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4 ways Google Home can plan your Thanksgiving dinner

Make your holiday meal a smash: let Google Assistant help you plan.

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Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Cooking for the holidays is a challenge, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. With a little help from Google Assistant and Google Home, your task will go much smoother. Use it to hunt down and save recipes, make shopping lists and even order items for you.

And when you're ready to cook, Google Home can lend a helping hand here as well.

Decide what to cook

Search is Google's bread and butter. Leverage that well-honed ability by asking the Google Assistant to track down tempting holiday recipes. You can do this on a Google Home smart speaker of course, but also by using the Google Assistant app on your Android phone, iPhone and iPad ($799 at Apple).

Kick off your search by saying, "Hey Google, find holiday recipes" or a similar phrase. The assistant will then present your results. In my case, three in particular stood out. The first was deep-fried turkey with a southern-style rub -- complete decadence I know.

For a side, an apple and sage stuffing also caught my eye. Lastly I spotted instructions on how to whip up festive sage gin cocktails. Yum!

The Google Assistant can find recipes and send them to your smart display to help you cook.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Create a shopping list

Before you commit to cooking, confirm you have all the ingredients you'll need. Do that by cross-checking your recipes against what's actually on hand or in the kitchen pantry. Make a note of any missing items. Next ask the Google Assistant to add these supplies to your shopping list.

For instance, simply say "Hey Google, add one 15 to 18 pound fresh turkey to my shopping list." The same goes for any other staple you need -- peanut oil, paprika, what have you. You'll find this list tucked away inside the Google Home app under Account > Settings > Services > Shopping list.

Gather your ingredients

Google Assistant has the power to purchase items on your shopping list -- you just have to configure it first.

In the Google Home app, head to Account > Settings > Payments. There you'll be able to confirm your shipping address, payment info, plus authorize Google Assistant to make payments on your behalf. Purchases are powered by the Google Shopping platform, and fulfilled through numerous third-party vendors such as Walmart, Target and Whole Foods.

Ready, set, cook!

Ready to start cooking? Google Assistant can help here too. Multiple recipe websites are official Google partners to provide step-by-step cooking instructions. These come in the form of a verbal guide (on Google Home speakers) or as visual prompts (on Google Smart Displays).

If a recipe Google Assistant finds (on your phone) is from a partner website, you'll see a tab below it that says, "send to smart display." Hitting this pushes your selected recipe to a compatible device in your home.

You should now see your recipe, plus instructions to prepare it, on the screen of your Google Home Hub, Lenovo Smart Display, or similar Google smart display product. For more on cooking with Google Home Hub check out the gallery below.

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