20 Feb 2024

Smart Kitchens Work Harder

As we use our kitchens more, and for a variety of activities as well as for cooking, it’s not only the space itself that needs to work harder, but the fixtures and fittings within it, too. This is particularly the case for appliances; from the oven and hob to the kitchen taps, working harder equals being smarter.


thumbnail image thumbnail image thumbnail image

We live in a technological age, of course, and the kitchen is not immune to gadgetry. Far from ‘nice-to-have’ gimmicks, though, the latest and in-demand smart technology for this area of our homes is big news because of the practical advantages it brings to this busiest and multifunctional space.

Let’s start with the oven. Technology here has moved on a great deal from the humble cooking timer of old. The latest ‘smart’ ovens combine several appliances in one, have pre-programmed recipes built in and cook evenly while eliminating odours.

With a focus on healthy eating and preparing nutritious meals at home, in-built thermometers cut out automatically once the food has reached the target temperature. This ensures dishes are cooked to perfection, with a professional cooking performance that achieves perfectly-even results. LED multilevel lighting ensures a true-to-life view of the food in the cooking chamber, while intuitive, programmable touch displays are simple to use.

As BORA’s Founder and CEO, Willi Bruckbauer, comments: “The usability of home appliances is very important. Appliances can be complicated and not very sexy. The user wants the latest technology to create professional results, but the technology must be intuitive and provide a simple experience for the user. It must be fun. For example, I like to use my smartphone and I don’t need an instruction manual, so everything is easy.”

As the kitchen shifts from a purely practical environment to an open-plan, shared space, minimalist design is important. This doesn’t just mean clever internal storage ideas either; the minimalist approach has resulted in a move towards smarter design in all areas. Think hot water taps that make the perfect brew without the need for a kettle, liberating worktop space. Filter taps for great-tasting water with no need for a bulky jug to take up room in the fridge or multiple plastic mineral water bottles clogging up the cupboards. Combination ovens that use a single appliance, whether you’re baking, grilling or heating. Kitchen islands that function as food prep zones and dining tables or breakfast bar areas that can double up as an alternative desk space in our hybrid working world.

Bulky overhead extractor hoods are replaced with downdraft extraction systems seamlessly integrated into the cooktop. This ‘barely-there’ approach to appliance design doesn’t compromise on the latest smart technology, however, with the power level on the latest models automatically adjusting according to cooking conditions, always operating at minimum volume to prevent noise pollution in open-plan kitchens.

Even the hob itself can now be concealed from sight – tapping into the trend for the ‘hidden kitchen’, where the worksurface is not only a cooking area but also a dining table, desk, home bar or whatever you want it to be.

Designed to create a multifunctional kitchen space ideal for daily use, the induction hob can be integrated into the countertop, opening possibilities for users to prepare, cook and dine in the same space with an innovative induction system that operates through a magnetic field, making it safe and ideal for the busy family kitchen. Ben Bryden, Sales and Marketing Director of RAK Ceramics, explains: “An invisible induction cooking system is created through a process of integration between material and technology, offering the highest quality with an avant-garde design that fits perfectly into any space.”

Often the unsung hero of the kitchen when it comes to functionality and design, the sink is an essential workstation and an equally important component of the overall aesthetic of the space.

When the emphasis is on maximising worktop space, the sink now works smarter, too. Going beyond washing up and soaking dishes, many of the latest sink designs offer extra space for tasks including chopping, draining and drying, all of which allow for easy and efficient food prep and clean up directly over the sink, while keeping germs and other contaminants off the countertop surfaces.

State-of-the-art, modern and very slick, multifunctional sinks take minimalism to new heights. They are also the perfect cook’s assistant – an important selling point at a time when home dining is so prevalent. Often referred to as workstation sinks or prep station sinks, on the most basic level, these sinks feature sliding pieces and inserts such as colanders, cutting boards, bins, drying racks, shelves for sponges and more, so everything can be prepped at the sink.

A commonality of this entire kitchen tech is convenience – it’s all designed to make our kitchens easier to use and to save us time, even down to the tap. Instant hot water taps, for example, mean less time wasted waiting for the kettle to boil. Filter water taps mean less time spent shopping for and carrying home heavy cases of bottled water. That gives us more time to use and enjoy our kitchens, of course, and also enables us to live smarter – not only in terms of time savings but also in regards to sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint.

Further information....

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Login to post comments