Remember the Jetsons’ kitchen? The one with the robot maid who whipped up entire meals that were the size of vitamins? We’re not quite there — yet. But Betty Crocker wouldn’t recognize some of the innovations available in today’s futuristic kitchens, including talking refrigerators and brainy ovens. Check out these innovations and you might actually feel the itch to do some cooking tonight instead of warming up Chinese
takeout or eating out in one of our tasty Rancho Santa restaurants.
The lickety-split oven
Do you like to cook but hate waiting for that roast? Here’s a Jetsons-esque oven for you impatient types. The TurboChef oven cooks in insanely short times. Imagine cooking a 12-pound turkey in 42 minutes instead of four hours. Or steaming family-size quantities of asparagus in less than a minute. Or a 2-pound roasted chateaubriand in 11 minutes instead of an hour. Using patented technology, the oven circulates currents of heated air from the top and bottom of the oven cavity to brown, sear and caramelize food, up to 15 times faster than conventional cooking. Microwaves assist when needed. Such convenience doesn’t come cheap: Ovens run $7,900 to $10,000.
The liquid floor
Tired of the same old flooring options? Jockimo’s Living Surfaces Liquid Lava
is a fun flooring and countertop material made of liquid sealed between panels. When pressure (like a hand or a foot) is applied, that liquid moves and smooshes around, creating swirls and shapes. A homeowner can also back-light them to make the nontoxic panels glow with psychedelic trippiness.
Through a glass darkly (or in pink, or in green, or …)
“Color is hot, on a huge trend,” says Susan Serra,
a certified kitchen designer. Another place color is shining is through countertops — literally. ThinkGlass
makes textured and colored countertops that can be lit by LED lights so they literally glow. The countertops also can be made to glow in hundreds of different colors, programmable with a remote control — including the option to change the colors or even have them fade out or strobe.
The do-it-all oven
ppliances that can do multiple things for people are really taking off. So are ones that can be controlled remotely. To wit: the Tmio Oven.
The oven ($5,895 and up) functions like a regular oven — except that you can call it from your cell phone, PDA or computer, and it will switch from refrigerating food and begin cooking what’s inside.