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Smart Kitchen Appliances and Why You Want One

by Olly Mason

Welcome to the Internet of Things — also known as the network of interconnected electronics, devices, and appliances that operate with the power of WiFi technology. But what does that mean? It means the modern appliance shopper can enjoy a product that works and “thinks” just like its users. As a result, smart appliances enhance the experience while also preserving time and money.

Smart appliances have been on the scene for a while now. However, with more people spending time at home due to COVID, users have been able get more familiar with all the great functions smart appliances provide. Curious about all the world of connected appliances has to offer? Follow along as our experts take you on an in-depth look into the world of smart home appliances.

Wide shot of kitchen with smart assistant in the foreground

Who are Smart Appliances Best for?

The good news is, if you know how to manage a smart device, chances are you can also operate a smart appliance (some light tinkering might be necessary). That being said, many connected appliances often undergo regular upgrades, so it takes some active involvement to stay up-to-date with the features available and how each one functions.

Shoppers confident in their abilities to run devices are encouraged to consider a smart appliance since:

  1. WiFi connectivity makes multitasking more efficient. 
  2. Smart appliances can often self-diagnose issues on the spot, helping to prevent costly repairs.
  3. Users have a wider range of functions with smart appliances, which can increase positive user experience and better results.

What to Know Before Purchasing a Smart Appliance

Most often, integrating a smart appliance into your home takes no more than connecting it with your existing WiFi network. Many brands make this process easier with a proprietary app (good examples are ThinQ by LG or Home Connect by Bosch). Once the app is downloaded, users have access to a “universal remote” that controls all connected appliances from a single hub.

Man holding tablet and smiling in the middle of the kitchen

Smart Appliance Perks: The First Tier

When connected home appliances first hit the scene, the ability to receive program notifications and manage an appliance remotely via a smart device seemed like something straight out of Sci-Fi fantasy. But, as is often the case, that technology quickly became the new standard as later generations of smart appliances provided even more capabilities. A major reason for this transition was the influx of brands manufacturing new appliance models equipped with WiFi connectivity.

Now, buyers can find major appliances like ranges, dishwashers, and washers and dryers with base-level WiFi compatibility, including:

Smart ranges: Capable of programming time and temperature, as well as sending notifications to a smart device when the oven is done pre-heating.

Dishwashers: Capable of beginning or ending a cycle notifying a user when a load is done washing.

Washers and Dryers: Capable of starting a wash or dry cycle and sending notifications to a smart device when clothes are ready to be washed or taken out of the dryer. This is especially beneficial on front-load washers that can accumulate mold when clothes are left in the washer for too long.

Second-Tier Smart Appliances Troubleshoot Issues on the Spot

Imagine having an appliance expert on-hand to catch costly issues before they happen. That feature alone can help prolong the life of your appliance and keep maintenance and repair costs to a minimum. Fortunately, many brands like Café, Bosch, GE Profile, and LG have added the function to some of their mid and high-end smart appliances

How Do Self-Diagnosing Appliances Work?

During operation, intelligent technology does a diagnostic of the appliance’s performance and checks for potentials issues. If there are any problems, the appliance will send a notification to a smart device along with a description of the issue. Depending on the brand, users can even chat with proactive customer care for a full diagnostic, but brands that don’t offer the service often provide access to helpful user tips, manuals, and support via app.

Up close look at Smart Diagnosis on an LG French door refrigerator

Go Hands-Free with Smart Assistants Voice Commands

Speech has become an indispensable tool in the smart home. Like a hack, appliances with smart assistant pairing make it easy to start, stop, and manage an appliance with voice-activated commands, making multitasking is smoother than ever. If you’re familiar with how to use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, then you’re ready to start enjoying the same convenience when you use your appliances. 

Shoppers can find the smart assist feature on brands in just about every budget range, from Whirlpool and LG, to Bosch, Café, GE Profile, and KitchenAid.

Communication is Key

Smart pairing: It’s like reading your mind. Okay, it’s not that advanced (yet), but wirelessly linked appliances that can predict cycles and programs before you even need to think about it can streamline the user experience. Consider these two scenarios:

  • Smart GE ranges can sync with a compatible GE over the range microwave to coordinate timers or automatically run the overhead ventilation or lighting when the range is in use.
  • A smart LG dryer can suggest a customized drying cycle based off the wash cycle used on a smart LG washer. Naturally, LG’s latest laundry duo, the LG WashTower, comes with the feature literally taking the laundry routine from toss to dry.

How to Shop for Smart Appliances

As mentioned, you can find smart appliance options from nearly every major brand and from a wide scope of price points. Here’s how WiFi-enabled cooking appliances can expand your cooking skills while making the process simpler.  

Whirlpool Makes Mealtime a Cinch

Take Whirlpool and its partnership with the Yummly smart cooking app, for example. Once downloaded onto a smart device, Yummly can scan foods in the fridge and pantry (including produce) and gather suggested recipes based off the ingredients. Then, the user simply selects a desired recipe and Yummly provides guided steps and video instructions, plus real-time smart device notifications when it’s time to move onto the next step. Once the meal is ready for cooking, all that’s left to do is send the cooking prompt to a Whirlpool smart cooking appliance and it does the rest.

See how simple the process is!

Scan, Cook, Scarf

Another convenient smart feature is Scan-to-Cook technology available on ranges from brands such as Whirlpool, GE, and LG. First, a smart device registers a barcode located on the back of a frozen food (or foods commonly cooked in the oven) using the camera on a smart device. Once scanned, the device programs a connected range to the precise cooking temperatures and bake times.

Person using smart device for the Scan-to-Cook function on Whirlpool oven

GE Keeps an Eye on Dinner for You

Busy household? Then you’re probably used to having an extra pair of eyes behind your head. But with GE wall ovens with internal cameras, dinner is one less thing to have to keep an eye on. Together with remote programming, GE’s in-oven cameras provide a completely hands-free experience that’s manageable from anywhere in the home via a smart device. Never burn another cookie and never wonder if it’s time to pull the roast — just check the oven’s camera for visual progress of foods in the moment.

See GE’s in-oven cameras in action!

Take a Look into the Process

Here’s a great example of how smart appliance features streamline preparing meals using  GE Profile’s 30-inch Smart Convection Range (PSS93YPFS).

Before you even step into the kitchen, you can prepare the range oven by programming it with the SmartHQ app. Cooking conditions stay comfortable and practical with a smart over-the-range microwave that activates ventilation and overhead lighting when the cooktop is in use. Feel free to take a break with in-oven cameras that let you track food progress from anywhere in the house.

What About Smart Fridges?

While smart refrigerators come in a limited catalog compared to cooking appliances, options like Samsung refrigerators with Family Hub allow shoppers to reimagine the role of the refrigerator. With a tablet integrated into the door, these touchscreen refrigerators serve as an epicenter for a number of useful functions, including:

  • Tracking inventory of foods with interior cameras
  • Assigning expiration dates and reminders
  • Searching for recipes
  • Leaving memos
  • Creating a live calendar
  • Shopping for ingredients

Overhead shot of Smart Hub tablet on Samsung touchscreen refrigerators

Embrace the Future of Home Appliances

Shopping for a new appliance has become an exciting, new experience full of possibilities unlike ever before. The best way to take advantage of this opportunity is with the help of our experts at Grand Appliance and TV. With 25 appliance showrooms throughout Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, shopping local is easy. Best of all, we offer consistently low prices on major appliances from the best brands in the industry. Shop online or in-store today to experience the Grand difference today!