smart home

Uutensil

Out of all the rooms at home, it’s often easiest to get ahead of ourselves when picturing the futuristic kitchen. Saturday morning cartoons like The Jetsons have led us to expect a lot.

We imagine robot arms flipping eggs while a drone drops oranges into a juicer and an AI jet dog brings us the morning paper (sadly, the morning paper part is the least likely to exist). That Jetsons-like kitchen is not quite on the horizon yet, but there are a few kitchen gadgets out there giving a taste of what it could be like. And they’re actually useful (sort of).

Stir This for Me

Take the automatic pan stirrer from Uutensil. Do you know how many times I’ve been asked to stir the sauce over the course of my life? Hundreds. Now I can just leave this thing there with an apology note and go play wiffleball.

The Uutensil stirrer has three speed options and a timer. It also “features removable nylon legs,” a line which made me giggle because I’m a child. The StirMATE can even stir up to 10 hours per charge, in case you need to fly to Vegas in the meantime, and has multiple accessories to adjust to pot size and food viscosity.

It’s like having your own sous chef. I bought my girlfriend one and she left me.

Less Excuses to Overcook the Meat

If you’re not busy stirring something, you probably need to monitor some meat, and this wireless smart meat thermometer from MEATER is like having a midwife for your brisket. One could argue that undercooking or overcooking meat does a disservice to the animal, and man have I done plenty of disservice to animals.

The thermometer features a guided cook system that gives temperature alerts and estimates for completion and lets you monitor that pig’s head (eww) via an app from up to 165 feet away. So you can go watch the game and ruin your appetite by eating hot Cheetos or something.

The probe (grow up) can monitor internal meat temperature as well as ambient/external temperature. Would I still manage to screw up a steak and later chew it arduously while shaking my head in self-disgust? Of course.

A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee

Up until now, the gadgets have been more useful than silly, but here the “Come on” meter may be pushing it. Do you need a smart mug that lets you set the temperature for your coffee and receive alerts via app? Probably not. Do you need your coffee to stay at the same temperature for hours and inform you via LED display when it’s cooling down? Unlikely.

But do you want one? Of course.

You may know a person who leaves unfinished cups of coffee or tea around the house like a weird calling card, and then pours them out at night. That will probably not happen with this device. It’s like that old Mitch Hedberg joke where he says, “I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.”

The Ember smart mug also helps prevent you from repeatedly forgetting about your coffee and reheating it in the microwave as part of some tragic loop in time, like you’re the guy from Memento. So this could actually be useful or a fun ridiculous gift for someone. Not me, though, since I usually just down too-hot coffee in seconds while shaking violently.

While many smart kitchen devices are more flash than useful, these might actually help. Just imagine this wonderful hypothetical day where you sit outside while your sauce is being stirred, and your meat and coffee are being monitored, giving you plenty of time to watch your AI jet dog re-enter the atmosphere during a game of rocket fetch. What a time to be alive.

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