Use Alexa to Become a Better Chef
If you have an Amazon Echo or Dot in your kitchen, Alexa becomes a great sous chef as well as a virtual assistant when you add the right skills. From helping you decide what to cook to adding items to your shopping list, Alexa is your own personal Julia Child. These are the best cooking skills for Alexa.
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Cook with Ingredients You Have on Hand
When you're in the mood to cook, but don't want to go shopping, too, tell Best Recipes by Hellman's three ingredients that you have, and it will find three recipes that you can make. You can ask for breakfast, lunch or dinner recipes. The skill emails you the recipes instead of talking you through them.
Find a Substitute Ingredient
When a recipe calls for butter and you realize you're all out, Ingredient Sub can tell you how much margarine you can use instead. The database has a good number of basics, but if you're seeking a replacement for something like turmeric, Google will be a better resource.
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Get Recipes for your Instant Pot
The Instant Pot pressure cooker is one of the most popular kitchen gadgets; the Instant Pot skill helps you find recipes and then guides you through each step.
Safely Cook Meat and Seafood
A good way to ruin a dinner party is to serve your guests overcooked food — or worse, undercooked. The Cook Reference skill tells you the safe temperature to cook common meats and fish like chicken, pork, beef, salmon and more.
Get cooking tips from Cook's Illustrated
Cook's Illustrated is one of the most respected publications when it comes to cooking; its scientific approach results in excellent recipes that are accessible to all. The Cook's Illustrated skill not only offers tips, but three times a week has new videos, which you can view on compatible devices such as the Echo Show.
Add Items to Your Grocery List
If you use Chefling to help keep track of groceries you need to buy or when food is expiring, you can skip opening the app and have Alexa do the work for you. Through the skill, you can add items, check expiration dates, share your shopping list and more.
Become a Grillmaster
Take the guess work out of how long to grill thanks to this skill. Give it the type of meat, fish or vegetable you'll cook and it tells you the best temperature, whether you should use direct or indirect cooking, and how long to grill it.
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Brine a turkey
Brining a turkey helps flavor the bird and help it retain moisture during cooking. Brought to you by Morton, the salt company, the Brine Time skill walks you through what you need to brine a turkey, dry- versus wet brining, and other instructions for prepping your poultry.
Store Fruits and Vegetables Properly
If you've ever put a banana in the refrigerator, you need the Fruit Stand skill. Ask it where you should store a fruit or vegetable and it will tell you. For example, sweet potatoes should be stored in the pantry, while blueberries should go in the fridge.
Learn about Herbs and Spices
The wild world of herbs and spices remain a mystery to many of us. This skill shares random facts about these plants, seeds and roots — and that will help you become a more knowledgeable cook. Example: Peppermint helps settle nausea and upset stomach from overeating.
Find Seasonal Food
Eating according to what's in season adds variety to your diet and helps you pick fresh foods available locally. Ask the Farmer's Market skill what's in season in your area, and it gives you an alphabetical list.
Convert Cups to Ounces
If you're being precise in the kitchen, it's better to go by weight of food than using measuring cups or spoons. But you'll probably have to translate cups to ounces for most recipes. Let Alexa do the math for you. The Kitchen Scale skill can tell you, for example, that 1 cup of bananas weighs 8 ounces.
Find Calorie Counts
Counting calories is a way of life if you're dieting. Before you reach into the pantry, ask Food Nutrition Lookup how much damage those potato chips are going to do to your calorie goal — you may think twice.
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Cook like Mom
Get the wisdom of a Jewish mother's cookbook even if you don't have any Jewish heritage. Mama Schack has recipes for traditional Jewish foods such as matzo balls and latkes, as well as chicken soup and more.
Bake a Pie
Time for dessert! PieGuy has you covered. Tell it what kind of pie you’re in the mood for and it gives you the names of several recipes. Pick one and you'll hear the ingredients and the steps to follow.
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Order a Pizza
If you've had enough of cooking, get Alexa to order a pizza for you. Set up an Easy Order through Domino's and ask Alexa to order it. When you get impatient for the pizza to arrive, it can tap into Domino's Tracker for the latest status on your pie. Prefer Pizza Hut? There's a skill for that, too.
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Mix a Drink
Playing mixologist for friends? Tap into the Bartender skill to learn how to make any of 12,000 mixed drinks. It works best if you know the drink name — say, "Ask the bartender how to make a tequila sunrise," and it tells you the ingredients and how to put them together. Or ask it to surprise you and learn how to make something new.
Find Your Favorite Beer
When only the perfect beer will quench your thirst, don't drive all over town: ask WhatTapped if your favorite ale house has what you're craving. With over 250 bars and more than 10,000 beers listed, you may find the one you're looking for.
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Make a Reservation
If you'd rather go out to eat, the OpenTable skill can help you get a reservation. It's convenient when you're with a group to hear Alexa tell you the options and times instead of huddling around a phone screen.
Get Berated by Gordon Ramsay
Have you ever watched Hell's Kitchen and thought, "I'd like to be yelled at like that"? Enable the Gordon Ramsay skill, and ask the celebrity chef what he thinks of your bouillabaisse or grilled cheese sandwich, and you'll get an earful of expletives (bleeped out) critiquing your dish.
Some examples of things you can say:
“Alexa, ask Gordon Ramsay what he thinks about my casserole"“Alexa, ask Gordon Ramsay to try my fried chicken”“Alexa, ask Gordon Ramsay to taste this mac and cheese”Credit: Fox/Getty