The Amazon Echo has become almost synonymous with kitchen tech – with the grocery list assistance and Amazon Prime ordering capabilities, early adopters of the voice assistant Bluetooth speaker set Echo right on their countertops. Amazon has done a nice job making sure that the Echo’s open API means just about anyone can develop a third-party skill for the device. So far that’s led to thousands of skills, with varying degrees of usefulness.
But what about skills for the actual kitchen? While there’s no shortage of smart home skills for the Echo, the functionality for the kitchen isn’t as robust just yet. But there are a handful of skills, both native and third-party, that can make cooking and eating a little bit easier. The Amazon Echo app lists close to 100 skills in the Food & Drink category alone – though many of them have one star and bad reviews. Some enable helpful resources like how to bake a cupcake or the right amount of time to store certain foods in the fridge. But others, like the “Sourdough” skill – dedicated to making different variations of sourdough bread, seem more trivial.
We’ve culled the list of kitchen-related Alexa skills and made a list of the ones that seem most useful to help consumers get the most out of Echo and turn the device into an on-demand sous chef or bartender. We’ll continue to update as the list grows!
Alexa, send me the recipe I saw on The Pioneer Woman yesterday.
The Food Network is the first major cuilnary network to join forces with Amazon Echo to deliver a unique skill. At a basic level, you can ask Alexa what time your favorite cooking shows are going to air – but even better, she can give you the recipes that you saw on those shows to make in your own kitchen. Now if she could only bring Top Chef contestants to your door via Uber.
Alexa, ask Campbell’s Kitchen what’s for dinner
Campbell’s is the first and only Big Food manufacturer to take advantage of Alexa’s presence in the kitchen to make recipe suggestions. Of course, Campbell’s wants you to center your meals around their products, but attempts to make dinnertime easy with a daily list of five recipes.
Alexa, ask cookbook how to (make what you to eat for your meal)
This skill is the most intriguing in the recipe category as it not only gives you the ingredients and steps to cook your chosen meal, it will also read back the recipe to you as you prepare your food. Arguably the hands-free functionality of Amazon’s AI interface is one of the most compelling use cases for the device.
Alexa, ask meal idea to give me some meal ideas
The verbal activation of this skill is redundant, but the premise behind this skill is solid. Stumped about what to make for dinner? Tell Alexa what you’ve got on hand and she will suggest some recipes. Helpful during meal prep or while making your grocery list for the week.
Alexa, ask the bartender, what’s in a [Tom Collins]?
This skill gives Alexa access to over ten thousand cocktail recipes and instructions on how to make them. Use this to impress your friends at a dinner party or to try out new drinks after a long day at work.
Alexa, recommend a wine for a roast chicken.
Ever wanted to be friends with a wine expert? The MySomm skill gives you your own personal sommelier who can make hundreds of recommendations based on what food you’re eating. Good for when you’re having company or when you’ve cooked a nice family meal and want the perfect drink to pair.
Alexa, ask what beer goes with a burger?
What Beer is like MySomm, but for beer. You can ask What Beer for pairs of hundreds of food items, mostly common meals like burgers, fish, steak and desserts.
Alexa, ask Meat Thermometer what is the best temperature for veal?
We won’t address the fact that you’re cooking veal – aka baby cow – for dinner. Instead we’ll say that this tool is incredibly helpful if you’re waiting for something to finish cooking to a safe temperature before you remove it from its heating source. Turkey, chicken, fish – you name it, Meat Thermometer can tell you the exact temp for safe eating.
Alexa, how many tablespoons are in one cup?
This is a native Alexa skill and one that demonstrates the real use case for a voice assistant in the kitchen. Basic questions while you’re cooking can be answered, the info given in an instant and saving you from cleaning your hands, pulling out your phone and searching the internet for the right answer.
Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes.
Also a native Alexa skill but another handy tool that you can use for almost any meal. If you’ve got more than one thing on the stove, in the oven or on the grill and you’re trying to monitor them all, it’s helpful to have more than one timer. Also if you’re using the Echo to listen to podcasts or music or the news while you cook, it will interrupt the entertainment to let you know time is up.
Alexa, how many calories in a package of Oreos?
A lot – you probably don’t need Alexa to tell you that. But a helpful tool for meal prep and general nutritional guidelines as you plan what to eat and try to stay healthy.
So there you have it – a list of the most helpful Alexa kitchen & food skills. We’ll update this list from time to time as new skills are developed and Alexa becomes an even more helpful sous chef. Stay tuned.