Cutting-Edge Kitchens: What's Next in Culinary Tech
Go to Top

The description “cutting edge” and the word “kitchen” don’t often go hand in hand, but today’s cooking spaces are more modern, fascinating, and technologically diverse than ever.

Check out this quick look at the next wave of cutting-edge kitchens and plan your upcoming remodel or from-scratch dream kitchen with all of today’s coolest inventions in mind. Whipping up a last-minute frittata has never been so much fun.

Computerized Appliances and Connected Gadgets

It’s 2018, and no one should have to live in a world where they can’t hunt for a snack and access the internet at the same time. Thankfully, there are smart refrigerators with the familiar water and ice dispenser on one side and a fully integrated computer on the other. A surprisingly large screen allows users to surf the web, look through recipes, check out the family calendar, track groceries, and see to other key tasks right there in the heart of the kitchen. Some models, like LG’s InstaView ThinQ, switch from video screen to transparency with a quick tap of the finger, so you can go from checking your email to checking your egg inventory. It connects to Alexa too, for those moments when you need a recipe read out loud by a vaguely robotic voice.

Switch from video screen to transparency with a quick tap of the finger, so you can go from checking your email to checking your egg inventory.

Other appliances and utensils use WiFi to make life simpler (and make dinner faster). Wireless meat probes keep tabs on the temperature for your prime rib or pork tenderloin and send you a push notification via an app on your phone when it’s time to slice and serve. There are coffee machines, slow cookers, and dishwashers that all offer similar remote controls and monitoring, but the biggest leap in terms of innovation and utility comes courtesy of products like GeniCan, a barcode reader that sits near your garbage can. As you toss out your old milk cartons, ketchup bottles, and cereal boxes, scan their barcodes and GeniCan will transmit the info to your app, gradually building a grocery list that tracks exactly what you need to get the next time you head to the store.

Genican attaches to your garbage can or recycle bin so you can can items when you dispose of them

Streamlined Design and Industrial Flair

Interior design is a deeply personal thing and there will likely always be a place (somewhere, for someone) for shabby chic décor and craftsman charm, current kitchen trends are decidedly more minimalist. Instead of countertop microwaves and dishwashers that stick out like a sore thumb, appliances are tucked into cupboards and drawers to save space and increase aesthetic appeal.

All this minimalism calls for cool materials that are more sleek and modern versus warm and worn in. Granite is still immensely popular, but concrete is elbowing its way into the spotlight as are riveted accents, metalwork (especially exhaust hoods), and industrial components. Commercial ovens cost a fortune but look and perform phenomenally, while backlit and underlit cupboards either highlight design features or distract from clutter as needed.

Concrete countertops give a kitchen a clean, modern look

Even appliance manufacturers are working to satisfy minimalism by taking all the functionality of your favorite kitchen appliances into a single unit that does practically everything. The Thermomix TM5 weighs, mixes, stirs, emulsifies, chops, whisks, mills, kneads, blends, steams, and heats precisely so you can theoretically toss your blender, food processor, scale, and half a drawer of utensils and replace it all with one space-age looking contraption that promises the world — and, from what we hear, likely delivers.

The Thermonix does pretty much anything you could ask of a kitchen device

Personalized Tracking and Accountability

It wasn’t long ago that fitness watches and calorie-counting apps were pushing the boundaries of tech-driven self-care, but there are no products on the market that take nutritional accountability uber-seriously.

Take the SmartPlate, for instance. The three-compartment design looks rather cafeteria-esque, but this isn’t your lunch lady’s serving vessel. The plate is outfitted with sensors and cameras that work together to track what you’re eating and digitally record all diet-relevant data. SmartPlate’s AI interface can identify more than 1,000 foods and scan 400,000 others. It knows restaurant menus, catalogs both micro and macronutrients, and the plate itself is sturdy enough to work in the microwave or dishwasher. SmartPlate not quite enough to satiate your need to memorialize your meals? Set your table a cup that uses internal sensors to figure out what you’re drinking and scoop up salmon and roast potatoes with the HAPIfork, an electronic utensil that uses indicator lights and vibration to send an alert if you’re scarfing down your food too quickly.

The Odd, The Interesting, and the Ones We Can’t Imagine Using

The same world that has given us wireless stethoscope and aquarium toilets is also delivering big time in the realm of weird and wacky kitchen innovations. Take the oven refrigerator, for instance. Yes, you read that right. Hands-off cookery has reached new levels of set-it-and-forget majesty with these ovens that keep food cold during the day then flip to heat mode at a pre-set time to cook your dish all the way through. It’s the modern-day foodie’s clap back against slow cookers that promise convenience but seem to cook everything to the same alarmingly mushy consistency.

The Aveine is a must-have for impatient oenophiles

Joining the now nearly-mainstream sous vide machine comes other gadgets that promise to make food faster, with less mess, or with more flavor. Impatient oenophiles will love Aveine, a wine aeration tool that connects with your smartphone and works to determine the oxygen level of a wine in real time, even as it changes during the aeration process. New to cooking and terrified of failure? Smartypans keep you from panicking thanks to its built-in weight and temperature sensors and patented technology system.

Finally, feast your eyes on the Eggminder, a tech dream of an egg tray that syncs with your smartphone so you always know how many eggs you have left and when they’re due to expire. Sure, you could just open the fridge and look, but what fun would that be?