The Inspired Home Show is the biggest kitchenware show in the U.S. and is a great predictor of what’s to come in the kitchen equipment space.
Over the years, we’ve seen Instant Pots and air fryers at the show before they exploded in popularity. Same with sous vide machines, the cast iron revival, and more. The show is both a reflection of where we are with kitchen and cooking as a culture (Hello, Tiktok organizational trends!) and where we’re going (plastic—it’s a problem).
Here are 10 trends we spotted at the 2023 show. Read on to see what’s now and what’s next.
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Trend #1: Continued Air Fryer Popularity
Air fryers continue to dominate the appliance market. We saw a few new takes on the trendy appliance. Glass air fryer bases were huge. Manufacturers said people want to see inside to avoid overcooking.
Another benefit of glass is that it isn’t coated with nonstick, something we’ve seen an uptick of interest in avoiding. One model from Fritaire featured a “self-cleaning” feature that whooshes around water and soap for 20 minutes or so.
The next big trend in air fryers? Glass bases. Manufacturers said people want to see inside to avoid overcooking and because the glass isn’t coated with nonstick, there's appeal for the antiplastic crowd, too.
Companies such as Ciarra, Cuckoo, Westinghouse, and Gourmia all displayed air fryer griddles, toaster oven–shaped air fryers with a griddle on top. Double-doored models that open like French doors were also popular. Another forthcoming model, this one from Ciarra, featured two different heating zones with a removable divider between them.
Air fryer griddles, toaster oven air fryers with a griddle element on top, were popular (left) as were double-doored air fryers. A forthcoming model from new high-end brand, Ciarra (right), has two different cooking zones with a removable divider between them.
Healthy Air FryerCreate healthy and delicious meals with an air fryer! This book contains 75 recipes for everything from breakfast bowls with (air-fryer) roasted fruit to turkey-zucchini meatballs and shrimp with curry noodles.
Trend #2: The Antiplastic Movement
We saw a slew of brands touting their avoidance of plastic. Whether it was glass-lined coffee carafes and tea kettles, glass-lined water bottles, glass salad spinners, glass blender jars, or glass soda water–machine bottles, glass is having a moment and it’s all due to the current antiplastic backlash.
Whether the conversion in the zeitgeist is about microplastics in our water or PFAS (aka “the forever chemicals”) in the plastic coatings on our cookware, plastic is out and glass, stainless steel, bamboo, and other alternatives are in.
Plastic is out; glass is in.
Trend #3: Heated Lunch Boxes
Perhaps a reflection of the current back-to-the-office trend, lunch boxes were everywhere at the show, particularly heated versions. Whether parents want to send their kids to school with a hot meal or workers on the road want to cut back on fast food, options abound for containers that will heat your meal on the go.
One “smart” lunch box syncs with your phone so you could, for example, start to heat up your lunch when you have 10 minutes left in a meeting so that you’re greeted with a steaming meal upon your meeting's completion. Another feature we saw was geotagging that lets the device know when you’re within a certain distance of your home and starts warming contents so that the food is warm when you arrive.
Proper refrigeration until you’re ready to eat is a problem that has yet to be solved, but if you don’t have access to a microwave and want a hot meal, perhaps a heated lunch box solves a problem for you.
Heated lunch boxes were everywhere at the show, perhaps a reflection of the current back-to-the-office trend.
Trend #4: The Thermomix Knockoffs Are Coming
Thermomix, the pricey all-in-one that is a staple in European kitchens, is making its way across the pond. Thermomix started to make a play for the American market a few years ago and this year at the show we saw tons of knock-offs looking for marketers and distributors in the U.S.
We reviewed Thermomixes and recommend a different all-in-one machine for most American cooks (though we see why Thermomix is such a hit in Europe). Will Americans finally warm to the Thermomix and its slew of knockoffs? Only time will tell.
Thermomix, the all-in-one machine popular in Europe, made a play for the American market a few years ago. A wave of similar models were being shown on the floor at this year's show.
Trend #5: Compact Products
We’ve always appreciated miniature versions of our favorite kitchen items. Small products are not only adorable but practical—a quarter sheet pan or a mini stand mixer, for example, can be ideal for home cooks with limited budgets and/or storage space. In recent years, companies have increasingly started putting out products that cater towards just these cooks.
