You may be surprised to learn that some of the best Amazon Echo hacks can help you in the room of your home where you likely spend much of your time–the kitchen. In fact, says Katherine Prescott, founder and editor of Voice Brew, a company founded on helping people get the most from Alexa, “People love having Alexa as their kitchen companion–a fact I learned after surveying Alexa users on their favorite ways to use Alexa while they’re cooking.”
In case you weren’t aware, Alexa is the digital assistant that comes with the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. You can ask Alexa to do pretty much anything in your daily life.
If you watch the TV show “Mr. Robot,” then you know that FBI Agent Dominique “Dom” DiPierro played by Grace Gummer is using one of these Alexa hacks not only to check the weather but, sadly, to find companionship.
5 best Amazon Echo hacks for the kitchen
As Prescott discovered some of the best Amazon Echo hacks with Alexa happen in the kitchen. These Alexa hacks can help you with cooking math as well as other timesaving tasks.
For example, you know how your hands can get messy while cooking. These Alexa Echo hacks make it so that you don’t have stop cooking or baking to wash your hands so you can look something up. They also include cool Alexa commands.
So what are the 5 best Amazon Echo hacks for the kitchen? Let’s start the countdown.
1. This Alexa hack can help with unit conversions
Do you how many tablespoons are in a stick of butter? Well, yes, you can likely just look on the butter package for the answer–which is eight, by the way. But your Echo Dot (or even your Google Home personal assistant or even your iPhone–“Hey, Siri”) can get the answer for you.
Prescott says that unit conversions are one of the most popular uses for Alexa in the kitchen, especially for all you bakers out there. With Alexa, you don’t need to stop and look it up on your phone or computer–you just need to ask.
How? Ask Alexa any unit conversion question. This Amazon Alexa command might be “Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a quarter cup?”
2. Need a timer? This is one of the most popular Alexa hacks
What do you do when your hands are covered in pizza dough but you need to set a timer? Ask Alexa for help.
This is one of those uses that sounds simple but truly is a game changer in the kitchen. Think of all those times when you have foodstuff all over your hands. Then think about how you need to punch in a timer on the stove or on your phone. Suddenly, your clean appliances and device are covered in muck.
An Alexa hack that you can categorize
With Alexa, you can set as many timers as you want–and you can name them so when a timer goes off, you know what it’s for. So you might say, “Alexa, set timer for 8 minutes for pasta” and “Alexa, set 20 minute timer for pizza”
To check how much time is left “Alexa how much time is on my pasta timer?” Then, when the time is up “Alexa stop”
That’s pretty impressive. I know that when I ask “Hey, Siri” to set me a timer, she doesn’t get so fancy as to categorize those timers for me!
One of the easiest Amazon Echo hacks
Here’s another of those kitchen Alexa Echo hacks, says Prescott. “You can also use reminders as timers, which can be helpful if you are cooking something for a long time (like a roast or yams) and plan to walk away from the kitchen Echo speaker where the timer will go off.”
A reminder is handy because Alexa will announce it over your Echo speaker and send your phone a push notification. That’s double the Alexa hacks!
3. Best Amazon Echo hacks for entertainment
Whether you like to play games or listen to music, news or books while you cook, Alexa can entertain you.
How? Just ask. Yeah, I know, Amazon Alexa commands are starting to get repetitive, but don’t you think these are also quite cool Alexa commands?
- Music: “Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen”
- Games: “Alexa, open the Wayne Investigation”
- News: “Alexa, turn on the news.”
- Listen to books with Alexa: “Alexa, read my book.” (FYI, you can try Audible for free for 30 days. Plus, if you sign up using this link, you’ll get two free audiobooks to download.)
If you have the newest Amazon Show, you can use these Alexa hacks to bring up stuff to watch while you are cooking. Food Network, anyone?
Like to be entertained while talking on the phone? You can also make calls to other Echo devices or contacts in your address book.
Just say “Alexa, call Mom,” and choose whether you want to call the Echo device associated with Mom or the phone number. Be sure you’ve sync’d your contacts in the Alexa app in the Communicate tab on the bottom navigation bar.
4. Shopping lists and Alexa hacks
You’re cooking and you realize you’re on your last roll of paper towels. Just ask Alexa to reorder them on the spot. This Alexa command would be, “Alexa, add paper towel to my shopping list.”
You can also use this Alexa hack to reorder from Amazon. Just say, “Alexa, buy paper towels.” If you’ve ordered paper towels from Amazon before, Alexa will ask if you want to buy the ones you previously ordered.
In addition to paper towels, you can use Amazon Echo Dot tricks to order all of your groceries. As a Prime Fresh member, you can also ask Alexa to add grocery items to your Fresh cart. To order a grocery item from AmazonFresh, say, “Add [item] to my Fresh cart.” If you’ve bought the item before, Alexa adds the same item to your cart.
Keep in mind that these Alexa hacks for shopping only work if you have voice purchasing enabled under settings in your Alexa account. Also important–you need to have an Amazon Prime membership. You can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days.
5. Use Amazon Alexa commands to search for recipes
We all have our go-to recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up. Just ask Alexa for a recipe, and she’ll suggest a few with quick descriptions. If you like one, she’ll send the recipe to your phone.
Here’s how this Amazon Alexa hack works: To find a recipe, say “Alexa, find me a recipe for grilled vegetables” (or whatever your dish of your choice is). Say “next” if you want to hear another recipe option. When you hear a recipe you like say “more information.”
These recipe-related Echo Alexa hacks can work with your phone, too. So, when given the option, ask Alexa to “send recipe to my phone.” Then open the push notification from the Alexa app with a link to the recipe.
By the way these Alexa hacks work with the Alexa app on your Android or IOS devices, too.
Google Home Hacks and Tricks
While Alexa has become the equivalent generic term like “Kleenex” or “Swiffer” she isn’t the only talking assistant out there. There are other digital personal assistant devices and apps that you can ask for help.
Many of these Alexa hacks work as Google Home hacks, too. The interface may be slightly different but the outcome should be the same. FYI, you can buy a Google Home at most big box stores, including at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond, which is offering $30 off Google WiFi during Google savings event.
If you’re an iPhone user like I am, you can likely ask “Hey, Siri” for help with your cooking tasks, too, or setting of timers, etc.
More Alexa hacks for your home
Amazon Echo Dot tricks aren’t just limited to Alexa hacks. There are other smart components in the Amazon family that work with Alexa and which can transform your home into a smart house. Here are some others to consider.
Alexa Hue Lighting
Fire TV Cube
Fire TV Cube offers hands-free streaming media player with Alexa. From across the room, just use your Amazon Alexa commands to ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim the lights, and play what you want to watch.
The Fire TV Cube has a built-in speaker that lets you check the weather, listen to the news, control compatible smart home devices, and more—even with the TV off.
Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills. Get over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, and more.
Amazon Alexa Smart Plug
The Amazon Smart Plug works with Alexa to add voice control to any outlet. Schedule lights, fans, and appliances to turn on and off automatically, or control them remotely when you’re away.