If you’re a member of the rapidly growing sous vide community, there’s a good chance you are one of tens of thousands that go online to share recipes and suggestions for taking the craft – and that evening’s meal – to the next level.

And if you’re an enterprising user of Anova’s sous vide circulator who just so happened to hack a custom Alexa skill to cook with your machine, you might just share your idea and get the attention of both the community and Anova itself.

That’s exactly what happened when David Zielezna shared his new Alexa skill on Reddit. After creating a stir in the /sousvide reddit, an Anova community manager reached out to David to put him in touch with the Anova software team. Before long, the sous vide enthusiast from Australia was offered the opportunity to create the official Anova Alexa integration.

And so today Anova is rolling out their new Alexa skill based on David’s work, as well as a new Google Home action that is available to Android customers.

The Alexa skill and Google Home Actions will have what Anova is calling ‘Guided Cook’ capabilities, which allow the user to access the guide information from the Anova app and work through a series of options to optimize and work through a cook. In the same way a person would navigate a branching tree of selections in the app to optimize cooking a meal, the new Alexa Skill and Google Home Action allow users to input the protein type, doneness and thickness via voice in a series of commands.

Here’s an example of how this will be done using Google Home Invocations (commands) within the Google Home Action.

User: Hey Google, tell Anova to help me cook a steak.
GH: Steak has the following choices: A) Porterhouse, B) Ribeye, C) Strip, and D) Tenderloin. Which would you like?
User: Ribeye
GH: How thick is your ribeye in inches?
User: One point five inches
GH: The ribeye steak recipe has the following choices for how you can cook one point five inch thick ribeye: A) Very rare to rare, B) Medium rare, C) Medium, D) Medium well, and E) Well done. Which would you like?
User: Medium rare
GH: The precision cooker settings for Ribeye Steak using one point five inch ribeye cooked medium rare are 129 degrees for one hour. should I start your cooker with these settings?
User: Yes
GH: I told Anova to start a cook for your Ribeye Steak at 129 degrees for one hour. Please refer to this recipe in the anova app for an ingredient list and full preparation steps.

The Guided Cook capabilities are available today with the Alexa Skill, and will be available via an update to the Google Home Action on April 4th.

With over half of Amazon Echos and likely a similar percentage of Google Home products ending up in the kitchen, Anova’s embrace of voice control makes sense. The kitchen has been a fertile area for skill creation over the past year or more, and now with Google Home doing what it can to ratchet up its third party voice interactions, we’ll see even more.

Bottom line, you can expect a lot more people talking to their cooking devices in the coming years.

You can watch David Zielezna’s Alexa skill in action in the video below:

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  1. Why is there no information on when these apps will be available? The article makes it sound like they are available now when they aren’t.

    • According to Anova, the new Alexa Skill and Google Home Action for the Wi-Fi sous vide circulator will be available today. The Google Home ‘Guided Cook’ capability will be rolled out in about a week.

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