Free iPhone Apps to Unleash Your Inner Chef

• 27/02/2011

I fancy myself a bit of a domestic goddess from time to time and I do love to cook.

I also love my gadgetry, including my Apple iPhone.  Now granted, I haven’t upgraded to the new Apple iPhone 4 yet but that’s fine.  I’m quite satisfied with the smartphone I’ve got for now.

I love the apps and there is no shortage of cooking-related apps available in the iTunes AppStore.

I’ve decided to download the free apps and do a bit of a review for the blog.  Next time I’ll choose one of the paid ones and do a review of it.

Before I delve into each app specifically it’s good to note that they all had the same basic features: a recipe search tool, a shopping list feature, and a tool to save recipes for future review (Favorites).  For most of the apps there was a unique feature or two that I thought was worth mentioning.

Epicurious My Rating: 4/4 stars

With thousands of recipes, sorted into categories or available via quick search, the ability to save a recipe as a favorite, and even to create a shopping list from your saved recipes, the app seems quite versatile as far as free cooking apps go.  There are no real ads that distract you, aside from a brief mention each time you load the app to ask you to sync your online Epicurious Recipe Box, which is a $1.99 add on feature.  Get on iTunes.

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner My Rating: 4/4 stars

The regular AllRecipes app is not free but the ‘Dinner Spinner’ app is.  It’s kind of a neat idea.  All you do is shake to start the spinner for a random combination then view the recipe matches.  There are ads in this app but they aren’t horrible.  I love AllRecipes.com and this app is fun and useful – and the fact that there are as many recipes on it for free is great. Get on iTunes.

Whole Foods Recipes My Rating: 3.5/4 stars

I like the recipe search function of this app.  It has a lot of options for healthier choices and special dietary requirements like Gluten-Free or Vegan.  Another great tool in this app is the On Hand section, where you can give three ingredients you have on hand and it will automatically search recipes to find matches that include those three ingredients.   The Whole Foods app includes a Locations search tool which uses the phone’s location to find the nearest Whole Foods Market, and the Shopping List has an option to email it to whoever might be doing the shopping.  That’s pretty dang sweet!  Get on iTunes.

Spark Recipes My Rating: 2/4 stars

This app is my least favorite of all the free cooking/recipe apps I downloaded.  I just find the library of recipes not to be as impressive as the others.  The one thing I do like is the Timer tool and the Conversion tool and that’s partly why I keep this app installed on my phone.  Get on iTunes.

Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook My Rating: 3/4 stars

The same features like Favorites, Search and Meal Finder (similar to the Whole Foods ‘On Hand’ tool) make this a keeper.  What I thought would be a cool feature was the Coupons tool, but there never seem to be coupons for any stores in my area so it’s been pretty useless to me.  I am sure in the US that feature comes in handy.  Get on iTunes.

Food Network Canada My Rating: 3/4 stars

I want to love this app because I love the Food Network but I’m sorry … I just don’t like it as much.  I suppose it’s because I find that sometimes the way the recipes are displayed to be cumbersome.  I do like the social networking feature of this app – being able to share recipes on Facebook and Twitter if they’re connected – though I’ve never tried it out yet.  I could do without the Hosts section of the app because I just don’t care as much about having that at my fingertips on my smartphone.  I want the recipes.  There is a paid app that I am willing to try.  Get on iTunes.

Big Oven My Rating: 2.5/4 stars

This app boasts over 170,000 recipes in the library which is pretty impressive for a free app.  Otherwise I’m not all that impressed.  I find the navigation unfriendly and boring.  It has the same standard features but it does also include a nifty food glossary but you need a Big Oven membership to access it, which I personally find it a pain that I have to login somewhere from an app.  Get on iTunes.

I am sure there are more than just these free cooking/recipe apps available in the iTunes AppStore but these are the ones I decided to test out.  I’ve left them all on my phone as I see benefits to each of them although hands down my favorites are the AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app and the Epicurious App tying for first place.  The Whole Foods app can gladly take second place in my books.

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Tags: AllRecipes, AllRecipes Dinner Spinner, applications, apps for cooking, AppStore, Betty Crocker, Betty Crocker app, Big Oven app, Big Oven recipes, chef, cook, cooking, cooking apps, epicurious, food, Food Network app, Food Network Canada app, free, free apps, free iPhone apps, iphone, iphone apps, iPhone cooking, itunes, iTunes App Store, recipes, Spark Recipes app, Whole Foods Market app

Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iPhone


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