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  • Writer's pictureFrederick Dopfel

A Fully Automated Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but one that is easy to forget, especially if you have early-morning Zoom meetings. But what if I could make breakfast a little easier? What if every morning I could wake up with a perfect breakfast ready for me as soon as I wake up?

For a simple breakfast of soft-boiled eggs on toast with tea, this is surprisingly easy.

Tea: Every night before going to bed, I fill up my tea kettle. The kettle uses a manual on/off switch, and so I can control it by cutting power on and off via a smart switch. 6 minutes is enough to get the water nice and hot. I use instant tea from Cusa, so I just drop the powder in a mug and pour the hot water on top.

Eggs: Eggs are my favorite breakfast food, but I wanted to find a way to automate their cooking. Fortunately, Dash makes a simple egg cooker that uses a mechanical button to turn on. By leaving the button toggled to "on", I can precisely time the cook with a smart switch (currently I have it set to 6:15, but I may shorten it slightly). All I have to do is put two eggs in the machine the night before. Long term, I would like to experiment with sous vide eggs by hacking an Anova sous vide machine. Hacking it is particularly important, since the eggs would need to begin cooking at around 2AM.

Toast: I have a panini press that actually doesn't even have an on/off switch (you have to plug and unplug it from the wall to turn it on and off) so I've had it on a smart switch for a long while just to eliminate sparking from the plugs in this old apartment. To build this into the breakfast routine was trivial: adding bread the night before and having the switch on a timer for 4 minutes. Long term, I will probably replace the panini press with a toaster, specifically the greatest toaster ever made on a smart switch.

I coordinate all these systems using Home Assistant, so that all the items are done cooking at the same time. I may add another automation that announces "Breakfast is ready" via my Amazon Echos, although I'm not sure if that would be helpful or annoying. But now every morning just as I wake up I have a nice warm breakfast ready for me to eat.

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