We’re not totally sure how essential something like Dash’s mini waffle iron, Bikky Instant 1-Serve Cookie Maker, or Gourmia’s 2.2-quart air fryer is but we can definitely see the case for collapsible water bottles or Nordic Ware’s new compact ovenware line, made to be used in toaster ovens. These would be perfect for apartment dwellers (or even covert dorm-room use)! If you’re only cooking for one or two, this kind of gear could be really useful—you wouldn’t even need to turn on the oven, so you could potentially save a little money on utility bills too.
Similarly, we’ve seen a turn toward smaller, apartment-friendly blenders with jar sizes considerably smaller than our favorite 64-ounce models. Vitamix has been emphasizing smaller models with 48-ounce capacities more recently, including its new Propel Series 510, but at the show, we saw models that were even smaller, such as Salton’s 1.2-Liter Blender. Stackable cookware sets have been on the rise in recent years too. We spotted a new set from Kuhn Rikon on display.
Compact cookware sets, baking sheets, grill pans, and appliances were popular at the show this year. This isn't a brand-new trend but certainly one that's continuing to be a thing.
Trend #6: Recycled Materials
These days, everyone wants to feel good about what they’re buying. We heard a lot on the show floor about sustainability and recycled materials. A Dutch oven manufacturer from Holland—that’s right, Dutch Dutch ovens!—called Combekk touts that its enameled cast-iron pots are made from recycled train rails.
Lekue showed a variety of “To-Go Organic” lunch containers where recycled wood fiber from post-consumer waste is blended into plastic so that it uses less plastic (and looks nice too).
We saw these Lekue lunch containers made from a combination of recycled wood fiber and plastic (left) and Dutch ovens (center) and pans (right) from Combekk made from recycled train rails.
Trend #7: Very Fancy Pizza Ovens
*Oprah voice* You get a pizza oven! You get a pizza oven! You get a pizza oven! (As long as you’re willing to spend between several hundred if not several thousand dollars, that is.) From the Ooni Volt and the Gozney Dome to the Witt Etna Rotante Pizza Oven, high-end pizza ovens were everywhere this year.
We’re fans of homemade pizza and have tested many outdoor pizza ovens, so we see the appeal. We’d love to see more reliable options at a lower price, though.
The pizza-oven craze continues!
Portable Outdoor Pizza OvensA portable pizza oven that heats up to 700-plus degrees and turns your backyard into a pizzeria? It’s a pizza lover’s dream come true— but only if you buy the right model.
Trend #8: Carbon Steel
We saw carbon steel in skillets and crepe pans, paella pans, woks, and comales. As more brands feature carbon steel, including preseasoned options, will this versatile, excellent material finally emerge from the shadow of cast iron?
We love carbon steel. Will it finally emerge from behind the shadow of its heavier cast-iron cousin?
10-Inch Carbon-Steel SkilletDurable and virtually nonstick, a medium-size carbon-steel pan is a great option when cooking for two.
Trend #9: Hydration Nation
Water, water everywhere. We saw so many water bottles and systems to stay hydrated throughout the show.
There were bottles from Kor Water that help you support the arts; binchotan charcoal-filtering bottles from Black + Blum; glass and ceramic-lined models that nix any touch of plastic; filtered models; bottles like the Milton Smart Bottle that track consumption and remind you to drink; the BYO Bottle, equipped to carry its own spork and straw; bottles with flavor infusers; bottles that play music and channel calls from your phone; and ginormous water bottles that you’ll rarely need to refill. Also: tons of water filtration devices.
Manufacturers are betting on shoppers wanting to stay hydrated and providing plenty of vessels to do so.
Hydration was huge at the show. Amongst other items, we saw binchotan charcoal-filtering bottles, what was supposedly America's best-selling 40-ounce mug, and a prototype for a smart water bottle that measures how much you drink.
Trend 10: Kitchen Organization
Who doesn’t love better ways to organize our pantries, kitchens, and fridges? We saw plenty of potential solutions at the show—everything from fridge and freezer organizers including shelves and beverage holders from Oxo, snazzy spice racks and lazy Susans, what felt like thousands of dry-food storage container options from dozens of brands, pot and pan racks, and even a clever (and generously sized) airtight cookie jar from Progressive ProKeeper+ with a built-in chamber for a terracotta disk that you moisten to keep treats fresh and soft.
A lid organizer, an installable refrigerator drawer, and storage sets upon storage sets were just a sliver of the products we saw aimed at organizing your kitchen so that you can TikTok with the best of them.