be advised if anyone leaves the fridge door open (or the door might be set to close automatically after a few seconds, or you could close it, at will, from your desk at work). Some models make life easier when you’re at home, too. At least one advanced fridge design allows you to simply knock on the fridge door to see what’s inside. This means that you no longer need to stand in front with the door open, increasing energy costs, in order to to choose your midnight snack. Perhaps the latest finish option for your fridge is matte black, but stainless steel is still very popular.

2. Robot Mop+Vacs

Ok, so this small appliance may not be confined to kitchen use, but it still deserves mention. Most people have heard of the automated vacuum that frightens or delights your pets as it makes its way around your home. It turns out that there are all sorts of robotic cleaners that do more than vacuum, and can help keep your kitchen floor spotless. The more advanced models use water and soap in addition to the vacuum feature. They can scrub, rub, rinse, and suck up dirt and stains on almost any floor surface.

3. 3D Printers for Food Prep

Yes, there are things a 3D printer can do with food! The 3D printer PancakeBot, for instance, turns out pancake dough in many custom shapes for your baking pleasure. Another type of kitchen printer transforms any liquid into a bouillon-type of flavored cube to spice up your freshly prepared favorite dishes. Food printers can also dispense food items like pasta, burger patties and more.

4. Cutting Edge Ovens Galore 

Cutting edge ovens and cooktops have so much to offer, they deserve their own section:

  • Double oven with soft close: Soft close is a much-loved feature on cabinets and now available in ovens as well. Even better, you can now cook two different meals at different temps and times. At least one manufacturer offers an oven divider, so you can get the same dual-baking effect from a single oven. This Samsung slide-in range is an excellent example.
  • Intelligent oven: This compact, smart oven from June senses the kind of food you put inside it and determines cooking time and temp automatically. (However, you may need to select your preferred level of “done-ness.”)
  • Induction self-adjusting cooktop: These are modern and streamlined in design and also ecologically sound, releasing zero emissions into the air. Advanced induction cooktops have cooking zones that adjust to fit the pan you’ve set on top, along with a handy boil-over prevention sensor. Induction works using AC (alternating electric current) sent over copper coil. The resulting magnetic field creates a heating current when a cooking pan touches it. (If your hand touches the cooking surface, however, it won’t burn or even feel hot.)
  • Multi-function oven: This type of oven offers cooking options like steam and convection.
  • Hidden stoves and cooktops: When you’re not using it, you don’t need to look at it. Many oven models are designed to fit seamlessly in with, and almost (or completely) disappear into, the rest of your kitchen counter or décor. The multi-function oven above, for instance, can be installed flush with cabinets.

5. Advanced Dishwashers

The US Dept. of Energy’s Energy Star website describes some amazing dishwasher features that clean better and also save water and energy. Advanced, energy-saving dishwasher features include: dishwashers with soil sensors, which check your dishes for dirt during the wash cycle and adjust the amount of water, heat, and spray-jet intensity to exactly what is needed. Some models filter water to remove floating food particles, so that the crumbs not re-circulated as dishes are washed, and some also offer optimally configured dish racks to help ensure everything gets clean.

If you’re considering a kitchen update or a complete remodel, contact the experts at Miller’s Residential Creations.

Brian Miller is the owner of Miller's Residential Creations, a custom home builder and remodeling company servicing Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties of West Virginia since 2004.
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