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9 Ways That Alexa Is The Kitchen Helper Of Your Dreams

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

How To Use Alexa While You Cook

When I set up my new Amazon Echo in my kitchen a few years ago, I was mostly just excited to have an easy way to listen to music while I worked! I knew that Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa was the primary feature of the Echo, but I wasn’t sure if I’d use it much other than to play music.

But over time I found myself interacting with Alexa more and more, particularly when I had my hands full while cooking. I’ve actually found Alexa to be so useful that these days, I’m convinced that nearly everyone could benefit from having her help in the kitchen too! :-)

Related: 11 Surprising Reasons Every Senior Needs An Amazon Echo

To help explain why, today I’ll be sharing 9 specific ways that Alexa can come in handy in the kitchen and help make cooking easier. But before we dive in, I wanted to briefly explore the various Alexa-enabled speakers that Amazon offers. (There are quite a few of them now, so it can feel a little confusing!)

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

A Brief Overview Of Alexa-Enabled Devices

Amazon offers many different kinds of Alexa-enabled speakers and devices. For the sake of brevity, I’m limiting this overview to the various models of the Echo, Amazon’s flagship smart speaker. They vary in size, features, speaker quality, and price, so it’s good to know your options!

  • Amazon Echo – The original Alexa-enabled wireless speaker.
  • Echo Dot – A smaller version of the original Echo. Some use Echo Dots to extend the range of their larger Echo into other rooms throughout the house.
  • Echo Show – Has a screen that can be used to play videos, display song lyrics, and even make video calls. (Amazon also recently debuted the Echo Show 5, an updated model with a more compact screen.)
  • Echo Spot – Also has a screen, and has many of the same capabilities as the Echo Show, but it’s round and quite a bit smaller.

So now that you know a bit more about the devices that can bring Alexa into your kitchen, let’s talk about why you’d want to such a thing in the first place! Without further ado, here are 9 ways you can use Alexa in the kitchen to help make cooking easier.

9 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

1. Find A Recipe

The recipe site Allrecipes.com has a useful Alexa Skill that can help you find the perfect recipe! (An Alexa “skill” is like an app you use on your phone.) Just download the Allrecipes Skill using the Alexa app and gain access to a database of over 60,000 recipes.

You can ask Alexa to search recipes by ingredient, dish name, and more. You can also ask Alexa for step-by-step instructions, whether you want to follow along or could just use a little reminder!

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

2. Ring The Dinner Bell

Who needs a dinner bell when you have Alexa? It’s easy to broadcast an announcement to all the connected Echo speakers throughout your house. Just say, “Alexa, announce that dinner is ready!” It’s actually a pretty fun way to call the family to eat.

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

3. Set The Mood

You can use Alexa to create a dinnertime Routine that triggers certain functions and/or smart home devices. For instance, you could say “Alexa, it’s time to start dinner” to start a Routine that turns on your kitchen lights, starts your favorite cooking playlist, and sends an announcement that dinner will be ready soon.

You can learn more about how to set up your own custom Routines here.

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

4. Convert Measurements

Alexa makes it easy to convert measurements without having to stop whatever you’re doing in the kitchen. Just ask, “Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a quarter cup?” You can also ask more complex conversion questions, like “Alexa, how much does one cup of flour weigh?”

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

5. Get The Facts

Curious about the nutrition facts for something you’re cooking or eating? Ask, “Alexa, how many calories are in a medium-sized apple?”

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

6. Make A Shopping List

You can use Alexa to add items to your grocery shopping list. I love this feature, because I used to think “Oh, I’ll just add that to my list later,” if I thought of something I needed while I was cooking, but then I would nearly always forget about it.

Now I can just say “Alexa, add bread to my shopping list!” You can access or edit your shopping list anytime using the Alexa app. If you like to break down your grocery list by sections (like produce, dairy, meat, etc.) you can create several lists.

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

7. Set A Timer (Or Several!)

Not only can you set a cooking timer with Alexa, you can even set multiple overlapping timers! You can say “Alexa, start an oven timer for 15 minutes,” then add “Alexa, start a rice timer for 25 minutes.” (And don’t worry—when a timer goes off, Alexa will remind you which timer it is.)

