No more pastry panic: Alexa can now talk you through recipes

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When I cook I make a huge mess and the product is edible about 50 percent of the time, which is why I’m hoping Alexa can help. I lean on the disembodied spirit of Amazon that lives inside my black tube and various small plastic pucks for so many things, so it’s only natural I’d add culinary skill to the list, and the new Allrecipes skill (via The Verge) for Alexa provides exactly that.

There’s already an Echo Dot in the kitchen for doing things like setting timers, asking basic reference questions and doing measurement conversions, so it’s only natural that it take the next step and walk me through recipes step-by-step. Allrecipes does that, but it’s also set up to help you find a recipe to use to begin with.

You can drill down using filters like your total available prep time, but the skill also tries to take a lot of the fiddly work out of the equation by suggesting a single result up-front for the sake of convenience, based on queries that specify ingredients or the type of food you want to make, combined with user ratings.

An iPad in the kitchen with text and images might still be the best possible assistant for hapless chefs, but Alexa and Echo have the benefit of being hands-free, and you can ask it to repeat steps as many times as you want without anyone getting frustrated, unlike if you have a real human sous-chef helping you out.

Now, Alexa: Clean my kitchen.