Bring Out Your Inner Chef: 11 Best Apps for Better Meals

Photo (cc) by ericmcgregor

Tired of preparing the same boring meals each week? It used to be that taking your cooking to the next level required a new cookbook or a cooking class, but technology has really changed things.

Here are some useful kitchen apps to help you embrace your inner chef:

1. How to Cook Everything (Available on: iOS, Windows Phone)

Created by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything offers 2,000 recipes and 400 how-to illustrations to help with meal planning and preparation. Users also have access to built-in timers and printable shopping lists. The meal planner enables you to export recipes to your calendar and, best of all, this and other features are available even when you don’t have a network connection.

If you like this app, check out How to Cook Everything: Basics and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for more tips, tricks and classes.

2. Substitutions (Available on: iOS)

If you’ve ever gotten halfway through cooking a meal only to realize you’re missing a key ingredient, this app is for you. Instead of making a run to the grocery store, you can make a great meal that meets your dietary and budgetary needs using Substitutions, the app that helps you make the most out of the ingredients you have.

You can scroll through its comprehensive list of suitable substitutions for any ingredient, or conduct a keyword search using the toolbar at the top of the app.

3. Escoffier Cook’s Companion (Available on: iOS)

Learn from one of the best in the industry, world-renowned master chef Auguste Escoffier, with this savvy app. It features a built-in timer, measurement converter, comprehensive list of substitutions and a host of other helpful tools. In the event you encounter an unfamiliar culinary term, a cooking glossary is available to settle your curiosities.

4. Paprika Recipe Manager (Available on: iOS, Mac, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle, Nook)

Users can create meal plans for up to one month using Paprika’s Meal Planning tool. Interactive recipes, which enable you to cross off ingredients once they’ve been added or highlight cooking steps based on your progress, are also available. When it’s time to head to the grocery store, the Smart Grocery List function automatically sorts items on your list by category, so you’re not running all over the store.

5. Big Oven (Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle)

Enjoy more than 250,000 recipes along with handy features to simplify meal planning and the creation of grocery lists. You can also input three or more ingredients and the app will recommend recipes. And because no network connection is required to access the app’s database, recipes can easily be accessed while on the go.

6. Green Kitchen (Available on: iOS)

This app is chock-full of recipes for the health-conscious cook, classified by whole grain, vegan, gluten-free, raw or naturally sweetened. To facilitate meal or dessert preparation, users can also access photos demonstrating each of the detailed step-by-step cooking instructions. Every recipe includes estimated cooking time and the option to check off steps as they’re completed.

7. Epicurious (Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle, Nook)

The Epicurious app lets you access the recipe of the day or a host of other options and create customized shopping lists, all from the same screen. Recipes are sortable by skill level and theme. And when it’s time to prepare your meal, detailed step-by-step instructions are available for your stove-side viewing pleasure.

8. Healthy in a Hurry (Available on: iOS)

Being crunched for time doesn’t mean you have to resort to poor eating habits. This app helps you make healthy meal choices when you’re in a hurry by offering 200 quick recipes, which can be sorted by primary ingredients or estimated preparation time.

9. Appetites (Available on: iOS)

Appetites gives you instant access to video cooking courses directly from your smartphone. There’s even a built-in function that allows you to order ingredients to be delivered directly to your doorstep. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to get same-day delivery.

10. Weber’s On the Grill™ (Available on: iOS, Android)

This app features 280 classic Weber recipes, as well as 40 recipes for sauces, marinades and rubs, ensuring you have the perfect menu for any occasion. The app helps you with your grocery list to make shopping a breeze, you can even share it with family and friends if they’re going to be stopping by the store. As they check items off, the master list is updated. The app also allows for easy sharing of your favorite recipes via email.

11. Perfect Produce (Available on: iOS, Android)

Perfect Produce takes the guesswork out of determining the best way to store your produce in order to maximize its shelf life. The app also contains more than 450,000 recipes, which can be categorized by any fruit or vegetable you choose. Plus, you’ll have at your fingertips the nutrition information for virtually every piece of produce you can imagine.

Have you tried any of these apps? Have we left out any of your favorites? Please share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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