9 futuristic ways food tech will make your life better (and weirder)

Futuristic kitchen gadgets to make even the Jetsons' swoon — simplify everything from your morning coffee to your evening cocktail


Bought a six-pack? Burned a pork chop? Wrote out an actual list of groceries? Not for much longer. These kitchen innovations show you where the future of home cooking is headed.

Your bedside alarm clock will brew pour-over coffee
Kitchen gadgets: Barisieur
Looking like a glass-beaker science set that’s been run through a Scandinavian-design Snapchat filter, the Barisieur reduces the time between “opening eyes” and “consuming caffeine” to practically zero. The contraption uses induction heat and steam pressure to brew your coffee (or tea) before the alarm goes off, and there’s a chamber in the base to keep milk chilled overnight.

Your garbage can will compose grocery lists

Clip the battery-shaped GeniCan onto your kitchen garbage bin, and it’ll scan the barcode of every item you chuck away. (No barcode on that broccoli? Use the voice-recognition technology instead.) Each item is added to a grocery-list app on your smart phone — and if you don’t feel like trekking to the store, GeniCan syncs with Amazon for same-day delivery.

Your pancakes will be printed

Kitchen gadgets: PancakeBot

Maybe, on a really successful Sunday morning, you can manage to fashion some sort of bear-shaped pancake out of strategic batter placement and sheer force of will. That’s pretty good, but PancakeBot’s 3D-printing technology will help you majorly up your breakfast game, with hundreds of designs that range from pancake triceratops to pancake Sydney Opera House to pancake Matt Damon’s head.

Your herbs will grow themselves
Kitchen gadgets: Grobo
No time? No green thumb? No desire to confront whatever hellish weed has overtaken your backyard? None of that’s a problem for Grobo, a set-it-and-forget-it indoor gardening system developed by two University of Waterloo engineering grads. You fill the machine with water and nutrients, sprinkle some seeds, tell the app what you’ve planted, and do absolutely nothing else until it’s time to harvest your fruits or herbs a few weeks later — at which point it will be up to you to figure out what to do with your boatload of tarragon.

Related: 4 high-tech health gadgets headed your way in 2017

Your skillet will put the brakes on burning
Kitchen gadgets: Hestan Cue

Armed with a database of the time and heat needed to cook every imaginable food to every conceivable doneness, the Hestan Cue promises to make it really, really hard to screw up dinner. First: You pick a recipe and input the size and cut of your meat or vegetable into the app. Then: The app programs the temperature of Cue’s stainless-steel frying pan and induction burner, and calculates how often you should flip and when you should remove your food. Lastly: You get to brag about your superior cooking skills (and the pan’s not yet smart enough to set the record straight).

Your fridge will call you a cab
Kitchen gadgets: InstaView
The LG InstaView fridge badly wants you to know what’s inside it. Knocking twice on the touch-screen door turns it translucent, so you can double-check your grocery list without letting out cold air. Or you can just confirm what you need while you’re at the supermarket, since a built-in camera lets you check the contents of your fridge from an app. The InstaView is also compatible with Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, so it can read you a recipe, play any song or audiobook while you cook, set timers and convert measurements, or else call you an Uber if you decide it’s really more of a takeout night.

Your cocktail will be a click away
Kitchen gadgets: somabar

Using the Somabar is sort of like ordering a drink from a cute bartender at a cool speakeasy, except the bartender is a robot and the speakeasy is your house (which means you get to be in comfy pants). You pick the beverage and drop in a booze-filled pod, and the machine can infuse, shake and pour one of several hundred cocktails in a matter of seconds. What could possibly go wrong?

Your craft beer will be local — wherever it comes from
Kitchen gadgets: picobrewmodelc

More proof that people are bananas about craft beer: In May, PicoBrew’s Model C automatic brewer raised nearly $2 million US on Kickstarter, becoming the most successful food campaign in the site’s history. The appliance, which resembles a coffeemaker, sits on your countertop and uses Keurig-like packs to brew craft suds from award-winning beer makers around the world. There’s a healthy share of Canadian brewers, too, including Halifax’s Propeller and Burlington’s Nickle Brook.

Your food will fully and completely cook itself
Kitchen gadgets: nomiku
Sure, meal-delivery programs like Blue Apron will drop off ready-to-cook food on the doorstep. But some chump still has to cook that food. Nomiku Sous Chef makes TV dinners for the information age: Scan a vacuum-sealed package on the Nomiku immersion circulator, slide it into the water, and the machine will adjust the heat based on the food inside and number of packages. Half an hour (and one text notification) later, you’ve got sous vide–cooked pork shoulder with adobo or meatballs with marinara.

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