Get your Pinterest page ready. This weekend, we’ll bring you coverage of the International Home + Housewares Show, an exhibition of the latest in kitchen appliances, cooking gadgets, home design and all the other accessories you’ll want to save to your “Dream Home” Pinterest board (don’t act like you don’t have one).
More than 2,100 exhibitors from across the housewares industry will attend the sold-out show, which begins Saturday in Chicago. We’ll be at the show covering anything that catches our eye. Here are some of the things we’ve already heard about that you might think about the next you’re in the market for a small appliance:
The Instant Pot effect
This year, it’ll be hard to ignore the effect of the‘s wild popularity. We expect that plenty of companies, both large and small, will have their answer to the electric pressure cooker on display. That means multiple products that will mimic the basic functionality of the Instant Pot. For example, Black and Decker will have their own version of the electric pressure cooker. It’s a play that veteran kitchen appliance maker also made recently.
Some manufacturers are already trying to out-innovate the Instant Pot. Case in point: the 11-in-1 Cool-Cooker from Gourmia, a small-appliance manufacturer. The company says the multicooker handles Instant Pot staples such as steaming, roasting, baking, plus cooking slowly or quickly with pressure. What makes the Cool-Cooker stand out is that it can allegedly keep food cold, too. It can allegedly store items at food-safe temps, then kick into cook mode without you having to lift a finger, Gourmia says.
The elephant in the room is Instant Pot itself. Rumor has it the company is close to unveiling a revamped Instant Pot appliance called the Instant Pot Max. The new model will feature a sleek touchscreen control panel, a motorized stirring arm, and a canning function, The Kitchn website reported. The Max should offer new automatic ways to release internal pressure as well. They might take the form of fast, slow and pulse (perhaps moderately fast).
Things are always bubbling in the world of home coffee, but this year a number of brands are due for a product line refresh. For example, Oxo just added ato its kitchen lineup. They’ll likely have other new coffee products on display at the show.
Gourmia will also push the technology envelope in the realm of drip coffee. The company will showcase its recently announced Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana voice-activated assistants., which the Gourmia said will support
Companies also have adult beverages in mind for products they’ll bring to IHHS. Coravin, a company that makes wine bottle openers that are also supposed to keep your wine fresh, will bring a Wi-Fi enabled opener to IHHS. The app that works with the opener is designed to educate you about what you are about to drink and let you keep a catalog of all the bottles you’ve had (some of us might be a little embarrassed with such a record on our phones). Another wine-centric company called iFavine will have a line of decanters that aerates your wine with purified oxygen and connects to an app via Wi-Fi.
Hamilton Beach. The companies say the Bartesian will make it onto shelves by the end of the year., a countertop machine that makes single-servings of mixed drinks, has attended IHHS before, but this year the company will return with the backing of small-appliance company
It’s not all about the tech at IHHS. Product makers also show off updates that are all about the aesthetics. Take KitchenAid, maker of the ubiquitous stand mixer. The company has taken a cue from Pantone and selected a “Color of the Year” for its countertop products. This year, it’s “Bird of Paradise” (pictured above).
Check CNET throughout the weekend and next week for more coverage of this year’s IHHS.