I love to cook. The whole process of finding exciting recipes, gathering up ingredients, and working my way through a recipe is something I genuinely enjoy. That being said, when it comes time to actually make the dish in question I do sometimes wish I had my own dedicated sous-chef to give me hand.
Obviously, hiring some help in the kitchen is a distant pipe dream, but there is a fairly affordable way to cut yourself some slack in the kitchen: Amazon Alexa. Yes, far from just being a way to impress your guests with voice activated light dimmers and music playlists, the Alexa platform is ideally suited to make food preparation a little bit easier. Here’s how:
Keep a shopping list
Alexa is a great way to keep a live shopping list as you cook. Noticed you’ve just run out of eggs? Just say “Alexa, add eggs to my shopping list.” Once you’ve got a list going you can either access it on your phone when your at the grocery store, or just order the items directly from Amazon.
Keep track of recipes
Here’s my standard routine for following a recipe: Read recipe instruction, start following recipe instruction, lose train of thought and forget recipe instruction, read recipe instruction again, repeat forever. If this sounds familiar, rest assured that Alexa has you covered. Assuming you have the Allrecipes app installed you can use to Alexa to search for recipes, offer suggestions, and take you step by step through the cooking process.
Everyone knows that cooking’s better when paired with music. Alexa supports Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora. Pick your favourite playlist and let DJ Alexa get the beats pumping.
This is an area where I always struggle. Having lived on both sides of the pond for extended periods of time I tend to get a little confused by units of measurement when preparing food. Alexa solves this problem. When cooking, just ask Alexa to convert a food measurement for you. Also, if you’re trying to double or half a recipe don’t worry about doing any math, Alexa can sort that out for you.
Some newer appliances have Alexa compatibility built in. The GE Geneva oven for example can be preheated via Alexa, while the GE Geneva fridge can be ordered to brew coffee with its built-in Keurig machine. Of course, if you’re suitably techie, you could connect all your small kitchen appliances to smart plugs to control via Alexa.
Set a timer
Don’t worry about watches, egg-timers, or fiddly smartphone stopwatches, Alexa can set a timer for you. Just say, “Alexa, start a timer for X minutes.” Best of all, Alexa can keep multiple timers running simultaneously. So if you have a bunch of pots and pans on the go you can set a separate timer for all of them.
Alright, so this is technically cheating, but if you’d like to spend some time out of the kitchen, just use Alexa to order some takeout. Currently Alexa allows you to order deliveries from Pizza Hut, Dominos, Grub Hub, Starbucks, and Amazon Restaurants.