Cooking with Amazon Alexa

One of the most beloved places to use the Amazon Echo or Dot is in the kitchen.  It makes sense as this is the perfect place to use a hands-free voice assistant where your hands are often wet, covered in food and busy chopping vegetables.  Alexa can be a big help in the kitchen.  We'll look at how.

Here are 5 ways to use Alexa in the kitchen.

  1. Setting Timers.  Simply say "Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes".  When the timer goes off you say "Alexa, stop".  You can set more than one timer at a time and Alexa will keep track of them.   You can say "Alexa, remove timer" or "Alexa, remove second timer".   

    TIP: You can use the Alexa Companion App to view all the timers you have set.  Choose the "Timers & Alarms" tab from the left hand side (or hit the hamburger menu to make it show up). 

  2. Unit Conversion.  Ask Alexa "How many ounces are in a liter?"
  3. Mathematics.   When you are too busy cooking and don't want to burn your meal.  She knows about fractions too.  "Alexa, what is one half plus one quarter?".   or "Alexa, How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?"
  4. Voice Purchasing.  You can add things to your shopping list with "Alexa, add milk to my shopping list."  Or, you can just order it from Amazon with something like "Alexa, can I purchase paper towels?".  She will give you the price and ask you if you want to buy it.  If you wish to buy more of something you already bought on Amazon, just say "Alexa, reorder paper towels".
  5. Use Alexa Cooking Skills.  There are many third party cooking skills available for Alexa.  Remember these need to be enabled first, with "Alexa, enable <skillname>" or click on the link to take you to the skill.  

Here are a couple of my favorite cooking skills:

Best Recipes - Will give you recipes based on ingredients you have.  Choose recipes by meal type. Many options.

Campbell's Kitchen - This skill provides a daily top 5 list of recipes and will then provide instructions on how to make them.   You do need to link an email address to this skill before you can use it.  This skill requires account linking.

Food Network - Named after the TV show, you can ask questions about the show which it will tell you what is currently being covered.  You can also get recipes for what is on television now.  This skill requires account linking. 

Allrecipes - From Amazon themselves, this skill has access to hands free recipes from the related web site.  

The Bartender - For before-cooking inspiration or after-cooking relaxation.  Please forgive me if this is not your thing, but you can get many great drink recipes through this bartender skill.

Summary

This is a couple of ways you can make use of your Amazon Echo and Alexa in the kitchen.  Some of these might sound simple, like timers or unit conversion.  However, I have found that when I am in the middle of cooking, having these available hands-free is fantastic.  

This summary also doesn't cover the obvious uses like listening to music or controlling your house's electronics through home automation.  If you have kitchen appliances like an oven or coffee maker which are controllable through home automation, you can use them while cooking as well.  In the end, you can't go wrong if you Eat, Drink be Merry and enjoy cooking with Alexa.

 

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