Like Honey

Are Smart Appliances Worth the Hype?



We Got "Smart" Appliances!

As many of you may know, we recently remodeled the first floor of our historic 1900's home, including  a brand new kitchen! One of the new additions I was most looking forward to was new, high-tech appliances! I've been using my two smart appliances for several weeks now and have a few thoughts on whether or not they're really worth the added cost.


Why Did We Choose "Smart" Appliances?

We remodeled our kitchen from the ground up, literally--we even replaced a good chunk of the floor boards! When it came to appliances, we wanted new and nice, but didn't specifically have "smart appliances" down as a must.

Lucky for us, my husband works for a company that sells building materials at Lowes and Home Depot and as their retail merchandiser, he is required to travel throughout our region to various Lowes and Home Depot locations. This enabled him to scour the clearance section at tons of stores and find us all the appliances we needed for incredible discounts!


How We Got All of Our Appliances at Steep Discounts!


I highly recommend taking the time to hunt your local hardware stores' clearance aisles yourself if you're in the market for a new appliance. We almost ALWAYS see multiple options that are discounted simply because of a small dent or scratch--often in a hidden area like on the back or side! It's totally worth it to keep your eye out, and don't forget to ask a manager to take a lower price. Even in these big box stores, they are often on a time crunch to get these products out of their inventory and will knock off a little more! It never hurts to ask!

Thanks to my husband's scavenging, we were able to score many appliances we would otherwise not have been able to afford. For example, my Samsung French Door Refrigerator normally retails for over $2000, but we paid less than $1000 simply because it had been returned--with not a scratch on it! We also landed big deals on our dishwasher and slide-in range, both of which happened to be from the LG SmartThinq line. I didn't have it in my plans to purchase a smart appliance specifically, but since I do already love my Amazon Echo Dot in my kitchen, and these were such good prices, I was beyond excited to get to connect all these appliances and simplify my workload.

Or not.

After several weeks now of playing around with the "smart" features of both appliances, I've got a few thoughts on whether or not smart appliances are really worth the extra cost.


Should I Shill Out for a "Smart" Oven?

In a word, no.

Of course all the commercials make them look so convenient and hands-free, but here is the reality: in order to use the Echo Dot to start up the oven, you have to be fairly prepared ahead of time. For me, that doesn't really make this feature convenient. If I'm well-prepared, I can set the oven myself with no added effort. The smart features would be more helpful to me in instances where I need them on a whim, unexpectedly, and I think that's probably the case for most of us. Here's how the oven feature works:

Set up the smart oven in the LG app, give it a name, and connect it to your home wi-fi, a process which took about 10 minutes.

Download the LG SmartThinq skill in your Alexa app, search for and connect your appliance to the app, a process which took another 5 minutes or so.

Now your oven is ready to roll! Well, sort of. Actually, in order for Alexa to do anything to it, it's not enough for it to just be connected to wi-fi. You also have to manually turn the oven knob to "remote start" and then you can send commands over Alexa. What's more? When you say "Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees", it kicks right on, but with a 15 minute safety timer. I don't know about you, but most of my recipes require more than 15 minutes to heat to temperature, let alone cook through. The only way to override this is to specifically say, "Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees for 45 minutes". Obviously, this is not the end of the world, but just an added frustration to me when I'm trying to use this feature as a handy-helper. And yes, you can control the oven from the LG app on your phone as well, but the same features still apply--your oven has to be prepped for the command, and opening your phone to an app to control the appliance is even less convenient than just turning it on by hand.



What About a Smart Dishwasher?

Our dishwasher is smart as well, but the app doesn't offer a lot of "features" to speak of. In fact, it really doesn't have any at all. The only thing the app has to offer when it comes to this "smart" appliance is sending your phone a notification when the load is clean and finished running. I know I could never expect it to load the dishes and run for me (a girl can dream!), but a few simple features like being able to change or cancel a current wash or even just select "start" on nights when I get all the way to bed and realize I forgot to hit the button on my way up...unfortunately, none of these options are available for this appliance, so while I really like the dishwasher's layout and performance otherwise, I absolutely would not have spent any additional money to have a "smart" dishwasher.


So, Are They Worth the Hype?


No, not really. The convenience factor just isn't there, at least not to the degree that would justify the price tag that generally comes with a smart appliance. They're simply not as effortless as their marketing makes them out to be.

If you're in the market for a new appliance, don't race out and splurge on a smart one just because it sounds high tech! Do some research to find what features really matter to you most. You can find amazing deals on clearance appliances that are still high end and perform really well without breaking the bank and put that extra savings towards other kitchen updates.


SHOP MY KITCHEN


PIN THIS POST FOR LATER




Slow Cooker Chicken + Stuffing



It might be like 1000 degrees outside, but that doesn't stop me from craving comfort food now and then. Couple those cravings with several days of no air conditioning and you've got the perfect recipe for a slow cooker meal in the making.
My mom has made a variation of this dish since I was little and it has always been a favorite! I love to throw it in the Crockpot when I'm feeling nostalgic or just craving Thanksgiving in July! Of course you can make this year round (who doesn't love their slow cooker in the fall and winter?!), but I think we tend to forget about this handy little kitchen gadget during the warmer months when we don't feel like cranking on the oven.



The best part of this meal is that it's pretty much a dump and go dinner, meaning I don't have to think twice about it once it's put together. That's definitely a bonus in my busy mama book! Download or pin the recipe below for later, because you'll definitely want to have this one on hand!

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD




We always meal plan for two weeks at a time and this is one of those dinners that always ends up back on the rotation with no complaints! We tend to serve it with rice (once I used mushroom rice and it was a major crowd-pleaser!), but it can definitely be served on its own with a side of veggies if you're looking for a low carb option. We find this to be such an affordable option when we're trying to cut back on the grocery budget so I highly recommend it for big families, gatherings, or just cheap weeknight menus. Happy eating!


SHOP MY GO-TO KITCHEN GADGETS + ACCESSORIES HERE


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