Futuristic Kitchen Gadgets Straight Out of Science Fiction

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“In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk.” – Ray Bradbury, “And There Will Come Soft Rains” Never having imagined microprocessors, Bradbury envisioned a world in which robots would carry out all the tedious labors that remove human attention from more worldly pursuits, not least of all in the kitchen. As in so many things, science fiction foresaw the day that intelligent machines would be commonplace in the home. That day is now; prepare yourself for the kitchen of the future.

Automated Inventory

For those of you who never have what you need in your cupboard, this is your lucky day. Amazon Dash buttons are product-specific devices that, with the press of a button, orders items when you’re running low. Before you plaster them all over your kitchen walls, though, check out the Dash wand, which puts orders on your shopping list by scanning or voice command. The Hiku fridge magnet performs the same function, but does not restrict you to the Amazon Fresh service. If you’re feeling a little more avant-garde, you can try GeniCan, a device that sits in your trashcan and makes you a shopping list based on what you throw away. For the detail oriented, Neo is a smart jar with an integrated scale; at any given time, it can tell you exactly how much flour or cumin you have left. Likewise, there are smart egg trays will tell you how many eggs you have left in your fridge—even if you’re already at the grocery store.

Precision Appliances

Worrying about cooking temperatures is a thing of the past now that appliances can monitor themselves. The Pantelligent smart frying pan not only monitors heat, it actually talks you through your recipe, step by step. If that isn’t enough for you, it even has an autopilot mode, which takes almost all of the pressure off you. Teamed with a WeMo Switch and a countertop burner, pan and switch will work together to keep the cook surface at precisely the right temperature.  The switch itself can be used to automate any number of other kitchen appliances as well. If you loved cake and cookies but hate all the precise measuring involved in baking, then the Drop is for you. This Bluetooth-enabled scale connects with users’ iPads and walks them through recipes, but minus the calculations; it lets you know when you’ve added enough of a certain ingredient. The days of measuring cups are a thing of the past. The final word in smart cooking, though, is sous vide, or precision temperature control. All you do is put your food in a small bag, drop it into the precision cooker, and it does the rest. The cooker, which is filled with water, keeps itself at just the right heat and cooks your food slowly and perfectly over time. Because your food is sealed in plastic, it retains more flavor and nutritional content than in other cooking methods. Set everything up the night before, use the app to start your precision cooker while you’re at work, and then come home to a hot and delicious meal.

Ultrasonic Homogenizer

These might seem a bit excessive, but to the foodie who wants the highest-of-tech kitchens, this is going to be a must-have item. These devices use high-frequency waves to distribute particles through a fluid quickly and evenly. The SonicPrep homogenizer can mix drinks, infuse meats with marinades, and perform a variety of other time-consuming tasks in mere moments. The price tag is steep, but if you live for flavor, then an ultrasonic appliance will help you get the most out of every mouthful.

Robot Kitchen

If you thought that ultrasonic homogenization was from the future, feast your eyes on this most Bradburyan kitchen aid: a fully automated kitchen. Or, if you prefer, a robot with built in cabinets, appliances, and utensils. The only work you have to do is selecting the recipe and restocking the pantry (and, with other items on this list, the latter task is a snap). Your robot kitchen will gather ingredients, mix them, cook your food, and even clean the dishes. In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin reveals that he ate simple meals so that he could devote more time to reading. For him, the “smart” in smart kitchen would have been twofold: making the kitchen smarter would have made him smarter as well. But let’s face it—we’re not going to spend our extra time studying, we’re going to binge watch Game of Thrones. And if Franklin were still around, he’d probably be on the couch next to you. No matter how you spend your time, smart kitchen appliances will give the extra leeway to do what you love instead of fussing in the kitchen.