What are the latest must-haves in the kitchen

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Anyone who loves cooking knows the seductive pleasure of using great, slick appliances and smooth, easy to use cookware. Some of us may even dream of a high-tech kitchen with bright new appliances and cool little features.

But when it comes to buying the latest must-haves in kitchen electronics, things can get tricky. Larger electronic items such as your fridge or oven will obviously prove their worth on a daily basis. But the smaller electronics can become a little more troublesome. While they are exciting to peruse in a shop, many of us seriously question weather a great new blender may just end up unused and forgotten in a cupboard somewhere. If you have this problem, consider setting up an appliances cupboard. It should be at counter level and have its own power sockets. This way you can simply slide your bigger appliances out when needed. It will also allow your countertops to remain clear as well.

So with that out of the way, let's get started on exploring the latest in kitchen technology.

Lighting trends

modern Kitchen by LiteTile Ltd
LiteTile Ltd

Private Residence, Devon

LiteTile Ltd

The blazing cold overhead or fluorescent lights of older kitchens are long gone. Instead, we have a kaleidoscope of lighting options. 

The latest kitchens all have layered lighting and a focus on using strip lighting for different work areas. LED strip lights are a must-have feature. They can be used under your cabinets, inside cutlery drawers and within kitchen cupboards. You can even combine them with a motion sensor.

For general illumination, consider dimmable LED lights and for decorative purposes, consider a row of task lights or lamps as seen here. For an ultra-sophisticated look, check out the soft, even light behind this splashback.

Double fridge, smooth and seamlessly fitted

If you are on the look out for a new fridge, you might be surprised by just how much cutting-edge technology is around these days. High-tech sensors adjust the temperature to adjust for warm food or groceries and fridges are far more energy efficient than in the past. Full-width draws are available so that you can access select compartments without opening the main door at all. Door bins have gotten wider as well. So the inside of your fridge can more efficiently store milk, juice and other items that would have taken up shelf space in the past. Doors with built in icemakers are available in more flexible options as well.

In terms of aesthetics, counter depth refrigerators are increasingly popular. They are shallower than your ordinary fridge, but sit flush with standard cabinets and offer a cleaner, in built look. They are often taller or wider to compensate.

If you're wondering what the household fridge might look like in the future. Researchers have recently come up with a much, much quieter and smaller compressor. This is the primary feature that fridge designers work around. So in the future, your normal household fridge may look decidedly different in shape and size.

Clever appliances for small spaces

Every year there's a whole bunch of new, clever appliances. But I'm of the opinion that it's the small solutions that will be the most popular. As we are learning to live in smaller and smaller homes, wall mounted electronics will be popular. Check out this cool wall-mounted toaster. It's great for small kitchens. 

Simple things like magnetic mounts to prop your ipad on the front of your fridge may come in handy. There are mugs that will change colour when your morning coffee is cool enough to drink. A rotimatic will kneed, roll and pop out fresh rotis at will. A digital nutrition scale will give you all the information you need about your food. 

Microwave and oven developments

Consider a steam oven. Steaming is a far healthier way to cook food than ordinary roasting or frying. If you regularly steam large amounts of food, you may find one that only steams to be useful. The only limitation is that it won't brown food. For most people though, it's best to get a combination steam or convection oven. These combine the benefits of steam cooking with all the benefits of an ordinary oven. If you are budget conscious, a typical multifunction oven with a moisture function is a cheaper option. These will inject periodic bursts of steam during the ordinary cooking process.

Forget the standard old microwave. Newer versions can grill, steam and bake bread. Even pizzas come out crisp and tasty. Some come with the option of very low settings so you can do fiddly tasks like soften butter without blitzing it. If you want to ditch the old turntable and stop your food rotating, choose a flatbed microwave that bounces around the microwaves in a diamond fashion.

Finally, those with small children should seriously consider an induction cooktop. The cooktop transfers heat to pots and pans via a magnetic field, but the surface never gets hot to touch. Those in hotter climates will love it as well because it will avoid adding extra heat to the kitchen.

The future of the kitchen farm

There's no easier way to get hold of the latest, freshest organic food than have it growing right in your kitchen. Kitchen farming is a great new trend that enables those without a green thumb to keep their greens nice and healthy.

Vegetables need very powerful light to grow successfully indoors, and newer LED lights provide all the power you will need. Some even predict that every kitchen of the future will have its own fresh garden produce. If you just want to dip your toe in the water, consider the Quadra set up by Bulbo. The grow light emits a coloured light to cover the entire life-cycle of any medium sized vegetables, herbs and succulents.

Are robots the future?

In 2017, Moley will launch the first consumer model of their Robotic Kitchen. The kitchen features a robot working in a custom-made kitchen. The developers recorded the movements of a master chef in great detail and programmed the robot to follow commands. The entire set up is operated by a remote touch screen and the kitchen can be completely closed off when not in use.

If you love high-tech kitchen technology, you'll love this Ideabook 7 tips to create a restaurant standard kitchen.

Have you tried any of these kitchen electronics? We would love to hear in the comments below.
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