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Using Amazon Echo In The Kitchen- Really?

by Lisa Hayden
woman with alexa in kitchen

It’s difficult to prepare food while fiddling with your phone trying to follow a recipe or make conversions. Alexa can be of some assistance in this case. With Amazon Echo's Alexa, You can use your voice to find recipes and do a lot of other things when your hands are dirty in the kitchen

Checking Ingredients

Would you like to know the ingredients that are in a certain food? Or would you like to know how many calories are in a potato so you are sure you are making a healthy choice? Alexa can help with that. Here are the commands you can use: Alexa, how many calories are in (food)? Alexa, what ingredients are in (food)?

Add Items to Shopping List 

It’s annoying to discover that you are out of certain ingredients after getting yourself ready to prepare a meal. Alexa can also prove helpful in these situations. While she won’t run to the store to pick that item for you, she will add it to your shopping list so you can remember it when you go shopping. To add an item to your shopping list, say “Alexa, add (item) to my shopping list.” And she will respond kindly.

You can also add multiple items to your list by saying “Alexa, add item 1, item 2, item 3, item 4, and item 5 to my shopping list.” To access the list you just made, open your Alexa app. You can also instruct Alexa to send your shopping list to your email using IFTTT. We will talk more about this later in the blog post.

Set a Timer

You are free to use the timer on your cooker or any other device when cooking. However, if you have Alexa in the kitchen, why use your hands when your voice can get the job done. Even better, Alexa will allow you to set multiple timers. Simply say “Alexa, set a timer for 20 minutes” or any other time you want.

Convert Measurements 

How many tablespoons are in a single cup of flour? And how many teaspoons of oil make one gram? Such questions can torment you when your hands are too dirty for your phone. And they can mean the difference between getting measurements right or wrong.

Thankfully, Alexa can help. All you have to do is ask. Simply say: Alexa, how many teaspoons of oil make one gram? Alexa, how many grams make one cup of flour?

Look for Recipes

This is one of the best things you can do with Alexa. Unfortunately, it does not work as perfectly as most of us would want.

You first need to link Alexa to Skills (these are Alexa-special apps and we will talk more about them in the next post).

One good example is Campbell’s skill. Say “Alexa, ask Campbell’s what’s for dinner tonight.” And she will read a list of recipes. Choose any you like and she will mail it to your email address (this somehow beats the power of having a voice-operated device).

Another example is the CookBook Skill. With this, Alexa will read aloud a recipe you choose. The only problem with CookBook is that there are not many recipes to choose from. Another Skill worth checking out is Recipe Buddy, and it works in the same way as CookBook.

The Bartender is a Skill for those who love mixed drinks. Just say, “Alexa, ask The Bartender how to make (drink name)” and she will read you the instructions.

If you don’t like the recipes Alexa is offering, then you can record some yourself and upload them to Amazon Music. You can then play these in the same way you play music, pausing and resuming as needed. Yippee!

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