Cooking is something many of us love to do at home. There are few feelings more rewarding and satisfying than throwing together a delicious meal in your own kitchen and sharing it with family or friends.
However, cooking can be tough. There are lots of things to pay attention to, lots that can go wrong, and lots of preparation and planning to stay on top of. The good news is that home automation has many different solutions to make the cooking process easier, more fun, and more organized.
In this article, we’ll look at how home automation can improve cooking and share some Arduino project examples.
How home automation can help with cooking
- Storage. Things like smart refrigerators and smart pantries can help you keep on top of your ingredients, get alerts when things are running low, and even automatically add items to your next shopping list.
- Measuring. Tools like timers and thermometers can add a dash of precision to your cooking sessions, helping you stick to recipes, manage time, and create that perfect dish
- Experimentation. The right solutions can help you experiment with different, new styles of cooking and try things that would otherwise be tricky
- Safety. There are many home automation tools that can help detect things like gas leaks and alert you to any potentially risky situations in your home kitchen
Some project examples from Arduino
Arduino community member Shahariar developed this pocket-sized IR thermometer using Arduino programming and a handful of other components. As well as the ability to measure temperature, this device also has a stopwatch function, kitchen timer, and an inactivity tracker — making it the perfect home kitchen Swiss army knife.
- An IR radiation-based temperature sensing device, making it possible to measure the average temperature of the surface it’s currently facing
- A stopwatch based on the standard sports device, designed to measure elapsed time
- A kitchen timer which alerts you at pre-set intervals — for example, when your chicken is ready to be removed from the oven — by buzzing an alarm
- An inactivity tracker which alerts you to move after a certain number of pre-set minutes has passed. This is designed to keep you active and healthy in the kitchen.
TheParticleGuy created this Arduino Kitchen Assistant to give you a helping hand around the kitchen. This project shows you recipes, sets timers, displays the temperature of your food, and even leaves notes. It works by connecting to Amazon Alexa, doesn’t need to be plugged in, and can be carried around the kitchen with you.
You can give the device instructions via Alexa, for example, “Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes”, and ask questions like, “Alexa, how can I cook a Thai curry?”. You can also ask the device to convert units of measurement, leave notes for later (like reminders to buy ingredients) and ask Alexa for the temperature of your current dish.
Arduino community member Mohammad Haizad built this project to solve a problem most of us have struggled with at some point — running out of oil.
Oil is one of those kitchen items that we always seem to have a full bottle of until the day it runs out. Then, we’re left with a pile of ingredients and no oil to cook them in! Mohammad decided to solve this problem once and for all by building a DRS Oil Container that automatically orders a new bottle of oil when your current one is running low.
The DRS Oil Container works by using an ultrasonic sensor to measure the level of the oil in the bottle. It’s connected to the Genuino MKR1000, which initiates a purchase via Amazon as soon as the sensor reading drops below the threshold value.
Have more fun in the kitchen with Arduino
A lot of the challenging and frustrating aspects of cooking can be solved with just a sprinkle of home automation. As you can see from the projects we shared, it’s possible to build your own smart home cooking devices with just a few easy-to-find components and a basic understanding of programming.
Visit our home page to find out more about how Arduino can help make your home smarter and your life easier.