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

8. Find Cook Times

Cook times for larger cuts of meat often depend on the weight of the cut. You can ask Alexa for a cook time for whatever you’re trying to cook! For instance, if you’re getting ready to cook your Thanksgiving turkey, you could say “Alexa, how long should I cook a 20-pound turkey?”

 Helpful Ways To Use Alexa In The Kitchen

9. Control Kitchen Appliances

You can use Alexa to control other smart appliances in your kitchen by downloading certain Skills. Both Anova and Joule precision cookers offer Alexa-integration via Skills. There are also Alexa Skills for certain smart appliance models from Whirlpool, LG, and Samsung.

Even if you don’t have smart appliances, you still have options for using them with Alexa! You can plug nearly any appliance into an Alexa-enabled smart plug to be able to turn it on or off with voice commands.

(Note: Third-party smart plugs like the Gosund will require you to download a specific Skill to pair them with Alexa, but the Amazon Smart Plug is designed to work with Alexa right away.)

Do you use any technology or gadgets that make cooking easier?

See how to give Alexa a makeover in this video!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • I have a Google Nest device in my room.. It’s very similar to Alexa with a lot of the same uses. I got one last year for Christmas. My brother in-law thought I might like one. I mainly use it for playing music. I had gotten rid of my radio/ CD player because it was very hard to get it to tune in to local stations and was tired of having to constantly change stations while I was trying to get ready for work, etc.

  • I bought the echo show for viewing recipes and I still haven’t used it yet. Mainly because I don’t have that much counter space. I guess I’ll get around to it one day soon.

  • I use Alexa for so many things but I also love the shopping lists feature. I, like you, am always forgetting to write something down…or if it does get written down, I leave the list at home when I go shopping. I have several lists, one for each type of store. And I love that I can add items to my list anytime/anywhere. One piece of advice (wink), don’t let your husband know how to add items to your shopping list. I was at the grocery store the other day and saw cookie dough and chips on my list. I didn’t remember adding them to my list but bought them anyway. Got home and hubby said “did you get the 2 items I just added to your list?” We both had a good laugh.

  • I am sixty-eight years old, live alone, and like Joy, had a little trouble syncing (one of my smart plugs) to Alexa via Wi-fi, but was delighted once I figured it out. Having Alexa at hand reminds me a bit of the tech wonders to come as portrayed in the old Jetsons cartoon, and I welcome this addition to my household.

    For me, Alexa plays music and talk radio; turns lights on and off (love being able to snuggle under the covers and then ask her to turn off the light, or ask her to turn different lights on if I hear an odd noise at night); answers recipe and measurements questions; sets timers and wake up alarms; tells me what time it is; and upon waking, the day’s weather forecast.

    Alexa is like having another, cheerful and helpful, living companion in the home, but without the demands and emotional friction an actual human would bring into the mix – LOVE Alexa!

  • Your timing is perfect. I bought myself an echo dot this week during Amazon Prime days. I had a bit of trouble getting it to sync with my wi fi but my grand daughter did in two minutes! I know you mentioned this in your Alexa for seniors but it bears repeating. I am nearly 73 years old and live alone. I had been thinking of getting one of those “help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” devices. My echo dot can be heard from all over my house. I can ask Alexa to call one of my daughters, a neighbor or 911 if need be. No wearing one of those clunky necklaces or paying a monthly fee for the service. I’ve only had my Dot for a few days but I am already in love with Alexa.

    • Joy, you will love it. The more you use it and the more familiar you become with Alexa, the more you will love her! You pointed out such an important skill. It gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Enjoy exploring with your new echo dot. :-)

  • You k ow, right, that Amazon admitted to paying thousands of employees to listen to conversations through Alexa? Not a rumor or a theory. You can look it up.

    • All virtual assistant devices are listening to you (Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa…etc)
      If you set up voice command, then they have to be able listen to respond to your needs. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can either turn of voice activation on some of these devices, or turn off the device until you need to use them. You just won’t be able to take advantage of many of the features. I don’t really mind if Alexa is listening to me, because I really don’t have anything to hide. :-)

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