The easiest way to start out making your home smarter is to start with one room. The kitchen is a great place to start, and there are already a ton of great smart home products available for the kitchen, and these include things like smart plugs, some light bulbs, but also some things that you may or may not have heard of before. Like a smart coffee maker that you can use Alexa to control, or set a timer to start brewing your coffee about 20 minutes before you wake up, so when it’s time to get up, your coffee is good to go.
The majority of the products in this list are compatible with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and in many cases they are both supported. So if you do have an Alexa device, you’ll be all set to control everything. Of course, if you have an Android smartphone, you have the Google Assistant anyways, but you can also pick up the Google Home or Google Home Mini. Both platforms are great for the kitchen as well.
While many may think that making your kitchen “smarter” is just a waste of money, it really isn’t. Once you’ve added one or two of these products to your kitchen, cooking becomes a much different beast. Think about it, when you’re cleaning chicken, you could tell the Google Home to turn on the oven to 400-degrees. Or you can tell Alexa to set a timer for 10 minutes while you are putting cookies into the oven. Those are just a couple of the use-case scenarios for making your kitchen smarter, it just makes things easier – and you’ll also save some electricity, and who can argue with saving electricity? Not only does that save you some cash, but makes your home a bit more greener.
The Echo Show is arguably the best Alexa device to use in the kitchen. And this is because it has a screen built-in. So you’ll be able to use a skill like Allrecipes, and not only will it tell you what the next step is, but it can also show you what the next step is. Additionally, if you have a Nest Cam and your cooking while your kid is in another room (maybe sleeping), you can use the Echo Show to keep an eye on them with the Nest Cam. Of course these are just a few of the things you can do with the Echo Show.
Right now, Amazon is running a sale on the Echo Show, use the promo code SHOW2PACK at checkout and get 2 Echo Shows and save $100.
On the outside, this looks like a plain old slow cooker from Crock-Pot. But it’s much more than that. It’s part of Belkin’s Wemo ecosystem. And this means its a smart slow cooker. Using the Wemo app, you can control when the slow cooker turns on, what temperature it’s on and much more. And as an added bonus, Wemo is compatible with both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can control the slow cooker with your voice.
Bring home sous vide, a technique that was made famous by professional chefs, and now it’s smart. Unfortunately this one does not work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but it is Bluetooth-enabled so it can be controlled by your smartphone. The Anova Culinary app is available for your smartphone on both Android and iOS platforms.
The Google Home is also a great addition to the kitchen. It can play music for you while you are cooking, or do some other things like set timers for you and help you out with a recipe. Not sure what to cook for dinner tonight? Ask Google, it’s just that simple. The Google Home doesn’t have a display like the Echo Show, but it is cheaper and can also be used for basically the same things – not to mention the Google Assistant is better with questions than Alexa.
The best thing about the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is the fact that it can make basically anything smart. For example, you could plug a rice cooker into the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini and then be able to turn on the rice cooker when you’re ready, from your smartphone using the TP-Link app, or you can also use your voice since it is compatible with both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.