The Best Gadgets to Turn Your Regular Kitchen Into a Smart One

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If you’re interested in home automation and smart technology, you might have considered using smart appliances in the kitchen. But smart appliances can be expensive, and you might hesitate to replace perfectly good appliances if there’s nothing wrong with them other than not being “smart.” Luckily, there are some upgrades you can do yourself at a fraction of the cost that will smarten up your regular kitchen.Add a tablet to the fridgeWhile you can spend upwards of $15,000 on a smart fridge if you get all the bells and whistles, there are some DIY upgrades you can do to make your regular fridge a lot smarter. If you would like to link up your grocery list, check availability of your items at local stores, and use other home automation features on your fridge, you can mount a simple Android tablet for around $60 dollars to the front of your fridge. When choosing a mount, a magnetic one will work for metal fridges, but you should make sure to choose one that has a good warranty, like the Mippko Magnetic Mount that has a five-year guarantee. While manufacturers don’t provide warranties for your tablet if their product fails, knowing that the company stands behind their product will give you a good idea of the quality. You can get a decent quality mount for a tablet for between $40 and $60.Add smart sensors to the fridge and freezerAlthough most fridges are designed to control the temperature and moisture inside pretty well, if you want to know what’s going on inside, you can get sensors that will relay that information. Keeping your veggies fresh for longer, or making sure that your cold brew is steeping at just the right temperature is simpler with sensors. For around $60, you can get a kit like this one from YoLink with two sensors and a hub. The sensors will tell you the temperature and humidity inside your fridge and freezer, allowing you to monitor your settings. These sensors will also alert you to temperature changes from a door left ajar or other issues.Smarten up your ovenA smart range can cost over $3,000, depending on the size and features you want. But you can use some upgrades to make your oven smarter without replacing the one you have now. A Chef IQ smart meat thermometer will give you live updates on your meal in the oven, sent right to your smartphone, starting at around $100. In addition to monitoring, you can set cooking temperatures to alert you when your meal is done based on the recipe you’re using. To add some voice-activated convenience to your oven, using a smart speaker like an Echo Dot that can read recipes aloud, help you do conversions, or answer kitchen-related questions is a good option.
Add some smart plugsRather than getting a new slow cooker, coffee pot, or electric kettle that can be programmed or activated from your phone, you can put these appliances on a smart plug like this set of four from Govee and control them from your device without replacing them. You can also use smart plugs to control the lighting in your kitchen, either to program it on a particular schedule or turn them on from your phone or tablet as you get up for a midnight snack. Along with your smart home hub like this one from Aeotec, a smart plug can also be voice-activated, like this two pack from GE, allowing you to turn your appliances on and off when your hands are full or covered in dough.

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