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In The Kitchen With Your Smartphone

by Nikkita Dixon

With the rise of Smartphones, it’s not unusual that we’re beginning to depend on certain applications to make life easier around the home. I know I’ve got whole folders dedicated to different sections of my home life. The biggest by a long shot is ‘In The Kitchen’ – can you tell where I spend most of my time?

These apps can effectively replace your scales, your shopping list, your cookbooks and everything in between – though I still keep a few old recipe books for keepsakes. With the amount of apps available it can be hard to work out which ones will become a part of your everyday life and which will sit on your wall untouched.

In the interest of saving your download quota and keeping your Smartphone wall tidy, I’ve compiled a small list of my personal favourite apps for the kitchen.

Coles Shopmate – Not to be biased, I know Woolworths has a similar app, but as we’re discussing my faves and Coles is the closer supermarket, I’ll discuss this particular app’s great features. The app could effectively rule your kitchen with its shopping list function, list of weekly specials, product catalogue, recipe book and barcode scanner. All of these functions are relatively simple in their features. However the app is all encompassing and perfect for a beginner in the kitchen.

Spark Recipes – Whether you’re searching for a breakfast recipe, a meal minus the gluten or something different for a joint of pork, this app has you covered. Recipes are organised by category, course, cuisine, dietary needs and occasion. There are also videos and tools to help you on your way. With recipes submitted by people all over the world, most of these recipes are relatively simple and offer simple alternatives for the average cook. Even better, you’ll come across some recipes you never thought to try and real cooks never dared to put down on paper. Peanut butter banana wrap? Yes please!

Big Oven – This beautifully designed app not only comes packed with a load of functions but it also features some mouthwatering photographs of food to inspire a hungry chef. Big Oven allows you to check out any recent recipe ‘raves’, find ideas to use up leftovers or, for the indecisive, a ‘random recipe’ finder. The ‘My Kitchen’ section is the perfect place to store your recipes as it allows you to import recipes from other places, list your favourites and keep those recipes you’d like to try soon on hand. Oh, and it has a handy shopping list app also.

Ask The Butcher – Have you ever picked up a piece of meat from the butcher, only to get home and have no idea how to cook the thing. I have. In fact I’m sure I could have avoided a few cases of food poisoning had I have known about this app sooner. Ask The Butcher gives you complete and comprehensive instructions and advice on any cut of meat at any weight you might find at a butcher or on the shelves of your local grocery. A simple app with some brilliant graphics, Ask The Butcher will become a staple when you’re using meat in the kitchen – that is, until you’ve learnt enough to know better.

Kitchen Calculator Pro – When you’re creating your masterpiece in the kitchen, the last thing you want to think about is your dismal math skills. Cooking genius can be so easily foiled by a miscalculation when you’re trying to double or halve a recipe or convert different weights and volumes. That’s where Kitchen Calculator Pro comes in handy. With its easy to use functions to scale recipes, convert ingredients volume, weight, distance and temperature and view results in standard cooking fractions (1/2, 1/3 etc.), this app is very well executed and another kitchen must have. It does come in at $3.99 but when you consider the amount of ruined recipes you avoid, it’s worth every penny.

These few gems really only scratch the surface on the number of apps you’ll find handy in your kitchen. But it’s a start. If you can avoid carting around several cookbooks, measurement charts and shopping lists while you’re trying to work your magic, you might as well.

Keep any eye out for future app favourites and feel free to suggest any you would like to hear more about.

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