Do you need a hand in the kitchen? If you have an Amazon Echo Dot, Show, or other Alexa device these tips on how to use Alexa in the kitchen will help make it easier when you have a thousand things going on around you while you’re trying to prepare dinner.
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We’re big Amazon Alexa users in our house. I’ve mentioned them before in gift guides, and we literally have them in every room of the house. There are a million and one ways to use your Echo devices, but today, I’m sharing how I use it specifically in the kitchen. It’s got so many uses that I bet there’s at least one that you haven’t thought of.
We have the Echo Show in our kitchen. My dad bought one for me, my mom, and my sister a couple of years ago so that we could easily make video calls to each other. We are in Massachusetts and my parents are in Texas, and unfortunately, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like. Having the video call feature has been really great in allowing us to “see” each other more often. My kids are even old enough that they can make the call to their grandparents on their own whenever they want to see them.
Our use of our Alexa device in the kitchen has evolved into so much more than just video calls.
What types of Alexa devices are there?
- Echo Dot – We have these all over the house! They are fairly inexpensive and do almost everything that the bigger devices do. The sound quality isn’t as good on the Dot, but it doesn’t sound bad either. I have one in my bathroom so that I can listen to music while I get ready and we have one in each of the kids’ rooms, along with a few other places in the house. The Echo Dots have been on Amazon’s Black Friday sale for the last couple of years, which makes them incredibly affordable.
- Echo – We don’t have an Echo, but my parents do. It’s great if you plan to use your device for music and want better sound quality.
- Echo Show – This is what we use in our kitchen. We have the 1st generation, which has since been updated. There are also smaller versions, the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5, that have recently come out. All of these have great sound quality and along with having the added bonus of a video screen. We love seeing the news stories that pop up on the home screen, as well as sports scores and occasionally watching a show.
What can Alexa do in the kitchen?
Now that I’ve had my Alexa Show for a couple of years, I can’t imagine not having her. I tend to be at my busiest while I’m in the kitchen, and I’ve usually got several things going at the same time all while I’m trying to deal with the kids. Alexa makes it easier to deal with and keep track of it all.
Listen to Music on your Alexa in the Kitchen While Cooking
This is my all-time #1 feature. I can’t cook or clean without music on, and I love that Alexa makes it hands-free. All I have to do is tell her what music I want to listen to and she will play it. I can also thumbs up, thumbs down, or skip songs just by telling her.
Create Multiple Timers with Names
You can create kitchen timers with Alexa and give them each different names to keep track of them. So, say you have chicken in the oven that needs to come out in 20 minutes and a side dish that will be done in 45 minutes. You can ask Alexa to set a “macaroni and cheese timer” for 45 minutes and a “chicken timer” for 20 minutes, and she will notify you when each is over. I use this feature regularly, but I can’t tell you just how awesome it is when I’m preparing holiday meals or food for a party and I’ve got several things cooking at one time.
This feature is available on all the Alexa devices. At any time you can ask her how much time is left, but on the Echo Show device, you can also ask her to see how much time is left. The Show will also display on the home screen the amount of time left for whichever timer is ending soonest.
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Convert Weights and Measurements
Doubling a recipe and need help converting your tablespoons to cups? Just ask Alexa. She can convert your measurements, such as how many cups are in a quart, and she can also convert common foods from volume to weight. This is one that I especially love when I’m baking. I was taught to measure my baking ingredients by weight, not volume, and I find it so much less time consuming to do so. You can ask her things like “how much does 3 cups of sugar weigh in grams?”
Find Recipes with Alexa in the Kitchen
There are so many nights when I haven’t done a good job of meal planning for the week, and I find myself lost in the kitchen trying to figure out what we are eating for that night. We have the Allrecipes skill enabled to help on nights like these. You can search for recipes by name, but I will also search for recipes by ingredients that I have on hand.
Add Ingredients to Shopping List
Alexa comes with shopping lists, but I prefer to use the Our Groceries app. It allows me to create multiple shopping lists. I have shopping lists created for my grocery store, Target, Home Depot, Costco, and a few other places.
Can Alexa send my shopping list to my phone?
You have to download the Our Groceries app on your phone to be able to take your shopping list with you, but you can sync your lists to multiple phones, like my husband’s. That way, if he’s at the store, he can see everything I’ve added to our shopping list in real time.
If you use the shopping lists feature that comes standard with the Alexa app, you can still access your lists from your phone if you have the Alexa app installed on your phone. Unfortunately, I don’t believe you can sync the shopping list across multiple phones, though.
Get Cooked Meat Temperatures
For as much as I ask, I should probably know these by heart, but I don’t (or I second guess myself). I use an instant-read thermometer whenever I’m cooking any type of meat to make sure it’s done perfectly. You can ask questions like, “Alexa, what’s the temperature of cooked pork.”
Make Phone Calls
You can connect your Echo device to your mobile or home phone to make hands-free phone calls. For example, when you’re in the middle of cutting up your raw chicken, or you’re breading chicken nuggets and are wrist-deep in breadcrumbs, and need to remind your husband about the kids’ soccer practice. If you connect your home phone, you must use an Echo Connect, but if you connect it with your mobile phone, you just need to verify your phone number and sync your contacts with the Alexa app.
Works as an Intercom
In addition to being able to make hands free phone calls, you can use your Alexa device as a two-way intercom to speak to other Alexa devices around the house, or you can make an announcement to all the devices. This has been especially handy if the kids are in their rooms playing or reading and I need them while I’m in the middle of cooking. I used to have to yell at the top of my lungs until they made their way to the kitchen. Now I can calmly talk to them on my Echo Show. The announcement feature works great when I want to let everyone know that dinner is ready and they are all scattered throughout the house.
How Do You Use Alexa in the Kitchen?
Do you have an Amazon Echo device in your home? What are your favorite ways to use Alexa in the kitchen or even around the house? We would love to hear your best Alexa tips or hacks in the comments below!
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