Use these 10 Amazon Alexa hacks to get help in the kitchen

Amazon Echo Show Youtube App

Cooking can be a complicated process, which explains why so many people opt for take-out rather than cooking for themselves. But getting delivery night after night can wreak havoc on not only your wallet but also your health and wellness. Luckily, owners of Alexa-enabled devices have a shortcut in the kitchen. The voice assistant Alexa can guide you through any cooking process, and Alexa has lots of skills dedicated specifically to making life easier for you in the kitchen. The next time you’re trying to make carbonara pasta or stumbling your way through baking an apple pie, use these ten Amazon Alexa hacks to help. Your kitchen rescue is just a voice command away!

alexa kitchen skills best cooking apps 2 720x720

1. Use Allrecipes

The cooking website Allrecipes is one of the most popular in the world, thanks to the fact that you can find thousands of delicious recipes in one convenient database. With an Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo, there are 60,000 recipes that are just a command away. Tell Alexa what you’re cooking, whether it’s poached salmon, eggs Benedict, or a simple salad, and Alexa will sift through the available recipes to find you the perfect one. Listen as Alexa reads the ingredients list and cooking steps out loud to you, and follow along. You can also specifically request recipes that match the ingredients you already have on hand, which is perfect when you have a bunch of things in the refrigerator but no idea what to cook. If you have an Echo Show device, you’ll be able to look at the screen for instructions as well as listen.

alexa kitchen skills best coffee makers

2. Ask Alexa to brew your coffee

If you have a smart coffee brewer, you don’t even have to trudge downstairs in the morning to make your caffeine-filled cup o’ joe. Alexa is capable of connecting to smart devices, and that includes some smart coffee machines either through a skill, a smart hub, or a smart plug controlled by Alexa. In the morning, simply tell Alexa to get the coffee brewing, and Alexa will take care of it for you. You may have to quickly run downstairs to fill up the water and coffee, or you can prepare it the night before to save yourself a trip in the morning. And coffee makers aren’t the only smart kitchen appliances that Alexa can control. If you have a smart slow cooker or precision cooker, Alexa might be able to communicate with those, too, depending on your set up.

alexa kitchen skills hestan cue frying 800x533 c

3. Monitor your calories

Keeping tabs on your health? It’s always a good idea to know how many calories are going into your body at meal times. Alexa can tell you the nutritional information of pretty much any ingredient. Enable skills like Track by Nutritionix to help you monitor caloric intake. Whether you want to know how many calories are in your favorite Greek yogurt, or how much sugar is in that Pop-Tart you’re about to sneak, ask and you shall receive.

5 exquisite margarita recipes for National Margarita Day
Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

4. Make margaritas

Making the perfect cocktail requires precision, experience, a good amount of training, and a perfect recipe. After all, many bartenders undergo special courses and even schooling to learn how to make these alcoholic drinks. Luckily, Alexa has a skill supplied by The Bartender, which gives users immediate answers to all mixology-related questions. Simply say, “Alexa, ask The Bartender how to make a Sex on the Beach,” and the device will read you the instructions. With approximately 12,000 recipes to choose from, it’s safe to say you’ll probably never run out of new drinks to try. Keep in mind that this skill is categorized as “for mature audiences,” and Alexa will let you know that only users who are 21 years and older can use the skill.

5. Convert measurements

Sure, adults are probably supposed to know that there are 16 tablespoons in a cup. But let’s be honest here: most people forgot that right after 4th grade. Never fear, Alexa is here. Simply ask Alexa, and the not-mathematically-challenged voice assistant will give you any conversion you want. Whether you need to convert tablespoons to milliliters, gallons to teaspoons, or ounces to some other measurement you forgot the conversions for, Alexa is there to provide a quick answer.

