Filed Under:

Kitchens Of The Future Will Really Know How To Cook

Play associated audio

Kitchens are getting smarter.

Some refrigerators can let you know when the door is open, or if the milk is past its sell-by date. They make ice at night during less expensive, off-peak energy hours. There are dishwashers that can contact a repairman.

It probably won't be long before you can become Facebook friends with your microwave.

The first microwave oven — the Radarange — weighed 750 pounds and was bought by a Cleveland restaurant in 1947 for $3,000. Later home models had a pull-out box for recipe cards. Paper recipe cards. So quaint.

Today, there are refrigerators with touch screens on the door that keep track of the food inside and suggest recipes to match. Imagine what you could do with pomegranate yogurt, wilted Tuscan kale and half a can of chickpeas.

Right now, it's all about the smart phone.

Warwick Stirling, Whirlpool's senior director of sustainability and connectivity, says consumers want to use their mobile phones to take back control of their hectic lives. Manufacturers are listening.

Ultimately, your phone will be a remote control for everything in your life that runs on electricity. You will be able to use it from other rooms of the house — or from other parts of the country. Some day, all your appliances will talk to each other through the smart grid. Then your dishwasher will know not to run because the electric car is charging. Meanwhile, you can go to the movies.

It's not happening fast. Whirlpool has just introduced a suite of smart appliances — but they're only available in Chicago. Stirling says to expect dramatic change in the next five years.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers says all appliance makers are poised and ready to jump into the fray. Now, if only the dishwasher could load itself.

Bonny Wolf is managing editor of and editor of NPR's Kitchen Window.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


Breaking The Cranberry Mold: New Ways To Savor This Seasonal Berry

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving tradition. But if you're ready for a fresh take on this staple, why not try cranberries in chutney or cake? America's Test Kitchen founder Chris Kimball offers ideas.
WAMU 88.5

Recipes Get A Makeover With GIFs, Science, And Emojis

On Food Wednesday, we explore the new ways recipes are being presented, with everything from GIFs to scientific method.

WAMU 88.5

International Military Action In Syria

French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington to seek additional U.S. support in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and NATO holds an emergency meeting over the downed Russian fighter jet: An update on international military strategy in Syria.


Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.