Six tech-savvy ways to step up your home cooking game this summer

Find out how a little smart tech could be your secret weapon for serving up delicious, cost-effective dishes with a lot less stress

Mother and daughter cooking and laughing looking into a phone
(Image credit: Future)

As a busy parent, preparing a home-cooked meal can feel pretty heroic. Between work, after-school activities, and all the other demands of modern family life, finding the time and energy for creative meal prep can be tough. 

These days, our smartphones and smart home devices can do so much more than just entertain. They also provide endless opportunities to learn new cooking skills, discover tasty recipes, manage your kitchen efficiently, and even automate parts of the meal prep process. From video tutorials that make you a better home chef to using your voice assistant to save time and money, our tips harness the tech and resources you already have to take your cooking game to the next level.

We’ve partnered with EE Home to bring you six tips to transform your culinary skills. Get inspired with affordable, family-friendly meals your kids will actually want to eat and learn how to streamline your grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking routines so you can get delicious food on the table faster

1. Maximise your air fryer

We’ve all got one, but to be honest, most of us use our air fryers just to cook frozen chips! There’s so much more your air fryer can do to help you save time and create nutritionally sound meals for the family.  

Use your versatile air fryer to cook all sorts of fresh food, such as roast chicken, steaks, fish or vegetables. You can even whip up a batch of s’mores, muffins, homemade chicken gougons, or even cauliflower popcorn. The best thing about air fryers is that they can cook most foods in a fraction of the time it takes in a regular oven, giving you back your evening. 

You can search for air fryer recipes online or check your social media feeds for brilliant air fryer video hacks and tips. 

2. Use your voice assistant for hands-free advice

Voice assistants can be incredibly handy kitchen companions. They allow you to multitask and get things done more efficiently while your hands are busy. They can even inspire you to create new menus!

Ask your voice assistant to walk you through recipe steps, convert measurements, set timers, and more without touching your device with messy hands. If you have smart appliances in your home, you can use voice commands to preheat, adjust cook times and temperatures, or even check remaining cook times. You can learn more about setting up connected devices and appliances with EE Home

While you’re cooking, ask your voice assistant to add items to your grocery list or online shop. You can even ask for inspiration based on what's in your fridge. 

3. Turn cooking into a fun nightly ritual

Sometimes, slaving away over a hot stove can feel like a real slog and being stuck in the kitchen can feel like a thankless task. But it doesn’t need to be. 

If you’re a reluctant cook, why not keep yourself entertained while you work with your favourite podcasts, audiobooks or music playlists? You’ll find time goes faster when you’re having fun, and cooking becomes something you look forward to in the evenings. 

A close up on hands scrolling through a phone beside some chopped salad

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Make meal planning a family activity

Are you sick of seeing bored or disgusted faces around the dinner table? Why not get the kids involved in your weekly meal planning? This way, you can guarantee they’ll want to eat what you’re serving.

Download a meal planning app and have the kids help build out the weekly calendar by adding their personal favourites, or give them ownership over one meal a week by letting them add ingredients to the online grocery list. Or get them to search TikTok or YouTube for healthy recipe tutorials they want to try out themselves. Getting them invested in the planning and cooking process will make them more excited about eating the meals you serve up. 

5. Level up your cooking skills

Whether you want to learn how to poach an egg to perfection, finally master a risotto, or create a five-course cordon bleu menu, technology can help you. There are loads of ways to improve your cooking skills, from video tutorials and online cooking classes to following your favourite chefs and home cooks on social media. 

You can even sign up for a meal prep and kit delivery service to have the right ingredients sent to your home every week. While they can be a bit spendy, you can try them out for a limited time to expand your skills and repertoire before bringing your shopping list back in-house. There are lots of discount codes and trial offers available online, so why not give it a go?

6. Get motivated with digital cooking challenges

Sometimes, we all need an extra push to get inspired in the kitchen. To add some fun motivation, join an online cooking challenge or start your own with friends and family. Cooking challenges are a great way to break a meal rut by exposing you to new recipes and techniques, taking you out of your comfort zone and impressing the family with skills you didn't even know you had. 

Many food bloggers and brands host regular digital cooking challenges on social media using specific themes or ingredients. Snap photos as you cook along, share your creations, and get feedback from the community. 

With a bit of creativity and using the smart tech tools already at your fingertips, including EE Home, you can revolutionise your home cooking experience this summer. By maximising gadgets you already have, like air fryers and voice assistants, involving the whole family in meal planning, and tapping into digital cooking resources for skills and inspiration, you'll spend less time stressing in the kitchen and more time enjoying your food with the family. 


Joanne Lewsley is mum to a tween, and freelance copywriter and editor who creates parenting, health and lifestyle content for evidence-based websites, including BabyCentre, Live Science, Medical News Today and more.