6. Find alternative ingredients

You’re having a grand old time cooking in the kitchen, until you realize that — uh-oh — the jambalaya requires bay leaves, and you don’t have that on hand. Or maybe you’re making cookies and realize you only have baking soda but no baking powder. Or perhaps you thought a recipe was vegan, only to discover it actually calls for one egg. There’s no time to run to the grocery store, so what can you do? Consult Alexa, of course. The Ingredient Sub skill will tell you what alternatives you can use for traditional ingredients. For example, in sweet dessert recipes, banana often serves as a great substitute for raw eggs. Yogurt can also provide an alternative option when buttermilk is called for. The options are endless.

7. Create a grocery list

While creating a shopping list on Alexa doesn’t require the activation of a new skill, it’s still pretty darn useful. For example, you’re rummaging through the kitchen and realize you’re out of cilantro. Your hands are dirty so you can’t right it down, but you’re afraid you’ll forget if you don’t. Instead, just say aloud, “Alexa, add cilantro to my shopping list.” Then, when you’re at the grocery store, simply check the Alexa app on your smartphone to see what ingredients you need to pick up this week.

alexa kitchen skills amazon echo 5

8. Run timers

The problem with that tried-and-true egg timer of yours is that it can only time one thing at a time. What if you’ve got a turkey roasting in the oven, a pie baking in the other oven, and asparagus grilling on the stove? Sounds like a Thanksgiving nightmare if you only have one timer to keep track of it all. Alexa solves that problem because it can run several timers at the same time, and it will tell you by name which timer is up. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, set a pie timer for 30 minutes.” When 30 minutes are up, Alexa will give you an alert that your pie is ready. Easy as pie, right?

9. Quit wasting food

While no one really tries to waste food, the reality is that American families throw out a lot of food every year. According to an American Chemistry Council survey, the average United States family throws out $640 of food each year. Not only is that a big financial waste, it’s also a waste of our planet’s valuable resources. Using the Save the Food skill, Alexa can help you minimize food waste. This skill will give you tips on how to store food in a way that helps it last longer, and you’ll also gain valuable insight into how you can tell if food is still safe to eat. For example, you can ask, “Alexa, ask Save the Food how to store leftovers.”

alexa kitchen skills instant pot hero 800x533 c

10. Get Instant Pot tips and tricks

Got an Instant Pot? This popular multi-cooker kitchen appliance can do a whole lot of things in the cooking department, from stewing to steaming to making yogurt. Using the Instant Pot skill, you can find recipes that are specifically catered to an Instant Pot, and Alexa will walk you through the recipe step by step. Many home cooks love the Instant Pot for the set-it-and-forget-it recipes it allows for, so if you’re short on time but still want to eat well at home, this is a great skill to try.

Smart Home

Whatever happened to those dumb smart products we wrote about in 2017?

A smart salt dispenser? As manufacturers rush to get the next new smart item out there, we wonder if all these new inventions are really necessary. Here’s a list of 10 of the quirkiest home smart gadgets available, and where they are now.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Smart Home

Is your Keurig making gross coffee? Might be time for a cleaning

No one likes a dirty, scaled, or smelly Keurig, but how are you supposed to clean them? Before you throw yours out the window, here is a quick guide on cleaning your machine out thoroughly.
Smart Home

Amazon knocks down the price on the second-generation Echo smart speaker

Amazon just knocked down the price of the second-generation Echo smart speaker with Alexa by 25 percent. The Echo can answer questions, control smart home devices, fill a room with music with its Dolby speakers, and make hands-free calls.
Smart Home

Which Instant Pot is best? Whether cooking for 1 or 9, here are the best options

Instant Pots are perfect home cooks who love versatility in the kitchen, and for those who like to prepare quick and easy meals. Check out our picks for the best Instant Pots.
Smart Home

Ikea isn’t throwing shade with the delayed release of its smart blinds

Ikea planned to release is Tradfri-compatible smart blinds in April 2019, but the products have been delayed until later in the year for a firmware update that promises better functionality.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Lutron’s Fan Control makes ceiling fans smart, but has some turnoffs

Lutron recently came out with a smart switch that controls ceiling fans, the Lutron Caseta Fan Speed Control Switch. How does it stack up? Here's a first-hand review of the Lutron Fan Control switch.
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.