Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo

Slow cookers haven’t changed much since they became the must-have kitchen appliance and wedding present du jour in the 1970s. But considering our current obsession with networked devices—such as smart thermostats and air conditioners—it was only a matter of time before the Internet of Things caught up with our trusty Crock Pot. Enter Belkin’s Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo, a technology that allows users to control the temperature and timer of the Crock Pot from their smartphones.

As cool as it sounds, we’ll admit we were skeptical about the real value of a remote-controlled Crock Pot. After all, isn’t the point of a slow cooker to dump all of the ingredients in the pot and forget about it for a few hours? Not exactly. Many Crock Pot recipes call for the temperature to be dialed up or down midway through the cooking process. That’s hard to do if you’re out running errands or sitting at your desk from nine to five.

Once we started using this Belkin Crock Pot, our snarky skepticism immediately vanished. Setup is a breeze: WeMo walks you through the process of connecting your slow cooker to the local wireless network. The app’s interface is beautifully designed and super simple to navigate. Our first test recipe (buffalo chicken) called for turning the heat from low to high for the last 30 minutes of cooking, so we simply set the timer to alert uswhen it was time to turn up the heat.(We managed to do it from a coffee shop on the other side of town.) Best of all, WeMo sends you adorable push notifications to alert you when your food is ready, saying “Ding! The Cook Timer has finished. I’ll keep things warm.” And it lives up to that promise. That buffalo chicken was steamy, moist, and packed with rich flavor when we returned to the kitchen.