Home Hacks

9 Smart Kitchen Products That'll Do Half the Work for You This Holiday Season

Filed under: things that make life way easier.

October 24, 2018
Photo by Rocky Luten

Look, I don't exactly mind running point in the kitchen during the holiday season. In fact, if it gives me an excuse to make an extra batch of gingersnap cookies that nobody exactly asked for, or the creative license to spatchcock our bird, I'm all for it. (What are you still doing in the kitchen, dad? I told you, I've got this.)

With that said, there are definitely a few jobs I wouldn't mind delegating. I don't mean garlic mincing—I'm of the odd-duck camp who loves when her hands smell like garlic. (What?! It's cozy.) But all of the memory work around which batch of mashed potatoes are leftover from which meal? Or whether that basil was purchased last week, or last month? I'm happy to hand off the baton there.

So when I read that kitchen tech company Silo recently revealed a new vacuum-sealing container system that keeps food fresher for longer and gives you a heads up when it's about to go bad, it got me thinking: What other "smart" food and drink products are out there that could be making my life easier?

Here are a few I found:

Food Storage Containers With a Super High IQ

Those Silo containers I mentioned have vacuum-sealing technology that reportedly extends the life of produce and leftovers alike by two to five times, and communicate with you via Amazon Alexa. Unfortunately, they are not yet available for immediate purchase, but you can pledge varying degrees of capital for different combinations of bases and containers, with an expected delivery of July 2019.

Photo by Fast Company, via Silo

A number of conceptually similar products are in various stages of development as well, including:

  • Ovie makes small light-up tags that get affixed to food containers, and can inform you when your food is about to spoil. The three-tag starter kit can be pre-ordered, with an estimated delivery of February 2019 according to the Kickstarter page. With Ovie, the smarts don't just end with the tracking tags—use of the associated app will apparently enable users to see everything in their fridge and get recipes based on those items, sync things up with a grocery list app, and even track food waste reduction compared with others in your area.
  • PantryChic is creating a dry goods storage product that keeps items in airtight containers and dispenses them in automatic increments—sort of like an in-pantry vending machine for your baking supplies. It's equipped with technology that allows users to track frequency of recipe use, as well as customization and scaling of specific recipes. Currently, the project is still in pre-production.

Water Bottles That Know You're Thirsty Before You Do—& More

You can lead a horse to water, and now you can remind that horse to drink, too. "Smart" water bottles—which, through a variety of technologies, encourage you to drink more water—are a whole class of brilliant kitchen products I didn't know I needed. There are dozens of different options, including:

  • The Hidrate Spark 2.0 is equipped with LED lights that cause the bottle to glow in various signal patterns, to remind you to hydrate. It's a good choice if you're looking for a water bottle to accompany you at the office, because it needs to be set down between sips to calibrate consumed water quantity. (So, in other words, it wouldn't be much help on a jog.)
  • The stainless steel Foladion Smart Water Bottle will tell you its temperature, remind you to hydrate, and signal an alarm when it's time to take medication. It's a good choice if you're looking for something with a less conspicuous design.
  • What looks like a lantern, sounds like a Bluetooth speaker, and has the hydrating capabilities of your favorite water bottle? That'd have to be the HYDRA Tech water bottle—which, admittedly, doesn't track your water intake. But will you care when it's providing the light and music for your dance party in the middle of nowhere?

Other Ways To Make Your Kitchen Game Smarter

  • Besides having the world's most adorable product name, Food Huggers are also a brilliant way to save leftover bits of fruits and vegetables. They come in a bunch of different, specially fitted sizes (we love the avocados!) and are happily reusable, anytime your groceries need a hug.
  • Stasher bags are like if your favorite zip-top baggie went on one of those makeover shows and came back with a seriously upgraded look, complete with a new eco-friendly attitude. Stasher bags are not only self-sealing and airtight to keep your produce fresh as can-be, they're also dishwasher safe, microwave-friendly, and can tag in if you need a vessel for sous-vide cooking.
  • These Pinch + Pour Measurement Beakers solve about 65 of my kitchen problems, including my lack of pourable measuring cups, and my need to label all leftovers immediately lest I forget what herby creation I'm storing. (These guys let you write directly on their lids with ball-point.) Also, you can microwave butter in them, which is a daily need in my home.

Do you have a favorite "smart" product for food or drinks? Let us know in the comments!

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Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.


Vicki November 7, 2018
In the leading photo for this article you have glass containers, 2 rectangular and 2 round, yet no where within the article are there links to these. The rectangular ones look like the older refrigerator containers my mom had. Can you tell me where I might get them? Thanks!
HalfPint October 25, 2018
My smart product are mason jars,in as many sizes as I can get my hands on. Love them, cannot imagine my life without them.
Smaug October 24, 2018
Personally, I prefer to keep my kitchen dumb. It grows increasingly difficult to find appliances that don't want to make my decisions for me, last thing I need is a wiseacre baggie.