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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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11 Brilliant Gifts for the Cocktail Enthusiast in Your Life

Libbey/Amazon
Libbey/Amazon

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

Cocktails are an art form. Each drink has a unique history. Why does a margarita have salt? How is the garnish chosen for each drink, especially when you’re creating one spontaneously? What’s the best way to make an old fashioned? If there is someone in your life that has the answers to these questions, they are probably a cocktail enthusiast. This holiday season, treat that person to goodies that will help enhance their craft. 

1. Cocktail Shaker Set; $18

Amazon

Whether they like their drinks shaken or stirred, amateur mixologists can make all kinds of cocktails with this kit. It includes all the essential tools: a muddler, jigger, shaker, and more. They’ll feel like an expert in no time.

Buy it: Amazon

2. The Carry On Cocktail Kit—Old Fashioned; $24

W&P/Amazon

For the traveler who demands a good drink, these kits come with everything but the booze. But if they are going to pack their own mini bottles, remind them to check the airline’s regulations—rules vary on whether it’s legal to drink your own booze in-flight. Also available in Moscow Mule, Champagne Cocktail, and Gin & Tonic.

Buy it: Amazon

3. The Spirit Infusion Kit; $42

Amazon

One of the best parts about making cocktails is that experimentation is rewarded. This infusion kit, including instruction and recipe book, bottle, strainers, and more, will help your cocktail enthusiast turn average vodka into a berry explosion or take tequila to the next level by infusing it with jalapeño peppers.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds; $10

Amazon

Instead of filling their glass with plain cubes, cocktail fans can use this set of two ice molds to craft spherical, uh, cubes. Each piece will melt slowly in a drink and add flair to their home bar. 

Buy it: Amazon

5. The Bitter Truth Travelers Set; $20

The Bitter Truth/Amazon

Any cocktail aficionado worth their salt should have a few bottles of bitters. To spice things up, give them this sampler set that includes five complex flavors: celery bitters, classic old time aromatic bitters, orange bitters, Creole bitters, and Jerry Thomas bitters.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Homemade Gin Kit; $50

Amazon

Though some home bartenders have a house cocktail, few can say they make their gin in-house. Help your loved one mix it up and make 750 ml of homemade gin with this collection that includes one tin of juniper berries, one tin of the company's secret botanical blend, one stainless steel funnel, one fine stainless steel strainer, and two 375-ml glass bottles. All that’s missing is your giftee's label—time for them to brush up on those Photoshop skills.

Buy it: Amazon

7. The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker, and Glass; $15

Amazon

Whether the recipient is a seasoned bartender or a cocktail newcomer, Imbibe editor Paul Clarke’s book has something for everyone. From modern cocktails to obscure classics, the snapshots in this 200-page book show how far the cocktail scene has come—and where it’s going.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Glencairn Whisky Glass Set; $30

Amazon

Whiskey drinkers know that the type of glass can dramatically change the smell, taste, and experience of the drink. This set of four award-winning glasses would make any cocktail enthusiast swoon.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Fancy Paper Straws; $5

KTOJOY/Amazon

Almost any drink looks fancier with the addition of a patterned paper straw. Gussy up your loved ones' bars with a box of these beauties. The stocking stuffers are biodegradable, compostable, printed with food grade ink, and available in a variety of colors and patterns.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail; $25

Amazon

This 416-page book should be a prerequisite for all science nerds who want to make better cocktails. Dave Arnold of Booker & Dax breaks down the facts and recipes to make any bar more interesting.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Libbey Mixologist 18-Piece Cocktail Glass Set; $39

Amazon

If your cocktail enthusiast likes to experiment with different drinks, then they need the glasses that go with them. They can’t have a martini in a margarita glass, nor drink tequila from a whiskey balloon, after all. Libbey’s set will instantly upgrade their bar cart.

Buy it: Amazon

Bonus: Vintage Fernet Poster; $50

CANVAS ON DEMAND/Amazon

Bartenders call a shot of Fernet a "handshake." The bitter, minty liqueur is an acquired taste, but there's much to appreciate. Deck out the wall of the Fernet fan in your life with this reproduction vintage ad.

Buy it: Amazon

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