Last year, we all spent a lot of time on our cell phones searching for recipes. Our new normal has led us to get in touch with our inner chefs. We also learned that searching for recipes via the web on your mobile device can be a laborious task in and of itself. Nine times out of ten, when you find a recipe that looks good, you’re directed to a food blog where you have to scroll through pages of the author’s story about the dish’s history, where they got the ingredients, what the food means to them, and other SEO filler. Not to mention the pop-up ads!
If you haven’t realized it by now, this is where recipe apps come in very handy. In some instances, you’ll have to endure ads (mostly in free apps), but in most cases, recipe apps are direct and to the point. They take you to the recipe, with a clear list of ingredients and how to prepare them. They have a photo with the finished product (which you hope you can match), and that’s it. Some apps even have set-by-set video instructions that will walk you through the cooking process. Unlike food blogs, you can choose to click on additional content. Plus, depending on the app, they have tons of other useful features. There are even apps dedicated to your dietary restrictions (plant-based/vegan, keto, etc.).
In 2021 these apps are an example of how technology can work for you, not the other way around. Note that some of the features described below may not be available in the apps that charge for a premium subscription.
If you depend on visual aids for pretty much anything (which most of us do) then KitchenStories is the perfect app. Every recipe comes with step-by-step image guides, and some have video tutorials. They have an extensive recipe archive created by KitchenStories’ in-house chefs. You can save your favorite recipes and comment on them to give tips to other users. Another nice feature of this app is that it has a shopping list generator that you can export to your phone’s reminders. KitchenStories focuses on simple meals with simple ingredients. There’s also a ton of original content in the form of articles and videos that you can use for inspiration. In our opinion, KitchenStories is by far the best option for a totally free app that doesn’t ask you to subscribe to a premium version.
BBC Good Food
Like the BBC’s TV programming, the BBC Good Food app is an excellent source for unbiased, straightforward recipes. The app contains a large library of over 10,000
A great thing about recipe apps is the ability to share knowledge among users, and Tasty has perfected that in its app. This app by Buzzfeed is designed for community interaction because it’s the self-proclaimed “world’s largest food network.” There are sections to rate, comment, and suggest recipe alterations. Remember to take all the comments with a grain of salt since they come from mostly amateur cooks. Another fun feature is you can edit your personal tastes within the app and blacklist recipes that don’t interest you.
Forks Plant-Based Recipe App
From one of the leading vegan lifestyle websites, the Forks Over Knives is perfect for anyone trying to support or switch to a plant-based diet. The clean design and production value alone makes this app worth the five bones. However, the 400+ whole-food recipe database, the new recipes each week, and the exportable grocery list option also make this app very worthwhile.
Price: $5 one-time fee
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
If you’ve ever searched recipes online, chances are you know about Allrecipes. Over the years, the brand has positioned itself as one of the more trusted online recipe resources. They have a huge community as well (over 50 million) that is encouraged to rate, comment, and share ideas on their database of over 50,000
Food Network Kitchen
For whatever reason, we trust celebrities. While the verdict is still out whether or not all celebrity chefs are actually chefs, if you need your recipes to come from Alton Brown or Giada De Laurentis, you’ll need the Food Network Kitchen app. It has a massive recipe database of over 70,000
Price: Free, Premium version: $40/year
If you require virtually every recipe on the internet at your disposal, Big Oven is the app for you. It allows you to curate your own recipe book from over a half a million verified recipes from across the web. You’ll have to upgrade to Big Oven Pro if you want to plan your meals for the week, get access to collections from Big Oven professional chefs, search by dietary preferences, or get nutrition insights. Even without the pro upgrade, though, Big Oven is a great app that quickly and easily gets you an array of
Price: Free, Premium version: $20/month
The SideChef app might be more aptly named SousChef. Besides having detailed step-by-step instructions with images and videos, it also has voice commands and timers. You can get access to a wide network of culinary partners through the premium subscription who have their own special recipes, tips, and tutorials. SideChef lets you search by ingredient, gives you an estimated cost breakdown of all their
Price: Free, Premium version: $50
NY Times Cooking
If you’re a fan of exclusivity, the NY Times cooking app is for you. Like the publication, the content is verified by experts. All of the recipes come from their own professional culinarians. They also offer video guides and tutorials for less experienced home cooks. You can easily save and rate
Price: Free, Premium version: $40/year
Now that you’ve got all the recipes you need, make sure you have all the essential kitchen tools you need to get cooking.
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