Cooking at home is a great way to stay healthier and save some money, but it isn’t always easy. Unless you know some basic skills throwing something together can seem very taxing. Looking up recipes online is one solution but having a laptop in the kitchen is bulky and annoying to work with. Instead download these free recipe apps. Look right at your phone for ingredients lists, measurements and directions. Some even have photos and videos so you can follow right along. These apps are perfect for every skill level and people who love food.
BigOven is like a personal assistant for the kitchen, one that has 350,000 recipes memorized. Look through recipes, download a meal plan and even get a grocery list. The main page is a series of new recipes for the day. Scroll through those to see what’s new or search by category. Search for recipes by time of day, time of year, certain dietary restrictions or kind of food. When you find recipes you like, save them to your weekly meal plan. Mark which day, meal and how many servings you need and the app will save it for you. From here you can access a grocery list so you know exactly what to buy for the week. One of the most useful features is the leftovers section. Plug in three things you have in your refrigerator or pantry and BigOven will give you a variety of recipes that use all of those ingredients.
- Over 35,000 recipes to choose from
- Categorizes food by dietary restrictions
- Tells you how to use leftovers
- Banner ads
- No videos
- Have to have an account to save recipes
Epicurious pulls recipes from all over the web and compiles them in one place. Find meals from Bon Appetit, Gourmet and others. Search for a recipe by using categories like main ingredient, kid friendly, dish type and even occasion. All recipes come with photos, ingredient list and directions. Find one you like and you can add favorite it so you can find it later. You can also view a grocery list for each one and check all the things you need. This will be saved to a master list you can view at the market. One of the hardest parts of cooking is knowing when food is done. Use the smart timer and never over or undercook something again. You can search for certain foods like chicken or broccoli and the app will give instructions on how to prepare it and set a timer for how long it will take. It will even deliver a notification when you need to flip the food or turn hat up or down.
- Smart timer makes sure you’ll never cook something wrong again
- Compiled grocery list
- Tons of recipes to choose from
- Banner ads
- No video tutorials
- Can’t access online recipe box from app
3. Food Network in the Kitchen
In the years before smartphones and apps, people had to go to Food Network to watch how a recipe is made. Now you can take your favorite chefs with you. Search by cuisine, type of meal and chef. Each recipe comes with a video tutorial and difficulty level. The most helpful feature for a starting cook is user reviews that will tell you their experiences preparing the meal. Here you can get a better idea of whether or not you feel comfortable making it yourself or if there are any adjustments you want to try. Hit the share icon to send it to someone or print it out. Something that is incredibly helpful to even experienced cooks is the unit converter. Use the drop down menus to find out how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon or cups in a fluid ounce. This will make every recipe more accessible.
- Unit converter
- User reviews
- Recipes from your favorite celebrity chefs
- Banner ads
- Have to log in access recipe box and get grocery list
- Search is hard to navigate
This app is for people that already have recipes and need a place to store them. The app doesn’t host its own recipes but that makes it completely customizable. Upload your own recipes or pull them from other places around the web. Synchronize with your computer so you can add recipes anywhere you are. Your shopping list and meal plan will also line up on your phone and browser. This is the best way to keep all of your favorite meals in one place. When you are ready to plan for the week, simply search for the recipes you want each day and the app will upload the ingredients to your shopping list. Go through and uncheck the things you already have. The meal planning feature makes holidays or dinner parties especially easy.
- Meal planning makes holidays easy
- App pulls in ingredients to shopping list
- Can use on both your computer and phone
- Can’t share or email shopping lists
- Shopping list doesn’t condense ingredients that are in multiple recipes
- Have to sign in to use
5. Garden Plate
Though Garden Plate is directed at vegetarians, anyone can use the app and find great and healthy recipes. Add meat to these recipes or eat them on their own for a filling way to get more servings of veggies. All recipes list wether they are vegan, gluten free or raw. Share your favorites or favorite so you can look at them later. The app is free but to unlock all the recipes you’ll have to purchase the full version, but there are enough delicious and easy recipes to choose from without spending any money. Look at the ingredient list and scroll down to add it to your shopping list. Each recipe comes with a beautiful photo of the dish but doesn’t have a video tutorial.
- Good variety of recipes
- Ability to save favorites
- Beautiful photography of dishes.
- No menu planner
- Not all recipes are free
- A bit difficult to recipe