Everyone could use an extra set of hands in the kitchen, right? Say you are knee-deep in making meatballs and need to set a timer. Perhaps you are so out of ideas you just want someone to tell you what to make and how to make it. What if I told you that there is something that can do all that and more? It’s true.
Alexa is her name and helping you in the kitchen is her game. I have had the device for months now and I can truly say she is invaluable. Wondering what the Alexa cooking skills are and it can help you in the kitchen?
Let’s go to the chalkboard.
What is Alexa?
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Alexa is Amazon’s personal intelligent assistant. Similar to Apple’s Siri, you can ask her questions and give her tasks and she will use her extensive knowledge as well as the internet to help you out.
What Hardware do you Need for Alexa?
Alexa is a free service that Amazon provides. However, in order to get it to work, you need some hardware. There are a bunch of different options, but for the kitchen, I recommend the Echo Dot. It’s small so it doesn’t take up too much counter space, and at less than $50 it’s a steal.
How to Set up Alexa
After you have purchased your device, all you need is an Amazon account which is free to create. You do NOT need a Prime account which requires an annual fee. Once you receive the device, you simply download the Alexa app onto your phone and follow the prompts. In just a few short minutes you are ready to start using it. You can even connect your Amazon account when purchasing to make it even easier.
How to Use Alexa Cooking Skills in the Kitchen
Ok, so we now know what we need to get Alexa in the kitchen but why do we need her? What are Alexa cooking skills? Here’s how Alexa can help in the kitchen.
For Food Shopping
Before you even start to cook you can use Alexa to create a shopping list. Just say, “Alexa, create a shopping list.” When you want to add items say “add items to shopping list.” The list can then be found online within your Amazon account.
Once you make your list, Alexa can read it back to you. “Alexa, what’s on my shopping list?” And she will read it back to you. This is skill super helpful as you are meal planning since it gives you the chance to walk around your kitchen and see if you really need the items on your list before you buy them.
You can also check the price of an item. “Alexa, how much are bananas?”
If you are an AmazonFresh user, you can add items directly to your AmazonFresh order. Simply say “Alexa, add bananas to my AmazonFresh order”. Don’t worry about unwanted purchases, you get to review any items before they are purchased. If you aren’t an AmazonFresh user, you should be. It’s our pick for the best online grocer.
This also goes for Whole Foods delivery. You can add items to any order and have it delivered in less than two hours. “Alexa, add bananas to my Whole Foods order.”
Help Choose Drinks to Serve
Curious as to what alcohol to serve with your meals? There are two services to help you nail the drinks.
“Alexa, open Winefinder” will help you find which wine to pair with your dinner. Whether you are looking for a white or a red, serving fish or filet mignon, WineFinder will help you find the perfect wine.
If cocktails are what you are seeking, “Alexa, open The Bartender.” This will help you find all different types of drink recipes. You can even search by ingredient.
Don’t know what to make? Ask “Alexa, what should I make for dinner?” Alexa will give you a bunch of suggestions. You can narrow it down by asking based on ingredients you have on hand. “Alexa, give me a recipe using chicken and broccoli.”
If you know exactly what you want to make but don’t know how simply ask for the recipe. “Alexa, how do you make scrambled eggs?” Alexa cooking skills will provide step by step instructions. Simply tell her to “pause” as you through the recipe.
Alexa Cooking Skills
It’s not just before you start cooking that Alexa is invaluable. She’s also there throughout the process. Here’s how.
A Kitchen Assistant
Alexa can set timers for you and not just one but multiple. “Alexa set a timer for 20 minutes.” Do you have several dishes cooking? She can set multiple timers and distinguish them by name. “Alexa set a pasta timer for 12 minutes”. At any point, you can check progress by asking “Alexa, how much time is left on the pasta timer?”
Are you trying to half or double a recipe? Ask Alexa for conversions and measurements. “Alexa, what’s half of ¾ cup?” Out of an ingredient? “Alexa, what’s a food substitute for soy sauce?” Boom! Alexa cooking skills to the rescue.
Have you run out of an ingredient? Have her source where you can find it. “Alexa where can I find potatoes nearby?” She will then give you a list of local grocery stores.
It’s always nice to have company in the kitchen. Especially one that’s not in your way. Alexa can play podcasts, “Alexa play Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast.”
Podcasts, not your thing? “Alexa, what’s in the news?” She will offer you several suggestions for news outlets for you to choose from. Want to know what happened at the game? “Alexa, What’s My Sports Update?” Simply go to the Alexa app and set up your favorite teams. There are over 13 leagues to choose from. Here’s a well-written tutorial on how to set it up.
Too much talking? Alexa can play music. You can connect almost any account. Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, IHeartRadio, Sirius XM, Audible are all supported.
The Kids Driving You Nuts?
Nothing like the witching hour where you are just trying to get dinner on the table and the kids get crazy! Alexa to the rescue.
She can entertain your kids, “Alexa, tell us a story” or “Alexa, tell us a joke.” She can even play games with them “Alexa, play Song Quiz” or “Alexa, play Harry Potter Quiz.”
What if the kids are arguing. Let her settle the case for you. “Alexa, open the Kids Court.” Each child presents their side and then she will determine who is right.
Is the argument simply who goes first? Then ask, “Alexa, whose turn is it?” She will keep track of who went first last time and advise you.
You did it! You created dinner and now, celebrate your accomplishment. “Alexa, give me a round of applause.” If you have multiple devices, you can have Alexa ring the dinner bell through them. “Alexa, make an announcement, dinner is ready.”
Say dinner didn’t go well, there’s always “Alexa, what Chinese food restaurants are nearby?” No matter what, she’s got your back!
Complete List of Alexa Cooking Skills
- “Alexa create a shopping list”
- “Alexa what’s on my shopping list”
- “Alexa how much are bananas”
- “Alexa add bananas to my AmazonFresh order”
- “Alexa add bananas to my Whole Foods order”
- “Alexa open Winefinder”
- “Alexa open The Bartender”
- “Alexa what should I make for dinner”
- “Alexa give me a recipe using chicken and broccoli”
- “Alexa how do you make scrambled eggs”
- “Alexa set a timer for 20 minutes”
- “Alexa set a pasta timer for 12 minutes”
- “Alexa how much time is left on the pasta timer”
- “Alexa what’s half of ¾ cup”
- “Alexa what’s a food substitute for soy sauce”
- “Alexa where can I find potatoes nearby”
- “Alexa play podcast”
- “Alexa play WLNG radio”
- “Alexa what’s in the news”
- “Alexa tell us a story”
- “Alexa tell us a joke”
- “Alexa play Song Quiz”
- “Alexa play Harry Potter Quiz”
- “Alexa open the Kids Court”
- “Alexa, whose turn is it”
- “Alexa, give me a round of applause”
- “Alexa, make an announcement, dinner is ready”
- “Alexa, what Chinese food restaurants are nearby”
What do you think? Have you used Alexa in the kitchen? If so, let me know how in the comments below. I’d love to hear.
Now if only Alexa could clean up!