Amazon’s voice service, Alexa, is included on enabled devices such as the Echo Show, Echo Dot and Echo Plus. Along with entertainment options and smarthome compatability, Alexa can also help out in the kitchen. Both amateur and professional chefs are finding more and more unique uses for Alexa.
Most cooks are familiar with using Alexa to hear or view recipes. Allrecipes stores thousands and thousands of their recipes on the Alexa app. You simply say, “Alexa, give me a recipe of coleslaw” and the voice service will read aloud the ingredients needed and the steps to complete the recipe. For an Echo Show, the recipe appears on the screen. However, you can do so much more than simply retrieve basic recipes. You can ask Alexa to provide gluten-free or sugar-free recipes. You could also ask her to give you background information on an ingredient you may not be familiar with.
Even if you’ve used Alexa for recipes, you may not have used her to do tasks like substitute ingredients. The skill Ingredient Sub can tell you things like what you can substitute items such as lemon juice and butter.
Besides preparing food in the kitchen, you may also want to use Alexa to get started as an amateur bartender. Within The Bartender Skill, you can find over 12,000 drink recipes to wow your guests. Besides sharing drink recipes, Alexa is also helpful for giving you advice on wine pairings. For instance, you may ask “Alexa, what wine should I pair with filet mignon?”
Getting the Numbers Right
One use you may not have thought of just yet when using Alexa is the ability to convert your recipes. Instead of having to use Google to search for the correct conversion, simply ask Alexa on your Echo device. For instance, you can say something like “Alexa, convert 4 cups to milliliters?” You could also ask, “Alexa, how many cups are in one gallon?”
Another helpful Alexa skill is getting assistance with cooking times. Do you have no idea how long to cook an 18-pound turkey? Or maybe you need some guidance on how long to steam broccoli? These questions can all be answered once you enable the Epicurious Smart Kitchen Timer. Once you know the right time, set a cooking timer with Alexa.
Once you’re finished preparing your meals, Alexa will continue to work alongside you. She can tell you how to store leftover ingredients. The Alexa skill, Save the Food aims to reduce food waste. The skill provides pointers on how to keep food items fresher for longer periods of time. For instance, you can ask her if it’s okay to store cut fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. You could also check with Alexa if a food item is safe to eat based on how you’ve been storing it.
If you have any leftovers she can give you inspiration on what you can do with them for your next meal. You could ask for a recipe that includes roast chicken. If her first set of recipes doesn’t appeal to you, simply ask for more options.
While cleaning up, Alexa can keep you entertained with her additional skills including:
- Playing Music
- Flash News Briefings
- Weather and Traffic Updates
- Making Calls
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