7 Amazon Alexa cooking hacks that will come in handy the next time you make dinner

Voice Assistants are intended to make your life easier; you can turn off a light without getting up, set a reminder to take food out of the freezer, the list goes on. But one of the places voice assistants shine the most is in the kitchen, and Amazon Alexa’s cooking hacks make everything from grocery shopping to trying new recipes significantly easier. If you haven’t already, you might want to consider clearing some counter space for your Echo, because it can definitely come in handy.

Some of Alexa’s cooking tips come from the Allrecipes skill you can enable on your app, which is offered through a partnership between Echo and Allrecipes, a food-focused social network that provides recipes and how-tos. The Allrecipe skill allows you to access recipes from the site with your voice, and it can help you bring them to life through step-by-step guides. Other tips come from different skills featured on the Echo, and they’ll prove to be just as helpful to you when you’re working in the kitchen.

Read on now for seven ways Alexa can make your cooking experiments less nerve-wracking overall. Your dream dinner is just one “Hey, Alexa” away.

1. Make a grocery list

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Alexa can make a list of your must-buys for your next Trader Joe’s run in a snap. Just ask her to create a list, and once you give it a name (Shopping, Groceries, Things I Need, etc.), you can add items by saying phrases like “Alexa, put yogurt on my shopping list.” Your lists will live in your Alexa app, so you’ll have them with you no matter where you shop.

And if you’re an Amazon Fresh shopper, you can ask Alexa to order products from Fresh, and she’ll add items to your cart directly — just be specific in your request (i.e. organic eggs, vs. just eggs). But as the Fresh site explains, you’ll have to go to the app or website to reserve a delivery time and checkout. Either way, being able to call out the things you need as soon as you notice they’re missing rather than having to physically create a list will streamline your food shopping.

2. Get the “Recipe of the Day”

Allrecipes has hundreds of recipes, but the “Recipe Of The Day” is particularly helpful because it gives you daily cooking inspiration without tons of searching. It gives you the title of the recipe, and if you’re intrigued, you can ask for more details and get the specific instructions, or Google reviews of the particular meal to get a better idea if it’s for you.

3. Replace ingredients easily

You can use the Ingredients Sub skill to get ingredient alternatives for those times when you’re cooking and realize you don’t have something a recipe calls for. Once the skill is enabled, you’ll be able to ask Alexa for easy subs for pretty much any common ingredient, giving you more flexibility as you put dinner together. 

4. Get step-by-step instructions

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Not having to pause to read a recipe is a kitchen game changer. To start Alexa’s step-by-step instructions, tell Alexa to “start cooking,” and she’ll begin giving you the full breakdown of the recipe of your choosing. Plus, you can get her to go over a step again at any time to make sure you’re getting things right by saying “Alexa, repeat.” Easy peasy. And if you love that particular dish? Add it to your folder of favorite recipes by calling out, “Alexa, add this recipe to My Favorites,” — she’ll add it to the list. You can access your favs by asking Alexa to read out your saved dishes.

5. Check on the status of your items

You can stop inspecting those apples you bought last week for brown spots thanks to the Save The Food skill, which tells you if food is still good based on when you bought it or how it looks. You can ask Alexa things like, “Are brown apples still good?” or, “Is the chicken I bought last week OK to eat?” Plus, enabling the skill will also allow Alexa to give you information on how to store specific foods, so you’ll be able to make the most out of your groceries. 

6. Find a wine pairing

The Wine Pairings skill, created by Skyboost, allows you to ask Alexa for wine recs based on the food you’re eating, giving you the ideal drink to go with your meal. You can also ask for reverse by inquiring about what meal goes with the wine you’ve got on hand, and you can ask for general wine advice as well.

7. Use multiple timers

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Keeping track of everything you’re making can be stressful, particularly if the recipes have different cook times. But Alexa allows you to set multiple timers at once by naming them (pizza timer, cupcake timer, etc.), and she’ll tell you which timer is up when she rings. Say goodbye to the days of burnt and undercooked food.