Amazon’s partnership with SideChef makes Alexa your sous chef

If you’re not already reeling from the baker’s dozen of devices and breakthroughs that Amazon unleashed on Thursday, September 20, here’s one more bulletin. SideChef, the all-in-one home cooking platform, is going to help Amazon with its new expansion into the smart kitchen by integrating with Alexa to help Echo owners cook via interactive recipes.

The big news included the fact that Amazon has manufactured a completely redesigned Echo Show as well as a smart home-enabled microwave that is Alexa-friendly. Whether home cooking connoisseurs are using the Echo Spot (using audio navigation) or the new Echo Show (complete with voice guidance, photography, and video demos), users will be able to access a robust step-by-step cooking experience on all Alexa devices.

In terms of practical day-to-day benefits, Amazon Echo users will be able to ask Alexa for recipe suggestions, and the devices will display and read off options and search results. More than 7,000 SideChef recipes will be available at launch, with additional dishes added weekly. Budding and experienced cooks will be able to prompt Alexa for “next steps,” or “repeat instructions,” as well as get more clarity on ingredients, measurements, and set timers.

“By offering SideChef content through Amazon’s family of Echo devices, millions of users now have access to thousands of free interactive smart recipes,” CEO of SideChef CEO Kevin Yu said in a release. “Our smart cooking platform is paving the way for technology to seamlessly integrate with kitchens around the world, and we’re excited to be able to connect users with recipes from celebrity chefs, popular bloggers, and the ever-growing SideChef community.”

SideChef is a cooking app that specializes in offering step-by-step recipe navigation, kind of like a GPS. Using hands-free voice commands, the app guides you through the cooking process, from chopping to sauteing to broiling, complete with photos, how-to videos, and built-in timers to keep you on track. The app is free on all iOS and Android devices. In 2017, it won the Google Play Editor’s Pick of “Best Daily Helper App.”

SideChef is poised to be a major ally to Amazon in the smart home market, particularly when it comes to the kitchen. As we reported, Microsoft’s first foray into the smart kitchen was announced in the form of the AmazonBasics Microwave, an Alexa-enabled device that adds a great deal of voice control for users.

SideChef, meanwhile, already has a big partnership with Amazon via its recently acquired Whole Foods brand. SideChef and Amazon joined forces earlier this year to offer Amazon Prime users who are also AmazonFresh subscribers the ability to order groceries for more than 5,000 different recipes and have them delivered the same day.

We’ll keep an eye on these developing stories and let you know what happens. Between these developments and rumors of an additional 3,000 Amazon Go stores coming on the market, how you get your groceries in the future could change considerably.

Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Smart Home

Instant Pots! Get your Instant Pot! 5 models are on sale now at Amazon

Consumers win big when Amazon pops deals on popular products like Instant Pots. Five Instant Pot models on sale range from $30 to $60 off. If you've been waiting to buy an Instant Pot for a holiday gift, this could be the time.
Smart Home

Amazon starts crowdsourcing Alexa’s answers. What could go wrong?

Amazon announced a new resource for its Alexa voice assistant. Alexa Answers is an invitation-only program to which select Amazon customers will be invited to supply brief answers to questions that Alexa was asked but couldn't answer.
Smart Home

These accessories take your already awesome Instant Pot to a whole new level

If you're familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that this bad boy acts as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, egg boiler, and a lot more. Here are some must-have accessories to make Instant Pot cooking even better.
Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.
Deals

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.
Deals

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.