Updates to your oven. | Image: Whirlpool

Whirlpool has announced that some of its smart, Wi-Fi-connected ovens will be getting an air fry mode to replicate the crispy reheating properties of one of the internet’s favorite cooking gadgets, all via a software update.

The feature will be coming to its Smart Slide-in Gas and Electric Ranges and Smart Single, Double, and Combination Wall Ovens via what Whirlpool calls an “instant over-the-air upgrade.” The ovens are also getting the ability to connect with Whirlpool’s Yummly smart thermometer, which will let you start preheating the oven from some of the app’s recipes.

The promise of new features down the line could be a selling point for smart appliances

The company says that you’ll be able to buy an air fry basket to put in your oven, starting in “early 2022.” And it seems like more features are in the works — its press release says that “its smart appliances are getting enhanced connected upgrades over time,” referring to the air fry mode as the “beginning.”

Whirlpool didn’t respond to The Verge’s question about how the air fry mode would differ from the convection setting that many of its smart ovens are equipped with, as air fryers are usually just smaller convection ovens.

GE Appliances, one of Whirlpool’s competitors, also recently added an air fry mode to some of its smart ovens, along with a Turkey Mode. While some customers — myself included — haven’t found smart appliances especially appealing (the lack of longevity often found in the IoT space can be hard to swallow for such expensive purchases), the promise of new features rolled out via software update is a pretty decent selling point.


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