Best iPhone cooking apps

Being a decent cook is no easy task. In the old days few worried about what they put on the table, be it gruel of pigeon brains, the family would eat it. Now thanks to the like of Jamie Oliver and his merry brigade of tv chefs, no food is acceptable if it isn't served with at least something in balsamic vinegar. 

Creating these kind of culinary masterpieces is problematic. Our modern day aversion to reading has rendered cook-books useless, so we have turned to that much loved gadget, the smartphone, to fix it. The apps below will have you turning out high quality grub with the minimum fuss, allowing maximum eating time. 

Jamie's Recipes

Firstly, the good news - you can use this app without ever seeing Jamie on screen at all (apart from a brief introduction). Whaddya mean that isn't good news? Whatever your opinion on Mr Oliver, there's no denying that the man can cook. And he also makes it look pretty easy - hence his massive popularity. 

Jamie's Recipes is a free app, where you'll get a welcome pack of dishes for free (each with step by step instructions) as well as a few tutorial videos on using knives properly and the like (to cut vegetables, not people). There's also a load of premium packs you can buy, each containing around 10 recipes and one or two vids. These packs are in-app purchases and, until 14 August, are at a cut price 69p - they're usually £1.49. Read More

iTunesLink

Price: Free, Recipes packs cost though

Rating: 4/5

 

BigOven

On the whole, the free cookery apps are not as good but when of the ones that really can compete is BigOven. You still get features like automatic unit conversions between metric and imperial, shopping lists and recipes based on ingredients you have but where it suffers are things like adverts and a slightly slow, connected-only experience.

On the plus side, you do get access to over 170,000 recipes with plenty of user generated information including review comments and photos and such too. It'll also even tell you just how many calories are in each serving right at the very top.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Great British Chefs - Recipes

Great British Chefs is a collective organisation that "celebrates and champions the best chefs across Britain", and by that it means the promotion of a collection of top restaurateurs and foodsmiths who have be awarded coveted Michelin stars. And Great British Chefs - Recipes is the brand's first application (with the HD suffix for iPad, without for iPhone). You can find recipes in their own section, via one of the chefs' profiles, through a listed ingredient, or even listed per course. You can also see several entire suggested course-by-course menus from each chef, which you could make for a dinner party, for example. You really are only limited by your own cooking skills and time.

Like many other recipe apps, Great British Chefs - Recipes also gives you the opportunity to click on ingredients to add them to a shopping list. And you can write your own notes on the instructions. However, as each dish is presented for you in intricate detail, it's unlikely you'll want to. In short, it's expansive but not intimidating. Jam packed with content (if not jam). Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.49

Rating: 4/5

 

Epicurious Recipes

This app has been produced by the award-winning food site Epicurious.com and includes over 28,000, professionally tested recipes. It should prove dab handy for those of you who want to eat a little healthier or become a bit more adventurous with your nosh. Features include the ability to browse a list of "most popular" recipes, which are categorised for different occasions and you can also filter your search by swiping through icons, enabling you to find recipes which are healthy, in season or simply what's in your fridge.


There's also the ability to take a look at what other Epicurious members are plating up, so if you like surprises then it'll certainly give you the chance to experiment, whilst a personal favourites list means you can keep track of successful meals. The iPad also offers a few extras like a full screen cookbook view, and a snazzy interface, but both seem like very decent propositions and more importantly are free. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

Cook's Illustrated

Cook's Illustrated is a great iPhone cookery app that brings you tried and tested recipes, meaning that if you do decide to attempt one, it should work a treat. This is because each recipe has had to endure the rigours of the Cook's Illustrated test cooks where each recipe is tweaked to perfection, hopefully. As the blurb goes: "We make the mistakes so you don’t have to."



This companion app works well and the recipes within seem to do the job, you'll get 50 recipes for free and then if you crave more an in-app purchase awaits.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

CookMate

CookMate will sort you out if you're a little bit slack on the old shopping. Can't be bothered to nip down to Safeway? No problem, just select the ingredients you do have, yes you will need to have some, and Cookmate should come up with a selection of recipes geared around your leftovers.

A great idea with its decent UI helping the user experience and everything to look nice and pretty, however, more importantly, it seems to work.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

How to Cook Everything

How to cook everything is a one-stop-shop for anyone who needs a bit of correction with their Consumé or some straightening out with a soufflé. This is basically a big cook's companion compacted into iPhone friendly dimensions and its recipes are matched with the options the app delivers. It also features 2,000 recipes and 400 how-to illustrations for you to browse.

In use the app works extremely well and navigating through recipes and options is very easy. Add to this a recipe timer and shopping list function and you have a very strong contender for your cash indeed.

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Ratio

Ratio is a cooking app with a difference as it focuses on the different proportions of ingredients that make up the most common foods and meals. As Michael Ruhlman, author of the cookbook Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, says: "When you know a ratio, you don’t know a recipe, you know 1,000. And this application does all the calculating for you."

So, to a degree, this app looks at the relationships between ingredients in cooking and helps you to fine tune your skills so that the basic steps in any dish will become second nature. The app performs its task admirably and brings 32 ratios; including doughs, batters and meat preparation, as well as calculator, an ounces to grams converter and some variations on classic dishes.

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 3.5/5

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