If you’re anything like me you’ll constantly be wanting to diversify your menu but in reality end up cooking the same dishes each month. Well don’t fear, help is at hand in the form of nifty recipe apps, helping to both come up with ideas as well as making it simple to put together the shopping list for all the ingredients needed. We’ve tested dozens of apps, put on a few pounds in the process and have whittled the list down to our 3 top recipe apps below. All of them are completely free to download so will also cut the cost of having to go out and buy any cooking books.
BBC Good Food App
The BBC Good Food app
is available for the iPhone and Android, as well as for the iPad. Here’s where tip number one comes in – it’s often much easier to use a tablet while you’re cooking as it’s quicker to glance down to without any squinting. Get yourself a nice stand and it can take pride of place on your worktop while you’re cooking without the risk of it getting covered in food.
After that quick diversion let’s get back to the BBC Good Food app itself. Although it only has around 20 recipes listed they are the cream of the crop and will keep you busy for a few weeks. Each one has all of the nutritional information you need such as sugar and salt content per serving so you don’t have to try and work it out for yourself from the list of ingredients. Further recipes are also available as in-app purchases (at around £1.49 for 170) if you decide you like the format and want to expand further. Don’t worry if you don’t have good WiFi access in the kitchen, as every recipe is available offline within the app, which means you don’t need to be connected to the net after you’ve installed it on your phone or tablet.
As well as listing recipes it also have some great features like a simple roast timer so you’re never left red-faced on those big family occasions, together with weight converters if you’re trying to juggle between ounces and grammes. Overall the BBC Good Food app is beautifully simple, allows you to instantly email the recipe to yourself and to add all ingredients to a shopping list in a matter of seconds. It’s perfect for anyone who’s looking to explore cooking a little bit further or for home chefs who fancy testing a few new recipes to perfect.
We originally reviewed the Change4Life app
in our guide to the top apps for healthy living
, and unsurprisingly it also makes it into our list of the best recipe apps. Produced by the NHS, the app offers everything you want in a recipe app and in a really simple format. Like the BBC Good Food App you can search across multiple recipes and add the ingredients to your shopping list, as well as getting heaps of nutritional information. As the Change4Life App is really focused on the healthy living element, every recipe is specifically designed to ensure you don’t go over your RDA and uses the healthiest ingredients in every one. This makes it perfect for families as well as anyone watching their weight and trying to maintain a balanced diet.
It goes one step further than most other apps by also including a meal planner, giving you ideas instantly on what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If the first set of ideas in the meal planner isn’t to your taste, you can just hit a button and will be given more meal ideas. The Change4Life app does have a couple of features missing such as weight converters and timers, but if these aren’t an issue then you won’t miss them. It’s by far the best app if you need cooking inspiration and are also looking to do in on a budget, as the majority of recipes are based on a meal cost of around £1.25 per person.
Jamie’s Recipes App
You’ll notice in the app store that there are quite a few Jamie Oliver apps, ranging from 15 minute meals to paid for food guide apps. Although the 15 Minute Meals app is great as it’s the ultimate app if you’re looking to cook up a healthy meal quickly, you do have to pay to download the video instructions if you haven’t bought the companion cook book. This is a bit of a shame as it would be in the list if it was completely free, but Jamie’s Recipe App
takes the place instead.
Jamie’s Recipes App is missing some of the features seen across other apps but this is more than made up for in the unique video content it has. You can get tips on everything from sharpening your knife skills to cooking the perfect eggs and it really is an app for people looking to perfect their skills, rather than complete novices. The layout is put together nice and simply so you can swipe between instructions and overall it’s clear the app has been thought out with the realities of cooking in mind. The only downside unfortunately is that you have to subscribe to unlock more content so after you’ve paid once, you don’t then have lifetime access to the recipes. Hopefully they’ll get this niggle sorted out because otherwise it could be a serious contender for the best recipe app in the UK with a few other tweaks.