Meet your new kitchen companion, Alexa!
People LOVE having Alexa as their kitchen companion — a fact I learned over the past week surveying Alexa users on their favorite ways to use Alexa while they’re cooking.
The 5 times you can’t live without Alexa in the kitchen:
#1. When you need to know how many tablespoons are in a stick of butter (the answer is 8!)
Unit conversions are one of the most popular uses for Alexa in the kitchen, especially for all you bakers out there. With Alexa, you don’t need to stop and look it up on your phone or computer — you just need to ask.
Ask Alexa any unit conversion question such as “Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a quarter cup?”
#2. When your hands are covered in pizza dough but you need to set a timer
This is one of those uses that sounds simple but truly is a game changer in the kitchen. Think of all those times when you had schmutz all over your hands punching in a timer on the stove and then mucking up your phone to set a second timer there. With Alexa, you can set as many timers as you want — and you can name them so when a timer goes off, you know what it’s for.
“Alexa, set timer for 8 minutes for pasta” and “Alexa, set 20 minute timer for pizza”
To check how much time is left “Alexa how much time is on my pasta timer?”
When the time is up “Alexa stop”
You can also use reminders as timers — which can be helpful if you are cooking something for a long time (like a roast or yams) and plan to walk away from the kitchen Echo speaker where the timer will go off.
A reminder is handy because Alexa will announce it over your Echo speaker and send your phone a push notification.
#3. When you want to be entertained
Whether you like to play games or listen to music, news or books while you cook, Alexa can entertain you.
Music: “Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen” or “Alexa, play Despacito” (insert song or artist or genre!)
Games: “Alexa, open the Wayne Investigation” or “Alexa, play Yes Sire.” Check VoiceBrew’s guide to Alexa Games to find the right game for you.
News: “Alexa, turn on the news.” Check out VoiceBrew’s guide to Alexa News to see how to listen to podcasts, radio, sports and more with Alexa.
Listen to books with Alexa: “Alexa, read my book.” Check out VoiceBrew’s guide to listening to Books with Alexa like a pro to see how to easily listen to and control your Audible books with Alexa — and even listen to books you’re reading on Kindle
You can also make calls to other Echo devices or contacts in your address book. Just say “Alexa, call Mom,” and choose whether you want to call the Echo device associated with Mom or the phone number. Be sure you’ve sync’d your contacts in the Alexa app in the Communicate tab on the bottom navigation bar.
#4. When you realize you’re on your last roll of paper towel
With Alexa, you can add paper towels to your Alexa shopping list handsfree — or better yet, just ask Alexa to reorder them on the spot.
Add to Alexa shopping list: “Alexa, add paper towel to my shopping list”
Reorder from Amazon with Alexa: “Alexa, buy paper towels.” If you’ve ordered paper towels from Amazon before, Alexa will ask if you want to buy the ones you previously ordered
To order from Amazon with Alexa, make sure you have voice purchasing enabled under Settings > Alexa Account > Voice Purchasing. (You also need to have an Amazon Prime membership.)
#5. When you want to easily find a new recipe for grilled veggies
We all have our go-to recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up. Just ask Alexa for a recipe — for grilled vegetables or chicken or anything you can think of. She’ll suggest a few with quick descriptions and, if you like one, she’ll send the recipe to your phone.
To find a recipe: “Alexa, find me a recipe for grilled vegetables” (insert dish of your choice). Say “next” if you want to hear another recipe option, and when you hear a recipe you like say “more information.”
To see the recipe on your phone:When given the option, ask Alexa to “send recipe to my phone.” Then open the push notification from the Alexa app with a link to the recipe.
And if you need help remembering the best way to chop an onion, the Chop Chop skill can show you how in a brief video (you can also use Chop Chop on a regular Echo or Dot, but it’s not as good without the video). Just say “Alexa, ask Chop Chop how to cut up butternut squash.”