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Not Your Grandparents' Oven: What’s New in the Kitchen

The latest appliances offer features and options that help homeowners save time and energy.


By Ellen Anderson, Pacific Union Senior Vice President/Regional Executive, Contra Costa County

If you haven’t been in the market for kitchen appliances in a while, you may be surprised at the advancements in technology over the past few years. The latest appliances offer features and options that help homeowners save time and energy.


2017 Trends

Synced Up

The Bluetooth technology you may be familiar with has made its way to the kitchen. Appliances like GE’s Chef Connect™ allow fans and clocks to sync on compatible ranges, vent hoods, and microwaves. According to HGTV, GE is actually working on its next innovation, which would synchronize cooking times for the microwave, range, and oven. Even coffee makers can now be controlled via a smartphone app. Wake up and push start, and your coffee will be ready for you in minutes.

Smart Refrigerators

Touch screens, apps to order groceries online, cameras on the inside that can send you photos, apps to control settings … the future is here and it keeps your food cold. However, CNET makes a good point: “Refrigerators can last for 10 years or more, but the smart home market is moving so quickly now, with so many new players coming in, what feels like an innovative fridge now could become obsolete in just a few years.” 

Steam Ovens


According to HGTV, the steam oven is a hot new trend in the contemporary kitchen, as it cooks faster than a conventional oven. Wolf even offers an oven that combines steam and convection modes, and the oven decides which mode will get the best results. “You can even tell the oven what time you want your dish to be ready, and it will turn on and adjust the cooking process as necessary to finish at exactly the right moment.”

Automated Grocery Shopping

Push a button or wave a wand to create a grocery list and put items in your digital shopping queue. And, if that isn’t easy enough, a garbage-can companion named GeniCan allows you to scan items you are discarding, automatically adding that item to your order list. Wareable has more on the latest in smart-kitchen devices that make life easier when it comes to restocking your food and supplies.

PC Magazine’s Best Smart Appliances

Taking a look at PC Magazine’s Best Smart Kitchen Appliances of 2017, a few notables include:

  • The Weber Kitchen Thermometer: a Bluetooth-connected monitor that measures the temperature of up to two different dishes as they're cooking. And, it connects with your mobile device to let you know that something has reached its desired temperature.
  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulators: Cooking sous vide involves vacuum- sealing food and immersing it in a precise temperature water bath. Immersion circulators are available for $200 or less.
  • The June Intelligent Oven: A smart oven that uses a camera: Once you confirm the type of food you want to cook, it does the rest.

It’s no surprise that the kitchen is keeping up with the rest of advances in technology. From perfectly cooked food to automated grocery shopping, these advances make our lives easier and save us valuable time. Perhaps in a few years, our appliances can decide what we want for dinner, then cook it for us. Hey, anything is possible with technology!

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