iPad in the kitchen? Why not? Old school cookbooks are fun to look through, but let’s be honest: they aren’t really all that well suited to action in the kitchen. The easiest way to make sense of cooking is with an appropriately-mounted iPad and some of the best cooking apps. A case like the iPad 10.2 Zugu Case has plenty of mount options, including some super strong magnets that can even keep your iPad safe up on the front of your refrigerator. No spills up there!
Here we’ll go through three of our favorite— three comprehensive apps that just might have the power to change you from a TV dinner microwave cook to something more like a home chef or or even an amateur foodie. Why settle with anything less than the best when you can have an actual food experience in your own kitchen, no expertise required?
So stick your iPad up on that refrigerator and start cooking!
Yummly is a favorite among both foodies and newbies-in-the-kitchen. That might have something to do with the food photography: every recipe has at least one picture, and they’re all good ones. If you’re into that kind of thing, you could spend hours just browsing the two million recipes included, letting your saliva run as you make up mental lists of all the meals you want to make at least once before you die.
The app is easy to use, and the search function is smooth and responsive. You can share recipes from within the app, and there’s an integrated smart shopping list that users love. You can also set up a virtual pantry, and cook from what you’ve already got in your house.
What’s wrong with Yummly? Well, functionality is seriously limited unless you sign in using your Facebook or Google account. If you’re concerned about privacy, this may not be the app for you.
That said, the sign-in allows for some nice customization options. For instance, you can tell the app what recipes you approve of— mark them with ‘Yum!’ — and you’ll get more similar recipes shown to you. If you have a hard time finding inspiration this can be a lifesaver: just open the app and let it remind you of what you love.
Yummly is also a good bet if you’ve got food sensitivities or allergies. Tell the app what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, and it’ll filter all your recipes thereafter. There’s nothing like getting presented with a recipe for a double-chocolate three-layer cake just after you swore off sugar— and Yummly will make sure that never happens.
If even the millions of recipes on Yummly aren’t enough to get you inspired about dinner— or maybe they’re information overload, and make it harder than ever to settle on one recipe— you need the Dinner Spinner. This fun recipe app allows you to enter a meal type, choose an ingredient you’ve got at home, and then put down just how long you are willing to spend cooking. Spin the spinner, and you’ll get a listing of meals you can make with what you have, in the amount of time you have to spare.
The recipes in Allrecipes are all community-provided, so there’s a wide range in quality. The key is to look at ratings—- if you’ve got a five star recipe that 3,456 people have loved, you’re likely to have something worth making. You can also read through reviews and find out just what aspects of a recipe other amateur cooks appreciated— and where they felt it went wrong. Pay it forward by adding your own pictures, videos, and ratings to the mix. You can even submit a recipe if you’ve got something unique worth adding!
One fun feature of Allrecipes is the way it can connect with your local grocery stores to locate ingredients that are on sale right now. If you can make this work now, the app has the potential to save you time and money, and you’ll end up with cost-effective meals that didn’t cost you even an hour in deal-hunting.
Yummly and the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner should have you well covered as far as your main meals, breakfasts, and suppers are concerned— but what about bread? Baking bread at home is a more involved procedure, and if you’ve jumped on the sourdough bandwagon you’ll really want something a little extra. Maybe what you’re wanting is the app Rise; an entire app completely devoted to sourdough.
Rise includes recipes, directions, and a built-in journal. That’s key for experimentation: if you end up with your best loaf ever, you want to remember what you did right!
The app is meant for both beginners and experts. If you're just starting out, you’ll love the way they walk you through everything, step by step, with videos at key points along the way. If you’re already deep into the sourdough cult, you’ll love advanced features like the magic hydration calculator and timers.
Those timers might be our favorite part of the app. Begin a new recipe, and you’ll be able to see an overview of the entire process, with all relevant times. When it’s time for the next step, you get a notification that tells you what you need to be doing and how. Built-in flexibility allows the app to adjust if you decide to finish quickly or get stuck with something else and need to add more time to your routine.
There you have it: three of the top cooking apps that can completely transform your kitchen experience and help you prepare the most delicious breakfast, meals, and desserts— and even bread! Why spend money on cookbooks when you can have it all on your 10.5 inch screen? Try out these three cooking apps, then let us know which was your favorite. We’d love to see a picture of the gourmet meal you cooked up in the kitchen, too!