Gadget Tree: The Smart Kitchen Now


George Jetson’s “smart” kitchen is finally here.

You remember George, don’t you? The Saturday morning cartoon character whose housekeeper, Rosie, would put a block into an oven and, seconds later, a fully cooked meal would pop out?

Smart Kitchen-Rosie from the Jetsons

copyright Hanna-Barbera

It’s not quite that easy yet, but we’re well on our way to a Jetson’s-like smart kitchen.

We’ve been able to connect the care and maintenance of our homes through the Internet for a few years now… thermostats, lights, sprinklers, security systems, televisions, etc. But now, even our small, everyday kitchen appliances can be programed and operated from our phones or tablets.

Here’s what I found at the recent International Home and Housewares Show:

Before you start cooking, you’ll need the Orange Chef Company’s Prep Pad, the smart kitchen food scale that connects over Bluetooth to your iPad. It uses an app to show you the nutrition in the food based on weight, not labels. Here’s a demo:


The app-enabled iDevices Kitchen Thermometerlets you program the cooking time and temperature on your smart device and then monitors the temperature of whatever you’re preparing. The thermometer sends that info via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet as it cooks and when it’s ready. iDevices has a whole range of thermometers… I’ll tell you about those in the coming months.

The Smart Kitchen: iDevices Kitchen Thermometer

The Crock-Pot is probably one of the first programmable kitchen appliances. Now, no matter where you are, you can turn on the Crock-Pot and adjust the programmable cook time and temperature from your smart phone or tablet.

Crock Pot

Finished cooking… but forgot to sweep the kitchen floor? Send a message to Ecovacs Robotics’ Deebot D9 and it will clean your kitchen floors… or all of the floors in your house for that matter. It even returns to the charging dock and empties its own bin when it’s through cleaning!

The Ecovacs Deetbot D9


But by far, the best “smart” device I saw at the show was the Famibot… which really reminded me of Rosie (the Jetson’s housekeeper).

Smart Kitchen Ecovacs Famibot

Ecovac’s Famibot is an air purifier, entertainment center, security guard and home network connector. This little guy can even roam around your house and take photos and videos inside and send it to your phone or tablet.

Having a smart home seems like it would be really cool… but with all the bad guys out there, what if they find a way to reprogram my pot roast?


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Gadget Tree: Rösle Charcoal Grill


The countdown to the grilling season has begun… are you ready?

If you’re still trying to decide what kind of grill to buy, there is only one grill to consider: the Rösle Charcoal Grill

As you know, Mama grew up in Texas where grilling is a year-round pleasure. Charcoal grilling is the most popular… because honestly, (almost) everything tastes better when it’s infused with that deep smoky flavor, doesn’t it?

I first saw this grill at the Housewares Show and immediately fell in love because it was packed with all the features I’ve always wanted in a grill:

• A 24-inch grilling surface… 15% more compared to any standard grill I’d used before.

• An extra high dome lid so my chickens wouldn’t get smashed when I closed the top.

• A hinged lid (at a 45° angle) for easy access (I don’t have to struggle to hook it on the side of the grill or look for some place to put it when I open the grill).

• A rail that goes all around the grill so I can hang my grilling utensils on the side.

• Big wheels (8-inches with rubber treads) so it can be easily moved.

• Four position bottom ventilation so I can control the heat.

• A grill grate that opens on the ends so I can reload the charcoal.

• The grate also folds at the center so it can easily be washed in the sink or the dishwasher.

Easy access to your Grilling Tools!

The folks at Rösle sent me one of these to take for a test run, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m blown away. (It’s a snap to put together, too! Watch the video at the bottom of this post.)

Why would someone get so excited about a grill?

Well, like I said, if grilling is part of your lifestyle, particularly in the summer, you want a product that is built to last and designed to perform. If you cook a lot and already own (or plan to buy) high end, quality kitchen appliances, shouldn’t your outdoor grill be the very best as well?

What makes this heavy-duty grill truly unique is how I can really control the temperature inside the grill with the precise air-flow control vents that adjust into four positions and the built-in thermometer.

This grill is really beautiful, too. It’s built on solid stainless steel frame with ½”-gauge powder coated steel tubing. It has a striking black porcelain enamel coated steel dome, so it can withstand the elements.

So far, we’ve made brats, chicken legs and breasts, and some Black Bean Burgers for Drew (recipe and images on Monday!). I can’t wait to make a beer-can chicken and smoke some ribs.

Oh, yeah, since Father’s Day is just around the corner… is there a better gift out there? Get it here:–plu25004.html

This is going to be a great summer, I can tell already!

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: