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What's for dinner? Google Home has five million options

Google Assistant can give you step-by-step instructions through the Google Home smart speaker for more than five million recipes.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Google Home, the always-listening smart speaker, will soon be able to give you step-by-step verbal instructions for more than five million recipes, the internet giant said Wednesday on its blog. The new feature is possible because of an update to Google Assistant, the virtual helper that's integrated into Google Home and Google's Pixel phones. Google will roll out the update in the coming week.

Google's addition of guided cooking is a big leap for smart speakers finding a home in the kitchen. Amazon Alexa, the virtual assistant that powers smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, has skills that can read out recipes to you, but the instructions come all at once, so you can't go back if you missed a step. Google, however, said the Google Assistant's update will give you one instruction at a time and let you ask to repeat a step. This makes cooking with a smart speaker more conversational and interactive.

Amazon's not too far behind creating a friendlier sous chef, though -- Anova Culinary, the makers of the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-connected Anova Precision Cooker immersion circulator, will soon debut an Alexa skill that will walk you through sous vide recipes.

Here's how the Google Assistant's cooking update will work:

  1. Find a recipe through Google Assistant on your Android phone or through the Google Search app on iOS or Android. Select the "Send to Google Home" button for your recipe.
  2. Say "Ok Google, start cooking" or "Ok Google, start recipe" to your Google Home.
  3. Follow the instructions Google Home gives you.

The recipes come from publications such as Bon Appetit, The New York Times and Food Network. The step-by-step instructions on Google Home won't work with recipes from websites or blogs that you find outside of Google Assistant or Google Search.