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What Makes One Cooking App Different From Another?

In the last couple of years, home cooking is enjoying revival helped by the likes of Martha Stewart, and Rachel Ray. There will always be those that love dining out, but there’s been a definite defiance against the fast-food revolution in the form of apps helping us cook healthy, delicious homemade food. Traditional recipe books are ‘so-20-years-ago’ and cooking apps have been springing up all over the place as an alternative to your grandma’s yellow stained recipe books.

We’ve sorted through the best cooking apps on the market, ones that save you time and money- not to mention help your organizational skills in the kitchen. We’ll be explaining the best features of each and what type of app will work best for you and your specific needs.

The Social Cooking Apps

If you’re fed up of solidary cooking and want some company in the kitchen, there are some great apps that act as a social channel. Big Ovens social features means you can see what other big oven users are cooking in your area. Big Oven (free on iPhone & Android) has over 350K recipes on its database, and with each recipe comes a personalized shopping list with everything you need, including the easiest way around the supermarket. The app has a powerful search engine so you can easily find the style of food you’re looking for. A really nice feature is the ‘leftovers’ trick where you can search for a recipe using the remainder of food in your refrigerator. With a gorgeous interface aimed to replicate a shiny recipe book, this app is perfect for the organizational pro, or those that suffer from general kitchen disorganization, and can utilize Big Oven’s calendar based planning feature.

Another app that gives you the social feel is AllRecipes Dinner Spinner, where you can view other members videos, photos and reviews. If you and your family are getting sick of your same old recipes AllRecipes Dinner Spinner (available for free on iOS or Android or $2.99 for premium) is a refreshing way to bring fun back into your kitchen. Once you download the app you’ll joining an active community of over 30 million users. The app also suggests recipes when you walk into certain stores—a helpful feature if you’re the type that always walks out of the supermarket forgetting one vital ingredient. The app provides organizational features like shopping lists, and the ability to filter certain foods, diet and how much time you’ve got on your hands. Once you’ve filtered your criteria, spin your device and the app will suggest hand-picked recipes. This app can work for everyone, but it’s also really helpful for those who are budget-conscious. It uses your location to check for grocery stores near you, and then matches what’s on sale with a recipe ingredients.

The Apps for The Selective Eater

If you have very selective needs in the kitchen, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Nowadays most people are following some sort of diet, luckily there are apps to cope with that. Yummly is an awesome cooking search engine, where you can tailor search to meet your specific lifestyle or needs. If you’re vegan, no problem, Kosher? It can be arranged. Food allergies? No danger here. Yummly (free on iOS & Android) is a recipe and shopping list app which cleverly collects recipes from cooking blogs and websites bringing you over 1 million recipes that meet your specific preferences. The coolest thing about this app is the built in ‘instacart’ where you can build shopping lists and purchase the goods straight from the app. This app will work wonders for those of you with very specific food needs such as vegan or paleo. The more you use the app the better the recipe suggestions that match your food tastes!

Another app that helps your specific food preferences is Foodgawker. This app collects over 300,000 recipes from your favorite food bloggers around the world, so you get really wide range of recipes from bloggers that suit your tastes. Foodgawker (free on iOS & Android)) is built for visual browsing, and when you find something you can’t resist, tap on the image and you’ll find the recipe. There are tons of filters for browsing, and you can favorite recipes to your personal account. The app has a sleek and professional interface to compliment the beautiful foodie photos and you can use the app to share recipes on social media channels. Naturally it’s vegan and vegetarian friendly and if you’re not a native English speaker you can translate into your native language.

Cooking Apps For the Beginners

Delving into the kitchen without prior experience can feel daunting, but there are specific apps that can help assist the ultimate cooking novice. How to Cook Everything ($14.99 on iOS only) is based on the best-selling cookbook/recipe book by NY Times columnist Mark Bittman, and as the title indicates, can help you cook everything! It has over 2,000 recipes and 400 basic, step by step instruction videos that take you through the very basics. It also provides guidance on technique, equipment and specific meal planning. It’s much pricier than other apps at a pricy $14.99, but it does allow you to search filter with 5 different categories and the interface is simple and easy to use. Although pricey, this app is great for beginners and for those who want very detailed step-by-step instructions to recipes. There’s also a helpful bookmark which allows you to return to your chosen page. The ‘How to’ section which offers clear-instructions to very basic kitchen techniques like crushing garlic or dicing a carrot.

Kitchen Stories (free on iOS and Android) is another app for first-timers just starting out in the kitchen. The clear videos are simple, and super helpful for newcomers. If you’re someone who loves snapping and uploading their food onto Instagram, this cooking app is for you.The app offers inspiring, insta-licious food videos and step-by-step instructions for recipes anybody can try out. It kind of feels like you’re flicking through a designer gourmet food magazine, but the recipes and clear instructions makes you feel like you can take on any meal. The app also helps you sor