10 yummy cooking apps and accessories for the iPad
Apple's iPad quickly sprung to fame as the ultimate cooking companion. A lot of people who were carrying their laptops with them in the kitchen so as not to mess up new recipes where timing is crucial, switched to the compact tablet.
Then app developers capitalized on this trend by outing graphically rich and useful cooking applications for beginners and seasoned veterans alike, while accessory makers outfitted your tablet with gear suitable for its new role.
Whether a 20-minute wrap, or a greasy gourmet dinner that gets prepped for hours, your iPad can start you off with suggestions, then make a shopping list for the supermarket, compare the nutritional value of the ingredients there, show you step-by-step recipe with pictures, and even run videos of celebrity chefs cooking the same thing to keep you inspired. In the end, it dings when the food should be prepped for serving. Bon Appétit!
Before you even consider cooking with the help of your iPad, or any tablet for that matter, you have to prep it for the onslaught of grease, flour and water that might come its way. Belkin's Chef Stand and Stylus makes for a great iPad accessory in the kitchen as it not only can keep your iPad at eye level and angle, but the accompanying stylus comes handy to keep it clean and functional by not touching it with greasy or wet fingers. The rubbery stylus is meant to be washed off afterwards, unlike your iPad.
As it says in the title, Big Oven is one of the fullest collections of recipes you can find, all searchable by several categories, including ingredients, so you can cook with whatever is available at home. Nice graphics, a tablet layout, and you can upload your own recipes with photos, or share them instantly on Facebook or Twitter. There is also a menu planner now that allows you to schedule your weekly or monthly meals on an interactive calendar. Follow and add recipe reviews, and even scan old recipes to enrich the collection. Bon Appétit!
Another endless source of recipes, Epicurious is a creation of Condé Nast Digital, so you can expect the usual quality content coupled with pretty graphics. The app has over 5 million downloads, and is worth just checking it out, so your head can swirl from the amount of recipes searchable by ingredients, diet or meal type. Create a shopping list to checkmark in the store, read reviews and share your own saved favorites on the social networks. Tailored for the screen real estate on the iPad, Epicurious shows you the recipe photos, ingredients and step-by-step guide on one screen for ease of use.
New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman is famous for his straightforward approach to recipes and his app doesn't stray away from that trend. The kit is loaded with simple, yet delicious recipes, ingredients and tips from the cooking aficionado himself. It's on the pricey side for a reason - you'll often find yourself coming back for more great ideas, presented in a graphically rich app with helpful guides and links. It's his best-selling cookbook "How to Cook Everything", but shoehorned into the interactivity of an app, so you are actually saving on the paper version. It's also loaded with metrics converters and even timers, so it's a double whammy.
All those high-tech ways to make your recipes now need a high-tech accessory for the pesky grilling part, don't they? iGrill is a Bluetooth thermometer, which you poke the meat with and can follow the rising temperature inside your Thanksgiving turkey in real time, while lounging on the couch watching the game. Supplied with its own iPad app and recipes, the iGrill has timers for the perfectly cooked meat by type and tenderness. The gizmo has dual probe capability and can also double as a standalone thermometer, whose readings you can explore up to 200 feet away.
Hey, what about us with food allergies, those hundreds of thousands of recipes boil down to only a handful sometimes! No worries, Cook IT Allergy Free for iPad has you covered. You can search for recipes by type of allergy with ingredients to avoid, or you can find perfectly valid substitutes you've never thought about before, and still make your favorite dish.
Keeping up with the healthy living trend, "Green Kitchen is an inspiring source of organic and tasty vegetarian food, with ingredients straight from the nature and a bare minimum of gluten, sugar and dairy products used. Enjoy and be delighted by creative recipes with drop dead gorgeous photos and detailed, easy to follow, instructions."
Since we started with the healthy cooking apps, Simply Organic HD contains 1400+ recipe suggestions with organic ingredients, from 30-minute wraps, to an organic recipe for a greasy former favorite dish. You can share recipes with other organic aficionados and read reviews, as well as stop busting your head what healthy dish to make for dinner for the kids by just spinning a fortune wheel. Or, alternatively, input what you have at home, and check out the possible organic recipes.
Ok, enough healthy stuff, sometimes a man just wants a burger, and the Weber's on the Grill for iPad offers a thousand and one ways to skin a cat, err... grill meat, complete with recipes for carnivores and even instructional videos from celebrity chefs. It's the summer somewhere, so take your iPad and go to the backyard, picnic area or even the campsite.
What's all this food without desert, say the Europeans, and when it comes to food they are right more often than not. This baking-cookbook-turned-an-app puts the simplest way to follow a recipe - photos - front and center. Cookies, pies, cake and chocolate temptations are just a few taps away to round off a hearty meal binge, or get prepped for the holiday guests. And now we are starving.