Thanksgiving is the king of cooking holidays. Families travel near and far to sit down for a feast.
If you’re on the hook for preparing the meal, you know it can be hectic to pick out recipes, shop for ingredients and cook every last dish. This year, try putting Alexato work for you. Here are nine ways Amazon’s smart assistant, available in many different devices, can make Thanksgiving a easier.
1. Keep a grocery list for the big day
Alexa is capable of keeping a running shopping list. Use this to keep track of all the groceries or equipment you may need. Just say, “Alexa, add butter to the shopping list,” or, “Alexa, add knife sharpener.”
2. Keep a Thanksgiving day to-do list
Staying on top of everything that needs to be done can be a chore in itself. Like with lists, you can two-way sync to-do lists with.
Or you can keep your Alexa to-do list totally separate. To add a new to-do, just say, “Alexa, add thaw the turkey to my to-do list.”
Either way, keeping all the things that need to get done on Thanksgiving day in one place can help you cut through or delegate the seemingly never-ending list in no time.
After all your tasks are added, you can say, “Alexa, what’s on my to-do list?”
3. Get tons of recipe ideas
Not only will these skills offer up some recipes to try, they will tell you the ingredients needed and walk you through the process. GoodNes offers a visual guide. Food Network lets you look up recipes by chef or TV show. Allrecipes will send directions to your phone. Betty Crocker will tell you how long it will take to cook a ham. And Best Recipes will give you recipes for the ingredients you already have.
4. Pick the right turkey
With the Turkey Planner skill, Alexa can also tell you how much turkey you need for the number of guests you’ll be having. It also tells you how long you will need to cook it.
Just say, “Alexa, ask Turkey Planner how long it will take to cook a 12-pound turkey,” or, “Alexa, ask Turkey Planner what size of turkey is needed for 10 people.”
5. Multiple timers
On Thanksgiving day,will be your favorite feature of Alexa. You can not only create several concurrent timers, but you can name them so you can easily keep everything straight. Say, “Alexa, start a 3-hour turkey timer,” or, “Alexa, create a stuffing timer for 30 minutes.”
Then, to check on your timers, you say, “Alexa, how much time is left on the turkey timer?”
6. Cocktail ideas
When you’re having several guests over for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a nice touch to have a selection of cocktails on hand. Alexa can help with that, too, thanks to The Bartender. This skill suggests over 12,000 different cocktails.
It can tell you what’s in a drink, how to make it or suggest random cocktail recipes. You can also request cocktails with specific ingredients in them, such as, “Alexa, ask The Bartender for a drink with pineapple juice and vodka.”
7. Get better wine pairings
For drinking with your Thanksgiving dinner, use MySomm to get wine pairings. For a traditional turkey dinner, it will suggest you “open a good zinfandel or a soft red like pinot noir.” But if you’re into non-traditional Thanksgiving meals, this skill will definitely come in handy.
8. Or pair your meal with the right beer
If beer is more your style, use the What beer? skill to find the perfect beer to go with your meal. Say something like, “Alexa, ask what beer goes with cranberry sauce.”
9. Get the tots to nap while you cook
Cranky toddlers hanging onto your sleeve while you prep dinner can make you crazy. Set the tot down for a nap and have Alexa read a Short Bedtime Story.
10. Set the mood
Unlike Christmas or Halloween, Thanksgiving doesn’t exactly have a specific type of music to go along with it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t play music. There are plenty of great Thanksgiving playlists to choose from on Spotify, Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited. Just say, “Alexa, play Thanksgiving music.”
This will help set the holiday mood or vibe without playing Christmas music too soon.
11. Order last-minute essentials
If you’re too busy to run to the store (again) before Thanksgiving, use Alexa to quickly order last-minute essentials. You can order everything from cling wrap to a new turkey baster. All you have to do is ask.
If you’d rather just add all the items to your cart, instead of telling Alexa to buy an item, say something like, “Alexa, add a meat thermometer to my cart.”
When you’re ready to purchase everything, just open the Amazon app or go to the website and complete the order. (This way you can choose expedited shipping, if needed.)
12. Black Friday Calendar
Finally, if your family has a tradition of going shopping after scarfing down Thanksgiving dinner, you can use the Black Friday Calendar skill to check store hours for Black Friday. (Let’s be honest, we’re now checking for Thanksgiving Day hours, really.)