Even if you don’t cook on a regular basis, it’s always nice to have a good recipe book on hand. Whether you’re trying to impress that special someone, or you’ve been tapped to bake cookies for the office party, there are occasions when you’ll need to flex your cooking skills.
Luckily, the invention of smartphones and the App Store have put thousands of great recipe books accessible within just a few taps. And wouldn’t you know it, iDB has taken the time to sift through all of the noise to pick out the best recipe apps for iPhone and iPad.
I love the Big Oven app. Not only does it offer a huge selection of recipes, but it also includes a grocery list, metric converter, and recipe scale for reducing or increasing the servings. You can search for recipes based on course, ingredient, or keyword. You can even search for recipes using leftover ingredients you have around the house. This app is available for free.
This app features more than 2,000 recipes curated by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. In it, you’ll learn how to cook difficult meals, the best equipment to have in the kitchen, and how to plan out your week’s daily dishes. It also includes a shopping list, built-in timer, and metric converter. It’s like your own, personal cooking class. This app is available for $9.99.
Yummly boasts having “every recipe in the world in your pocket.” That’s a lot of recipes. The app aggregates searches from top sights, including AllRecipes, Food52, and Epicurious, as well as popular blogs like Chow, Serious Eats, and Steamy Kitchen. You can customize your preferences to see recipe recommendations just for you. Save recipes in your digital box and find the right meal for the right occasion with the comprehensive search feature. This app is available for free.
This app may not have thousands of recipes on file, but what it does have is quality, handpicked recipes specifically for the vegetarian lifestyle. Recipes are marked for vegan, raw foods, gluten free, sugar free, and whole grain, so whatever your food restrictions, there is something for you. There is also a handy shopping list, metric converter, and lots of great photos to show you what your meal is supposed to look like. This app is available for $4.99.
On the exact opposite end of the vegetarian diet is the Paleo diet. Say what you will about the fad, but my friend lost more than 100 pounds eating mostly steak and eggs for a year. Not only does this app include flavorful meat-heavy recipes, but it also features desserts, something the Paleo person usually has to do without. You won’t be left hungry after filling your belly with apple Dijon burgers, sweet potato pasta, and blueberry espresso brownies. Yum. This app is available for $2.99.
If you are looking for a way to clean your colon, cleanse your innards, or just quickly shed a few pounds before summer, you can make it happen by following the diary-free healthy green smoothie diet featured in this app. Get a daily allotment of fruits and veggies with little effort. You’ll even learn about the healing and beneficial properties of a wide variety of raw edibles. This app is available for $2.99.
No good eat is complete without a good drink. Ever since the television show “Mad Men” became a household name, cocktails have seen resurgence in popularity. If you want to be the best in the business, this app will help you hone your skills. Be the life of the party with your extensive trivia of more than 75 different types of cocktails and their contents. You’ll even learn a few tips on the best way to mull ingredients for the perfect Mojito. This app is available for $1.99.
I love looking at fancy cupcakes. I could spend hours drooling over pictures of those bite size treats. They never seem to taste as good as they look, but they sure do look amazing. This app features 10 recipes right from the New York Times bestselling book by the same name (more cupcakes available through IAP). Plus, watch the treats come to life with full animations, get step-by-step visual instructions, and learn important decorating tips for creating the perfect cupcake. This app is available for free.
I am a big fan of baking cookies. If you’ve ever seen my Twitter profile, you will know that I like to brag about my skills. If it is round, bite sized, and baked by the dozen, I’m in. Martha Stewart has a collection of fantastic cookie recipes from icebox classics to exotic edibles. Recipes include how-to videos, timers, unit converters, and a shopping list. The animated search wheel makes it easy for you to find cookies based on type or flavor. This app is available on the iPad for $3.99.
Of course, the one app that makes all other recipe apps obsolete is Evernote Food. This app works in conjunction with your Evernote account. Using the Web Clipper, you can save recipes that you find online and they will automatically appear in the Food app under your “My Cookbook” section. Plus, you can browse thousands of in-app recipes, find local restaurants to visit, and capture your own cooking journey using the “My Meals” photo journal feature. This app is available for free.
Looking for even more recipe apps? Check out the list below.
- Food Network in the Kitchen
- Must-Have Recipes from Better Homes and Garden
- Thanksgiving: A Bon Appétit Manual
- Weber Grills
- Allthecooks Recipes
- The Photo Cookbook
- Gojee Food and Drink Recipe App
- Holiday Recipes and Party Planning Guide by Food 52
- Jamie Oliver’s Recipes
- Cooking Basics
- Foodie Recipes
- Allrecipes Video Cookbook
- People CelebFood
- Better Bacon
- Great British Chefs
Don’t forget to check out our previous best-of lists.