Amazon’s Alexa can be your extra hands in the kitchen with ChefSteps’ Joule

ChefSteps' Joule sous vide now works with Facebook Messenger, too

amazon alexa chefsteps joule skills sous vide smokeless smoked ribs
ChefSteps
ChefSteps wants to give you as much help as you need in the kitchen. Just a couple months after we learned that Alexa could take charge of ChefSteps‘ sous vide low-temperature water cooking appliance, Joule, we’ve discovered that the Seattle-based cooking startup has made it possible for you to control the Joule using Facebook Messenger.

Cooking sous-vide is a technique in which food in a vacuum bag is cooked in “precisely controlled, low-temperature water,” according to the ChefSteps website. The ChefSteps Joule sous vide appliance has an accompanying smartphone app. The app lets you set precise temperature settings, comes with recipes with instructions for cooking with the Joule. There is also a “visual doneness” guide to help set the exact temperature for how you want your food cooked. In addition, the Joule app will notify you when the water is hot and when your food is ready. Now Alexa and Facebook Messenger are in the pot, too.

d

The initial Alexa implementation, made available in October, lets you ask Alexa to turn the unit on or off, set the water temperature, and report the current water temperature. According to ChefSteps, the company will watch how its customers use the device with Alexa and expand skills and tasks from the feedback. They will be training the Alexa skill set how to cook steak and other specific foods.

According to ChefSteps writer Jessica Voelker, “We started thinking about voice control and it’s basically like having a second set of hands in the kitchen. Just the same way a chef could yell out ‘fire that dish’ at a line cook, you can do that with Alexa.”

As for the Facebook Messenger integration, ChefSteps wrote in a Medium post, you can now control your sous vide machine’s cooking time with text. “Right this minute, you can head to Messenger to start the Joule sous vide tool, check in on a cook, or change your desired temperature,” the company said. “Joulebot is already a pretty good customer service agent and is studying hard so it can offer tons of kitchen tips in the days to come.”

Why go to Facebook Messenger, though? ChefSteps said that they’re simply following the crowd. “Facebook is where people are (1.86 billion of them, all told. And eight in 10 adult internet users in the U.S.) And anyway, Conversational Cooking isn’t about a single website; it’s about offering options that fit naturally into people’s lives,” the Medium post reads. “It’s about talking to them in a human way, through familiar interfaces.”

But don’t worry — if Alexa and Facebook aren’t your things, ChefSteps will soon be innovating once again to help you cook the way you like.

Article originally published in October 2016. Updated on 02-17-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news of Facebook Messenger integration.

Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Smart Home

What exactly is Alexa? Where does she come from? And how does she work?

While "Alexa" has become synonymous with products like the Amazon Echo, you can't actually go out and buy an "Alexa." So what is Alexa? How does she work? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's virtual assistant.
Smart Home

4 small appliances that have changed the way we cook food (for the better)

These are exciting times for home cooks seeking to advance or simplify their technique in the kitchen, thanks in part to four small appliances that have made a splash in the past few years. Here’s why you should consider buying them.
Smart Home

At KBIS 2019, LG brings its biggest lineup of Amazon Dash-equipped appliances

LG announced ahead of KBIS 2019 that its entire line of dishwashers and laundry appliances will now come pre-integrated with Amazon Dash, the online retailer's popular automatic replenishment program.
Smart Home

Ring adds color night vision to wired security devices and HDR to wireless ones

Ring rolled out color night vision to its wired security products with cameras such as the Spotlight Cam Wired. At the same time, Ring added HDR control to its battery-powered security devices including the Video Doorbell 2.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Smart Home

Check out the largest pools in the world - and how you can get there

From Egypt to Singapore to California, here's a pictorial breakdown of some of the biggest and largest pools in the world. Many of these pools are so big that you can even kayak and windsurf on them.
Smart Home

Consumer groups call out retailers in a bid for better IoT security

Consumer groups posted a "Dear retailer" letter on February 12 that called out Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target, shaming the companies for selling insecure smart home devices.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Walmart drops a killer Instant Pot deal for Presidents’ Day weekend

With the Walmart Presidents' Day sale going on right now, you can actually pick up the Instant Pot Lux60 6-quart programmable pressure cooker for just $69 -- $30 off its normal price.
Smart Home

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents’ Day sale

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents' Day sale. Whether you're taking your first step in configuring a smart home or expanding to every room, Walmart has excellent sale prices for all the key components.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…