10 Smart Kitchen Gadgets That Will Make You a Veritable Cooking Genius

This pan connects to your phone and helps you cook perfect meals.
This pan connects to your phone and helps you cook perfect meals.
Hestan Cue/Amazon

Although cooking can be fun—and practical—the time and effort it takes can be sometimes be a real drag. Cook smarter and spend less time in the kitchen by enlisting the help of these smart kitchen gadgets. They may not be able to guarantee your meals are Michelin Star-worthy … but they’ll certainly make you feel that way.

1. GE Smart Microwave; $132

Smart microwave
This smart microwave from GE works with Alexa.
GE/Best Buy

This microwave from GE won’t just pop popcorn and reheat your leftovers from last night. Its Scan-to-Cook technology means all you have to do for microwavable meals is scan the item’s bar code with your smartphone or tablet, pop your food in the microwave, and watch it cook—the microwave will automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time for you. And it’s Alexa-enabled, so you can tell it how you want your food cooked without having to lift a finger. Talk about an easy dinner!

Buy it: Best Buy

2. Hestan Cue Smart Pan Fryer; $400

A smart pan
This smart frying pan's app comes stocked with more than 500 recipes to pick from.
Hestan Cue/Amazon

This isn’t your mom’s hot plate. Consisting of a set of a portable induction burner and a temperature-sensing stainless steel pan, this Hestan Cue Smart Cooking system comes with an app that has over 500 different recipes for all levels of cooking. It will take you step-by-step through each meal, and will self-adjust cooking time and temperature so you don’t have to worry about watching the pan as you prep, chop, and scroll through the recipe. Best of all? The pan is dishwasher safe, making cleanup just as easy as the meal.

Buy it: Amazon

3. COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer; $120

Smart fryer
Throw some broccoli or cauliflower into this Cosori air fryer and you'll never steam again.
COSORI/Amazon

Air fryers are the best: they add crunch and crispiness to everything from chicken to eggplant, and best of all, they make frying healthy, too! Step up your air fryer game with this Smart WiFi Air Fryer from COSORI. It’s Alexa- and Wi-Fi-enabled, making your frying hands-free, and can also be controlled your phone. With the ability to schedule a cook time up to four hours in advance, and set with pre-programmed recipes, this fryer will be your new secret weapon for parties or a quick weeknight meal.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Instant Pot Smart WiFi; $122

Smart Instant Pot
This Instant Pot allows you to keep tabs on your meal's progress through an app.
Instant Pot/Amazon

Instant Pots are already a lifesaver—and with Wi-Fi and Alexa power, they’ll make any home cook a force to be reckoned with. A pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, sauté pan, steamer, and warmer all in one, this smart Instant Pot can be controlled directly through the Instant Pot app or through your instructions to Alexa. The app has hundreds of recipes to try, and can also track your meal’s cooking progress to send you an alert when the food is ready. With a 6-quart capacity perfect for weekly meal prepping or family dinner, and with plenty of accessories, this Pot is the sous chef you never knew you needed until now.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Perfect Drink PRO; $100

Perfect drink mixer
Mix the perfect cocktail every time with this scale.
Perfect Company/Amazon

What’s dinner without drinks? Try out the Perfect Drink PRO, which is great for mixologists and clueless cocktail makers alike. Simply choose one of the drinks on the app, put your glass or shaker on the scale, and start pouring. The app will guide you through the cocktail recipe, dinging when it’s time to stop pouring and move onto the next step. Everything is measured via the scale weight, so there’s no need to use a shot glass or measuring cup ever again. And, with the ability to self-adjust a recipe if you over pour, the PRO guarantees that your drink will always taste like it was made by your favorite bartender.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano; $99

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Sous vide doesn't have to be intimidating.
Anova Culinary/Amazon

The sous vide method of cooking can sometimes be intimidating—but this smart tool makes it completely approachable. All you have to do is attach the cooker to a pot or container, fill it with water, add your food in a sealed bag, and start the Precision Cooker. This powerful device will circulate the water at the exact temperature your food needs to cook, and its small size makes it portable and easy to store. Although you can use the manual controls, you can also monitor and control the device from your phone using the Anova app. Sous vide has never been easier.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug; $80

A smart coffee mug
Do away with that room-temperature coffee.
Ember/Amazon

There’s nothing worse than making that perfect mug of coffee or tea, only for it to start cooling down faster than you can drink it. That’s why this smart mug is any chef’s perfect accessory. Just charge it using the charging coaster, pour your drink, and keep it hot without ever having to put it in the microwave. The mug lasts for one hour on a single charge, and it can be kept at a consistent temperature between 120 and 145° F (which can be customized using the Ember app). Now you can drink coffee any time of day without ever having to make a fresh pot.

Buy it: Amazon

8. iDevices Kitchen Thermometer; $80

Smart thermometer
Make sure your meal is cooked to the perfect temperature.
iDevices/Amazon

Just like a watched pot never boils, a piece of meat that you have to monitor never cooks (or so it seems). But the iDevices Kitchen Thermometer takes all the anxiety out of the equation. Just stick one of the dual probes in your food (or both, for larger items) and connect to the Kitchen Thermometer app to set the temperature your food needs to reach. From there, the app takes over, monitoring your food’s temperature and alerting you when it’s time to take it out of the oven. There’s no need to keep checking on it, so you can spend your time doing things other than opening and closing your oven door every 15 minutes.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Hamilton Beach Smart Coffee Maker; $90

Smart coffee maker
Using Alexa, you can tell this coffee maker to start brewing.
Hamilton/Amazon

Never make your own coffee again with this 12-cup smart coffee maker from Hamilton Beach. For your part, you'll just need to schedule a brew time, set your brew strength, and turn your coffeepot on and off with Alexa, or with the Alexa app. This coffee maker can be filled with water from the front, so there’s no need to pull it out from under any cabinets, and its heating plate automatically turns off after two hours as a safety precaution. After coffee itself, there’s no smarter way to wake up in the morning.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale; $30

A smart scale
This smart scale can also help you calculate calories, protein content, and more.
Etekcity/Amazon

Even with an arsenal of kitchen gadgets in your corner, you may not always be prepared to make healthy choices. That’s where the Etekcity Digital Scale comes in. The scale syncs with the Etekcity app to track not just the calories of your food, but their nutrition content too. Just put the food on the scale, plug the name of the item into the app, and voila! You’ll know everything from the calories you’re taking in to carbs to sugar to protein and more. The app is preloaded with 27,000 different items via a USDA database, so knowing the nutritional value of everything you’re eating is near-guaranteed. And you can also keep track of what you’re eating on the app through a convenient food diary. Whatever your health goals are, you’ll not only cook smart with this device: you’ll eat smart, too.

Buy it: Amazon

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Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

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