Ooni Koda 16
You can make a great pizza in a conventional oven with a bit of knowhow, but to achieve an authentically crisp base with a charred crust and perfectly cooked toppings you need a cooker that can crank up the heat.
Of course, the ideal solution is to clear out the garden and build your own wood-fired oven from clay bricks and eat like Donatello, Leonardo and co. But if that seems a bit over the top, Ooni’s range hits a sweet spot between convenience and authenticity.
The Koda 16 comes ready-built – all you have to do is hook it up to a gas supply. The Koda jettisons flames in an L-shape along the sides of the oven, heating the interior to a maximum of 500°C.
It takes all of five minutes to set up and 20 more to get to optimum temperature – just be sure to rotate the pizza once for an even finish.
Jura ENA 8
While the office has been shut, I’ve been relying on the pour-over method to brew my coffee. This technique means you simply pour hot water over coffee grounds on top of a filter. It’s a barista-favourite, but it hasn’t quite hit the mark of a freshly brewed coffee from a shop.
The ENA 8 is as close as you can get to the coffee-shop experience while staying in the confines of your home. It’s a clean, compact design that serves up 10 different types of coffee, from espressos to flat whites to lattes via a sharp 2.8-inch touchscreen.
Or you can even order a coffee from the machine while staying snug in bed, by using the Jura smartphone app. The coffee is smooth and rich, and offers all the extra flavour you get from grinding your own beans, only with none of the work.
It doesn’t look like much, but this is one of our all-time favourite pieces of smart home tech. The Meater is a meat thermometer that links up to your smartphone via Bluetooth to tell you the interior temperature of whatever you’re cooking.
Better yet, tell Meater what you want to cook and it’ll measure the temperature inside your oven – which is never what the knob on the front says – and it will estimate how long it’ll take to cook a perfectly pink leg of lamb, for example.
Essentially, it takes all the guesswork out of your meaty feasts, and you don’t need to open the oven door. I owe many a perfect Sunday roast to this little metallic sous-chef.
This is probably as close as you are going to get to having a robot chef in your kitchen. In effect, the Thermomix takes most of your kitchen equipment and crams it into one machine that can chop up your veg, pan fry and then blend into a soup in one pot.
The central temperature controls on the pot mean you can use Thermomix to carry out some more delicate culinary techniques, like sous-vide, fermentation and slow-cooking. Or you can just use it to cook rice, knead dough or whip cream.
There’s a scale for weighing what you put in, so the machine knows exactly what’s what, and it’s all controlled via a smart touchscreen that will present you with recipes made for the device. Teach it to swear and Gordon Ramsay’s out of a job.
Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi
The Instant Pot is everyone’s new favourite kitchen gadget. Hugely popular with time-starved parents, it’s essentially an electronic pressure cooker and slow cooker rolled into one. This means you could transform a pork shoulder into tender pulled pork inside half an hour, or knock out a chilli in even less time. Alternatively, you can set and forget the device for a few hours to slowly cook a stew or make perfect rice.
This new version now adds Wi-Fi connectivity and an app, so you can operate the machine remotely and get notifications when your food is ready. If you’re really short on time and energy this will be a bonus, as you can throw the ingredients in and fire up the cooker while you’re out so that dinner’s ready when you get in.
The app also features recipes that have been specially designed for the Instant Pot, to keep things breezy.
$129.99 (£TBC), instantpot.com
Livin Farms Hive Explorer
If you’re feeling really adventurous in the kitchen, then you could try getting your protein from something crunchier than steak. Eating insects instead of meat takes a massive chunk out of your carbon footprint; with this in mind, the Hive Explorer is meant to open people up to the idea of insect agriculture.
The mealworms eat your food waste – scraps of vegetables and grains are ideal – and poo out fertiliser that you can use on your veg patch or house plants. You allow some of the mealworms to pupate into adult beetles, which then reproduce and repopulate your farm. Other mealworms you harvest and eat – it’s the circle of life, minus Disney.
Its makers suggest grinding them up to make meatballs or roasting them for a crispy, nutty addition to a salad. Yum. And if you can’t face that, then garden birds will happily accept them.
$149.99 (£121.50 approx), livinfarms.com