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Robo-chefs and smart helpers cook up a storm in the kitchen

New developments that can transform our cooking space and make life easier

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 9:47am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 9:47am

Kitchens are becoming smarter, allowing us to better plan our grocery shopping and prepare dishes more quickly and with better results. Here are four developments that can make life easier and help us all to become experts in the kitchen.

Moley robotic kitchens

When London-based Moley Robotics unveiled the prototype of its robotic kitchen at Hannover Messe and the inaugural Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia in Shanghai in 2015, it caused quite a stir.

The world’s first-ever robotic kitchen, featuring four integrated kitchen items – robotic arms, oven, hob and touchscreen unit – can transform your kitchen into a futuristic wonderland.

A pair of fully articulated robotic hands equipped with tactile sensors – whose system has recorded how to duplicate the cooking skills of 2011 MasterChef winner Tim Anderson – can cook complex dishes such as crab bisque, and even knows how to turn the stove on and off.

The consumer version of the robotic kitchen will be launched in 2018 along with an iTunes-style library of recipes.

LG Signature InstaView Refrigerator

The race is on: Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge enables you to look inside via an app, build a shopping list, monitor the refrigerator remotely and place an order using apps. LG, not to be outdone, has come up with the Signature InstaView Refrigerator, which has a sleek mirrored glass panel that illuminates with two quick knocks, allowing the user to quickly check the fridge’s contents without opening the door, thereby reducing cold air loss.

If you’re struggling with an armful of groceries, simply step on the “Door Open” light projection on the floor in front of the refrigerator and the door gently opens.

Other features include a wide, deep and versatile pantry with different temperature settings for storing different types of food, a fresh air filter with forced air circulation, and a dedicated fan to deodorise the air.

Anova Nano Precision Cooker

High-end restaurants have along used sous vide (“under vacuum”) to cook meats for optimal results in natural flavour. The process involves vacuum-sealing food in a bag and slow-cooking it in a water bath of a precise and constant temperature. It is the perfect way to prepare steaks and the food never gets overcooked.

Anova came up with the Precision Cooker in 2013, which can be clipped onto any regular cooking pot to turn it into a sous vide cooker, and it is set to release the advanced Nano version in 2018.

With the MultiCook feature you can handle several Nano cookers in different pots at the same time through your smartphone, while MultiStep allows you to better manage complicated recipes that require different ingredients to be added at different times.

The algorithms help you control the temperature to precision down to one-tenth of a degree (Fahrenheit).

Each Nano can cook for up to four people with a water bath of up to 11 litres.

Miele Dialog oven

Also set to hit the stores is the smart Miele Dialog oven, which uses electromagnetic waves as well as conventional heat and a convection fan to cook food uniformly and quickly. The oven monitors how much energy the food has absorbed and responds to the texture of the food by adjusting the frequency of the electromagnetic waves.

You can place a fish frozen in the middle of a block of ice inside the oven, and then turn the electromagnetic waves on at the right setting and watch while the fish gets perfectly cooked and the ice block remains frozen.

It is also possible to place a rack of lamb along with vegetables and potato wedges inside the oven and have them all come out perfectly, without having to worry about timing.

The [email protected] app offers users numerous automatic programmes developed specifically for this oven.

The app comes with food preparation videos and shopping lists, and allows your smartphone to communicate with the oven. New recipes are being constantly developed and made available for downloading.