Technology seems to be ever-present in our lives today, and that includes in the kitchen. I have been using my iPhone or iPad in the kitchen for a few years now, and have a few go-to apps that make things easier.
For a long time, my recipes were hand-written. Then I decided to get them all into a digital format and typed them into word. Then I went back to paper by printing the recipes out and making a binder. After a while, I didn’t like that it wasn’t easy to organize or search, so started my hunt for a digital option again. I’ve gone through a few programs (read more about that here) and have settled with Pepperplate.
Either way, whether my recipes were on paper or the computer, I’ve almost always used my phone in one way or another when cooking or baking. Of course, you can easily cook without any of the apps, but as usual, they seem to make a few things in our lives easier.
Some of the best apps are the ones that are already built-in to most phones and tablets. For about ten years now, I’ve only owned Apple devices, so I know those the best. But no matter which you use, they all should have these three apps:
No matter what you are cooking or baking, you almost always need a timer. My first choice is the one on my microwave because it is quick and easy and right there in front of me. But there are times that I need a second timer, so that’s when I reach for my phone or iPad. On the newer operating systems, the timer is part of the control center when you swipe up on the screen.
It has saved me a few times, being able to have a quickly accessible timer. Not to mention how many times I get distracted and would have burnt dinner if it wasn’t for that timer going off!
Ok, this isn’t as essential, but who doesn’t love to take pictures of the delicious food they create? Even before I started a food blog, I liked to take photos of my final products to be able to put them in my recipe, so I have a quick visual reference.
On all Apple devices, Safari is the default browser. I always download Google Chrome since I use that on my computer as well and have all my bookmarks synced. No matter which browser you choose, this is where you will probably be finding a lot of your new recipes. You can search through food blogs (like mine) and pull the recipe up while you are in the kitchen making it. You can also use it to bookmark a few recipes you want to try, so you can quickly find them later.
In addition to the apps that come loaded on your device, there are a few that I recommend you download from your app store. I know these are all available for ios, and I am pretty sure they are all on android as well.
As I mentioned before, Pepperplate is the app that I use to store all of my recipes. I chose this one for multiple reasons, and you can read more here. You don’t have to use Pepperplate, but whatever route you decide to go for storing and organizing your recipes, you will want that app.
If you are looking for new ideas for recipes, then these three apps are great. Of course, I have over 100 recipes on my blog, but I also know that there are many many other recipes out there. I recently downloaded the new Tasty app, and I like the way it is organized and makes it easy to find new recipes to try. Pinterest has been a go-to for recipes for many people for a long time. There are so many good options on there, but you need to make sure that the link works before you are set on making the meal. And finally, Yummly is a recent discovery of mine, and I like it both from a personal and blogger perspective.
This is also a new find of mine. I haven’t used Our Groceries too much yet, but it is a great free app for organizing your grocery list. You can have multiple lists stored in the app (for example if you go to a few different stores) and the lists can be organized. You type in what you need from the grocery store; then you can click the info button for more options such as increasing the amount you need or decreasing it. You can also choose which section of the store (bakery, dairy, frozen, etc.) the item is found in, and the list is organized by section. You can also add your own categories as needed. When you tap an item, it gets crossed off and sent to the bottom of the list.
I currently use our Amazon Echo in the kitchen to add things quickly to a shopping list by voice commands, but I don’t store my entire list on there. Since we have been trying to cut down on waste in the kitchen lately, I am going to try to start using this app when I go to the grocery store instead of writing my list on a piece of paper.
When all else fails, and I forget to set a timer or don’t have the ingredients for a meal or just have no motivation to cook, I have the Papa Johns pizza app! This is the only pizza I will order so we have an account an accumulate Papa’s Points. There have been many times that dinner doesn’t happen for one reason or another, and I just pull up the app and quickly order us a pizza.