“There’s an app for that” is a catchphrase that’s been trademarked by Apple, and it couldn’t be further from the truth! Nowadays, there really is an app for everything. With so many options to comb through, it’s often difficult, or downright impossible, to separate out the useful ones from the gimmicky ones. One look at the App Store or Google Play can send you into a tailspin, and with zero shortage of food and drink apps, few pack a good punch when it comes to features, practicality and ease of use.
You can access all the functionality of these applications anywhere that wi-fi is available and even faster with a 4G-equipped smartphone. Now, who’s hungry and ready to make a culinary masterpiece with their favorite new smartphone application?
Managing Your Recipe Collection
Whether you love to cook or just love to pig out, odds are you have a collection of recipes you’d like to try, or attempt to try and make. Whether they’re from recipe books or passed down from a loved one, chances are you need a better method to keep them organized. And not just on index cards… you need something for the long haul.
- For Importing Hand-Written Recipes: BigOven- To help you bridge the gap between paper and electronic, Pro membership to BigOven gives you access to a recipe scanner, which allows you to snap pictures of your cookbooks, note cards or other printed materials and add them to your collection—all thanks to the handy OCR (optical character recognition) and the real folks behind the scenes reviewing the scans. Additional features include a recipe library that boasts over 250,000 entries, private notes and nutritional information. According to BigOven.com, BigOven Pro has a yearly fee of $19.99.
- For the Pinterest Junkie: ChefTap- If the majority of your recipes are already available in an electronic format, ChefTap makes it easy to import an entire pinboard filled with linked recipes. You can even edit them later. According to ChefTap.com, it’ll tag and organize recipes, which makes them easy to search later and has a “kitchen view” if you’re one of those chefs (professional or amateur) that likes to bring their device into the kitchen. ChefTap Pro is available for $11.99 per year.
- For Total Control: Springpad- Taking a very visual approach to organization, Springpad is a free application that allows users to save a virtual “recipe box” while auto-pulling ingredients and step-by-step instructions. From there, the chef can add photos and tags to make it easier to search. It’ll even look up a wine pairing automatically to enjoy with the dish! If that doesn’t convince you alone, I’m not sure what will…
Mastering the Art of Cooking
Allrecipes.com did a survey which found that 44% of respondents claimed digital media was their cooking resource of choice–are you among that group? Apparently even digital technology can penetrate the steamy, grease-prone kitchen!
- For the Inexperienced, but Ambitious: How to Cook Everything- Based on the best-selling cookbook of the same name by Mark Bittman, the app not only includes recipes, but also techniques. Although there aren’t any recipe reviews, you can look at the number of thumbs-ups form other users, browse variations on each recipe and keep your own notes. A few other handy features include: a built-in timer, conversion capabilities and a setting that allows you keep the iPad screen active. The How to Cook Everything app is available for $9.99 from the iTunes Store.
- For the Rising Star: Food Magazines- Essentials include Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine. Already revered in the industry, this group of subscription apps has an expanded encyclopedia of cooking tips and tools, with the added bonus of multimedia content and the ability to access all the prized information without toting an armful of printed stacks.
- For the Top Chef: Modernist Cuisine at home- The award-winning print edition has been transformed into an ebook, which has hundreds of additional photos, 35+ new technique videos and additional recipes that didn’t fit into the print version. The pricey, but fantastic app, available at ModernistCuisine.com, also has guided photo tours, a yield converter, a glossary of recommended products and a shopping list function. This app has a one time fee of $79.99.