Sous vide” is a process in which you vacuum-seal something — say, a steak — in a plastic bag, then immerse it in a hot water bath for a long time. This low-and-slow cooking method results in amazingly tender and juicy meat. Anova’s Precision Cooker takes the guesswork out by connecting to your smartphone via an app, and alerting you when your food is ready. Plus, the app has recipes and tips from Serious Eats, one of the better cooking sites online. The Bluetooth version of the Anova is $149, while a Wi-Fi model, which lets you monitor its progress even when you’re not at home, is $199.
IGRILL2 COMPLETE MASTER KIT
Best for Grill Masters
How do you know if the turkey is done? You could keep opening the oven and sticking a thermometer in the bird, but what if you could simply sit back and watch the football game and get an alert on your smartphone when the bird is cooked? That’s where the iGrill2 comes in handy. The Master Kit comes with three meat probes as well as an ambient temperature probe, which makes it great not just for grilling, but smoking meat as well, too. The iGrill2 works over Bluetooth (it has a 150-foot range), and its app has recommended temperatures for all sorts of meats and doneness levels (rare, medium rare, etc.), and can send you alerts when what you’re cooking hits a preset temperature.
Best for Bakers
If you don’t use exact measurements when baking, your pie or cake could turn out to be a disaster, which is why a kitchen scale is essential. Drop’s connected scale makes baking easy for newbies, guiding you through recipes on your iPhone or iPad, ingredient by ingredient. If you want to double the recipe, a clever feature in the app will automatically change the amount of ingredients proportionally.
2-IN-1 KITCHEN MOUNT STAND FOR 7-13 INCH TABLETS
Best iPad Stand
If you’re using your iPad or some other tablet to look up a recipe, you don’t want to take up valuable counter space or risk splashing your tablet with your bouillabaisse. This stand can either mount to the underside of your cabinet, or sit on a desk, and fits tablets from 7 to 13 inches in size. It has a flexible arm and a rotating head, so you can position the tablet just the way you want.
Best for Barbecue
The one thing that will mess up a brisket, or any smoked meat, are spikes in temperature inside the smoker. CyberQ Cloud is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that not only monitors, but regulates the temperature inside your smoker. You can also control the temperature of your smoke using an app, or with CyberQ’s Alexa skill. The CyberQ can be purchased individually through BBQ Guru’s site, or as part of a temperature control kit that includes a fan and adaptor to fit a wide range of smokers such as the Big Green Egg. We used it to smoke a variety of meats, and everything came out juicy and tender.
INSTANT POT ULTRA
Best Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot has almost single-handedly popularized the pressure cooker market, and with good reason. Its programmable device can not only make 5-minute risotto, but can also be used to cook eggs, cakes, yogurt, and more in the fraction of the time it takes traditionally. This model is available in 3-, 6- and 8-quart sizes.