LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chef-like robots, AI-powered appliances and other high-tech kitchen gadgets are holding out the promise that humans don’t need to cook — or mix drinks — for themselves anymore.
There was plenty new in the food and beverage world at CES 2024, the multi-day trade event put on by the Consumer Technology Association. Displays included cocktail-mixing and ice cream-making machines akin to a Keurig, and a robot barista whose movements are meant to mimic a human making a vanilla latte.
Here’s some of the newest tech that’s transforming the way meals are prepped, cooked and delivered:
A ‘NO SMOKE’ INDOOR SMOKER
GE Appliances is looking to change the way you smoke food with its new $1,000 indoor smoker.
Around the size of a toaster oven or microwave, the GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker can fit a full brisket cut in half, 40 chicken wings or three racks of ribs. It still uses wood pellets to achieve a smokey flavor, but its technology traps the smoke inside, making it “perfect for people who live in urban environments,” like high-rise apartments, said Whitney Welch, a spokesperson for GE Appliances.
GRILL SMARTER, NOT HARDER
Using generative AI technology, Brisk It’s new smart grill, the NeoSear, aims to make the art of barbecuing foolproof.
You can ask the grill all kinds of questions to create the perfect recipe: What seasoning should I add to make my chicken skewers spicy? How do I sear a medium-rare steak?
Once you’ve nailed down a recipe and prepped the food, Brisk It’s InnoGrill AI 2.0 technology will command the grill to cook it.
“It’s everyone’s smart grill,” said CEO Christopher Huang. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a skilled enthusiast, if you’re busy, young or old.”
The grill is not yet available but will cost around $2,000, Huang said.
DIY ICE CREAM IN A (COLD)SNAP
Freezing your own ice cream at home takes hours, but with tech startup ColdSnap’s no-clean ice cream machine, your frozen treat is ready in two minutes.
Think of it as a Keurig for ice cream: Choose from flavors like salted caramel and coffee, then put the pod in the machine and it will dispense your cold treat in minutes after scanning the pod’s QR code.
ColdSnap can also whip up frozen lattes, boozy ice cream treats and protein shakes.
ONE TOUCH IS ALL IT TAKES
Tech startup Chef AI is unveiling what it calls a “real one-touch” air fryer.
Unlike the air fryer you might have on your kitchen counter right now, Chef AI’s iteration of the popular appliance doesn’t require any tinkering with settings. Just place the food in the air fryer, press Start, and it uses artificial intelligence to detect what type of food it is cooking, says the company’s CEO, Dean Khormaei.
He said the air fryer would turn even the worst cooks into chefs.
Chef AI will be available in the U.S. in September for $250.
YOUR OWN PERSONAL BARTENDER
What’s the secret to a perfect dirty martini? Don’t worry about it — Bartesian’s cocktail-mixing appliance takes the guesswork out of bartending.
Bartesian’s latest iteration, the Premier, can hold up to four different types of spirits. It retails for $369 and will be available later this year.
Use a small touch screen on the appliance to pick from 60 recipes, drop a cocktail capsule into the machine, and in seconds you have a premium cocktail over ice.
If you fancy a homemade beer instead, iGulu’s new automated brewing machine lets you make your own beer — a pale ale, an amber lager or a wheat beer. Just pour a pre-mixed recipe into the machine’s keg, add water and scan the sticker that comes with the beer mix. In nine to 13 days, you’ll have a gallon of DIY beer.
ROBOT BARISTA THAT MOVES LIKE YOU MOVE
Artly Coffee’s barista bot mimics the way a human behind the counter of your favorite coffee shop might prepare your usual order.
“What we’re really trying to do is preserve the craft of fine coffee,” said Alec Roig, a hardware developer for the Seattle-based tech startup that now is operating at 10 locations across the Pacific Northwest and in New York City.
Roig said the company’s resident barista, who is behind all of Artly’s coffee recipes, was hooked up with motion sensors that recorded his movements as he prepared each recipe, from packing the coffee grounds into the filter to frothing the milk and pouring latte art.