By Adrian Justins
The kitchen of this $17m five-bedroom home in Montecito, California, looks like it plays a central role in home life, from everyday family dining to rustling up lavish feasts for guests. The large open plan kitchen-living room leads out on to a terrace with a built-in barbecue.
Outside, the contemporary house, which is set within a landscaped three-acre plot, has space for covered and open-air dining, and enjoys exquisite views of the Pacific Ocean in one direction and the Santa Ynez Mountains in the other. Here are 10 of the best gadgets to enhance your own kitchen.
Philips Hue spotlight, £49.99
Lighting plays a significant role in creating the right atmosphere, especially in a kitchen that is also used as a social space. With 16 million colour combinations and 100 brightness levels, plus designated mood settings, these GU10 LED spotlights are controlled via a smartphone app. They can be used as a kitchen timer, flashing when it’s time to check the potatoes for example. When paired with a compatible Google Nest or Amazon Echo device, the lights can be switched on and off using voice commands.
LG fridge/freezer, £5,379.99
A double tap on the mirrored glass panel of the LSR100 fridge/freezer triggers the interior to illuminate so you can see the contents without opening the door. This reduces cold air loss, which can shorten the shelf life of food. The internal temperature of the fridge and the freezer can be adjusted using an app — useful for example when making ice. The app will also issue an alert if the door has been left open.
Salter Cook scales, £29.99
The digital display of these smart kitchen scales can be replicated on an app using a Bluetooth connection, allowing bakers to set target weights by pressing the screen on a tablet or phone while following a recipe. Keen chefs can also create their own cookbooks in the app, rate recipes and follow methods and lists of ingredients, using strikethrough to cross out completed steps.
Bosch oven, £1,579
Cooks who want to preheat the oven as they dash home can use a smartphone app to switch on the Serie 8 HRG6769S6B and set the temperature. Other features of the app include Amazon Alexa voice control and preset recipes that can automatically set the oven to the correct mode, temperature and cooking time. Using a water container behind its control panel (see picture), the oven can calculate and add the right amount of steam to stop vegetables and bread drying out.
Neff cooker hood, £1,049
There is no need to raise your voice in order to be heard over the fan when running the N90 wall-mounted cooker hood at full pelt. It uses an efficient drive function with high suction power but generates low levels of noise. The hood can adjust automatically to the amount of steam or smoke being produced, and can be controlled from the hob when linked by WiFi to a compatible model.
Meater Block, £279
Even with a regular meat thermometer, ensuring a steak or piece of fish is cooked perfectly can be a hassle, requiring multiple visits to the oven or grill to check the temperature. Meater’s ovenproof probes monitor the internal temperature of the food, and issue audible and visual alerts from their wooden storage block when the target, set using an app, is reached. The block also acts as a charger for the four 13cm-long probes. Individual probes are also available.
Smarter kettle, £99
When dinner is over and it is time to serve up a nice brew, a kettle that can heat water to the correct temperature for different teas — green tea is best made with water at 80C-85C while black tea is better at 90C or above — comes into its own. Although it has to be filled manually, the smart iKettle can be set to boil remotely at any chosen time and has the option of voice control using Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple’s Siri.
Siemens coffee machine, £1,499
For those who prefer coffee, the EQ.9 automatic bean-to-cup coffee maker has a barista mode that makes customised adjustments of each of the five variables that affect taste: strength, quantity, temperature, coffee-to-milk ratio and brewing speed. The machine can store the preferences of up to six users, or you can select from 11 presets using a smartphone app.
Hoover dishwasher, £319.99
When it is time to clear up, the HDPN 2D520PB dishwasher — compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant — has nine programmes that can be controlled remotely using voice commands. Alternatively, use the Hoover Wizard app to choose your preferred setting, or allow it to suggest the appropriate programme for each load.
Roborock robot cleaner, $749.99
Leave the cleaning up when guests have gone to a robot. The S6 MaxV can teach itself the layout of your home, and embark on scheduled vacuuming and mopping routines. It avoids unexpected obstacles thanks to a stereoscopic dual lens system, which gives it accurate depth perception, and AI that enables it to make decisions about changing direction. It cannot climb stairs but does work in the dark.Photographs: Jim Bartsch; David Palermo