Having tested several “smart,” internet-connected kitchen gadgets over the past year, including the June Oven, the Hestan Cue guided cooking system, indoor smart gardens, and the Behmor 8-Cup Connected coffee maker, I visited CES (Consumer Electronics Show) to see what might be on the horizon at the intersection of food and technology. And after trudging nearly 30 miles in 3 days across Las Vegas’s sprawling convention centers to see all the flashing, whirring gadgetry of CES 2019, here are 10 of the most intriguing kitchen-related products I spotted—plus some extras, because in Las Vegas, more is always more.
1. Heatworks’ Tetra Dishwasher and Duo Carafe
The Tetra dishwasher, a compact, countertop cutie that uses just 1 gallon of water and doesn’t have to be connected to plumbing, was a cool concept item last year, but now it’s close to hitting the market, says Heatworks, with a price tag set at $399. The company also announced a new product, the Duo Carafe, a combination carafe and kettle, which heats water on demand. If you pour from the blue side of the lid, it dispenses cool water; from the red, it is instantly heated to the temperature you set. Great for pourover coffee or hydration at your desk, its planned retail price is $199.
Incred ’a Brew by ZevroIt’s not a smart gadget, but it allows coffee-drinkers to control water temperature and steeping time, produces 2½ cups of full-bodied coffee, and only costs about $28.
2. GHSP Smart Backsplash
This glamorous-looking digital backsplash from GHSP functions as a smart home control center, a computer touchscreen, and decor-setter. You can turn on the oven, watch a cooking video, check the weather, play music, and change up the looks of your backsplash, turning it into subway tiles, pictures of your kids, or a starry city skyline. It even uses UV to disinfect itself. While it’s still a concept item, manufacturer GHSP says it could be built on demand. (No word on the price, though.)
3. Fromaggio Cheesemaker
About the size of a large food processor, this cheesemaking machine plus app walks you through dozens of recipes to make your own cheese, or develop your own recipes. It can produce a 2-pound batch of cheese from any type of milk. We tasted fresh chevre, mozzarella, and aged comte—all delicious. (For aged cheeses, you need a wine fridge or other controlled aging environment; the company founder said he is thinking of producing an aging device next if Fromaggio takes off). It’s still being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, but we were intrigued.
4. PicoBrew PicoStill
5. Kohler Smart Dispensing Faucet
The Sensate from Kohler Konnect is a voice-controlled faucet; you can tell it to dispense exact amounts of water, like ½ cup for a recipe or 40 ounces for your coffeemaker. It also tracks home water usage. We’re still waiting for this to become available; it seems like an eminently practical application of smart technology.
6. Miracle Gro Twelve
This new indoor garden looks like an end table, and is stackable, so you can free up counter space while growing herbs and flowers indoors using this smart garden system. It’s named for the ability to grow plants indoors over 12 months of the year. It will cost $300 and is planned to hit stores in March.
Click and Grow Smart Garden 9In our testing of indoor gardens, this hands-off, intuitive model was the most self-sustaining and simplest to operate.
7. First Alert's Onelink Safe & Sound
Since most home fires start in the kitchen, we’re interested in prevention. This smart alarm detects both smoke and carbon monoxide and sounds an 85-decibel alarm, while sending alerts to your phone. It also works as a smart speaker/home assistant with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit and Google Home Assistant. Available for $249.
8. Selffee Edible Selfie Cookies
With this product, you get your photo snapped and five minutes later, your face appears on a cookie, printed with edible icing. Seems like a fun way to liven up an event or party.
9. Capsulier mess-free coffee capsule maker
This elegant, compact device quickly tamps coffee into a reusable, small metal capsule with a mesh cover to make coffee pod capsules for original Nespresso espresso makers and (eventually) other coffee machines that use them, too. Seems like a great way to use your preferred coffee and save the environment, too. The first model is out now at $99.
This is less of a product than a service. Think of it as an Airbnb of home-based restaurants: this startup launched in Davis, Calif., letting home cooks live the dream of opening a mini-restaurant, and giving brave customers the ability to dine in unusual settings. Expansion plans are in the works.
- Suvie, a cooking robot/countertop oven that uses sous vide to prepare whole meals on demand. Still in prototype, but looks intriguing. You can pop in the food the night before; it keeps food safely chilled, and later cooks each item (protein, starch, vegetables, sauce) separately, so it’s all ready at whatever time you set via its app.
- Breadbot, an enormous breadmaking robot that bakes 10 loaves an hour and dispenses them in a delightful Rube Goldberg-like vending machine, designed for supermarkets. (Too bad the bread, while fresh and warm, tasted a bit bland. It smelled great and was fun to watch.)
- Yomee, an automatic, hands-off smart yogurt maker about the size of a blender.
- Gourmia Pourista, a fully automatic, connected pour-over coffee brewer, featuring “barista-quality controlled bloom and pour-over action, precise temperature control, built-in scale, and automatic and adjustable coffee to water ratio,” all of which might free us from the fussy details of making perfect pour-over coffee.
- Impossible Burger 2.0, the first food ever released as technology at CES. The 1.0 initial plant-based burger was famous for being “bloody” like beef. Now the improved recipe is less “bloody,” is now gluten-free, and actually tasted pretty meatlike. The 2.0 version can be used like ground beef in meatballs, empanadas, tacos, and more, in addition to the original patty form. It’s launching in restaurants first, and later this year in supermarkets.
- Swidget, which looks like a typical wall outlet but contains a smart capsule that plugs into its center, making any normal kitchen appliance you plug in work like a “smart” appliance. You could turn on your coffee machine from the bedroom, play the radio, operate lights, and more. Typical “smart” plugs are bulky and protrude from the wall, so its flat profile seems appealing, too.