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The best smart kitchen gadgets for new cooks

Thinking about new adventures in the kitchen? Some people start cooking because they want to save more money, eat healthier, start cooking for their kids, or just want to pick up a new, tasty hobby. Others may have mastered some basic meals but really want to branch out into more types of cuisine and new flavors.

Whatever your motivation is, if you’re trying new things in the kitchen, the right smart tech can be an invaluable help. These smart gadgets will help you pick up new recipes fast and master meals even if your schedule is a little cramped. Take a look and start planning your recipes!

Instant Pot Pro Plus
Instant Pot Pro Plus
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Cuisinart CFP-800 Kitchen Central 3-in-1 Food Processor, Gun Metal
Cuisinart CFP-800 Blender
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Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven, Brushed Stainless Steel, BOV450XL
Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven
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Google Nest Hub Max
Nest Hub Max
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Meater Plus 165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer
Meater Plus Smart Meat Thermometer
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Drop Smart Kitchen Scale
Drop Smart Scale
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Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker
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instant pot pro plus review
Simon Sage / Digital Trends

Instant Pot Pro Plus

Pros
  • Incredible versatility
  • Major usability improvements
  • Remote control functions fun and useful
Cons
  • Community recipes can be hit and miss

There are very good reasons that an Instant Pot is such a common recommendation for new chefs. They can serve as anything from a slow cookers or rice cooker to a steamer, pressure cooker, or roasting pan -- so they’re often the only thing you need to make a wide variety of delicious meals. They are also incredibly safe, with plenty of shutdown features and sensors to make sure nothing gets burnt, so you don’t have to worry about mistakes at all. The plentiful settings allow you to quickly cook chicken, make beans, saute veggies, whip up some yogurt -- it’s a long list.

Fortunately, this Wi-Fi version includes plenty of smarts to help you out, especially the app that gives you almost 2,000 recipes, control over the Instant Pot from afar, and alerts if you’re not near enough to hear timers. Oh, and the inner pot is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, so you don’t have to stress about a lot of pots and pans afterward.

Instant Pot Pro Plus
Instant Pot Pro Plus
The Cuisinart CFP-800 Blender.

Cuisinart CFP-800 Blender

Pros
  • Full blending kit
  • Durable design with powerful motor
  • Easy controls
Cons
  • No app-based recipes or instructions here

Blenders aren’t just for smoothies and frozen margaritas: They’re a staple of any capable kitchen that you’ll use over and over again to make sauces, create purees, shred veggies for salads, whip up a variety of soups, put together salsas, and much more. This super-powerful Cuisinart model is ready for anything with three different attachments, including a 40 oz blender. The 500 watt motor is made to last and can tackle just about anything (don’t try blending an iPhone, though, please).

New cooks will also appreciate how simple this blender is to use, with a basic knob-based control for how much power you want, allowing you to keep a careful eye on the results.

Cuisinart CFP-800 Kitchen Central 3-in-1 Food Processor, Gun Metal
Cuisinart CFP-800 Blender
Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven.

Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven

Pros
  • Eight great cooking functions
  • Four elements with precise cooking
  • 1800 watts for fast heating
Cons
  • Not as smart as some high-end models

Toaster ovens don’t just toast; they’re more like advanced microwaves that cook in a variety of different ways so you can create all kinds of dishes, keep things warm, and more without needing a full oven. This model offers eight cooking functions and four elements, with a variety of sensors to ensure you get excellent results without setting off the fire alarm.

The 1800W oven can heat up quickly and is large enough to handle basic baking, small pizzas, roasts, cookies, and more. It’s also easy to clean and includes an enamel baking pan. We chose this model because it’s more affordable, but if you want amazingly smart technology, you could also look at the pricey June Oven Gen 3, which can air fry, dehydrate, broil, grill, and more, all while automatically recognizing the food you put in with its HD cam and setting its own cooking schedule. It’s an expensive upgrade, but great for new chefs.

Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven, Brushed Stainless Steel, BOV450XL
Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven

Nest Hub Max

Don’t underestimate the value of a smart display in the kitchen. With a simple voice command, you can bring up recipes, ask questions about specific foods, convert measurements, and set timers while your hands are busy. The 10-inch screen also lets you watch cooking videos to get more details or get visual information to help you know what certain words mean (diced vs. minced, etc.), when foods are ripe, and other handy tips.

Plus, since it’s still a smart display, you can use it to stream music or watch your favorite shows while you cook, as well as to control a variety of smart devices with Google Assistant. You can also set reminders and shopping lists for future recipes!

Google Nest Hub Max
Nest Hub Max
The Meater Plus Smart Meat Thermometer.

Meater Plus Smart Meat Thermometer

Pros
  • Precise meat thermometer with probe
  • Bluetooth connection for mobile control
  • Timers, instructions, and customized alerts included
Cons
  • Designed primarily for large cuts of meat and birds, so it may not always get a lot of use

Cooking larger cuts of meats or the bigger birds can feel very challenging to those still getting used to their kitchens; getting the right temperature for the right time can be a challenge with traditional ovens or grills. But this smart meat thermometer makes things much easier. It uses Bluetooth and an app to send you temperature updates via a probe and dual sensors -- but that’s just the beginning.

The app can also walk you through cooking a variety of meats, give you precise timers based on your goals, and allow you to set up custom alerts for more freestyle work. It’s one of the best ways to get great results without needing to know exactly how your oven or grill will behave.

Meater Plus 165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer
Meater Plus Smart Meat Thermometer
The Drop Smart Scale.

Drop Smart Scale

Pros
  • Hands-free measurements
  • App-based recipes and conversions
  • Clean, easy-to-use design
Cons
  • Not everyone needs a smart scale for measurements

Want some help with more complex measurements? This smart scale is built to make precise measurements and help you calculate amounts, including scaling a recipe up or down for a different number of people and giving advice for making ingredient substitutions. The app also provides a number of interactive recipes and the ability to measure without needing to touch the scale at all.

Drop Smart Kitchen Scale
Drop Smart Scale
anova precision cooker wi fi review version 1550879740 wifi
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Pros
  • Makes great food
  • App full of recipes
  • Holds temperature well
Cons
  • No ice bath option

Anova’s smart cooker is designed to be slipped into water so it can monitor sous vide conditions, allowing you to immerse and cook a variety of dishes to perfection. It’s popular for eggs, meats like steak or lamb, fish, and much more. The cooker will monitor conditions and give you instructions via the app while circulating the water to make sure ingredients are cooked evenly. It also takes care of the heating process so you don’t have to hover over your stovetop controls. If you are interested in precise sous vide cooking, it’s an excellent companion.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Do you also like getting the most out of your caffeine? Be sure to stop by our list of the best coffee makers for every kind of coffee fan.

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