We all love our well-thumbed cookbook collections but, while tablets don’t take as kindly to being splattered with tomato sauce, there are some things that the humble book just can’t do.
Whether you’re exasperated by a recipe that’s measured in cups, baffled by the task of cutting an artichoke, or simply looking for like-minded foodies to share your culinary triumphs with, there’s an app for that.
We’ve tested some of the most popular cooking apps available, from the fool-proof Perfect Egg Timer to the drool-worthy Gojee, to drag your cooking into the twenty-first century.
Click on the gallery to see the IndyBest buys
10 best cooking apps
10 best cooking apps
If you’re constantly Instagramming your dinner, you’ll love this slick social networking app. Log in with Facebook or Google and join the 12 million users already sharing their favourite recipes and photographs and gathering followers. You can try out other users’ recipes and leave reviews, engage in discussions with fellow foodies on the forums, and enter competitions and collect badges for your activities, such as the elusive ‘Master Chef’ for top contributors. Free, iPhone, iPad Free, Android Free, Windows Phone
2/10 The Perfect Egg timer
Even the most experienced cook can sometimes struggle with the seemingly simple task of boiling an egg. This app makes hard-boiling exact science, allowing users to measure their egg, select a boiling method and even set their altitude, with the help of location services. After choosing how well done you prefer your eggs, the app sets a timer for you and you can relax with your morning coffee in anticipation of the perfect egg and soldiers. 69p, iPhone and iPad
3/10 Paprika Recipe Manager
Replace your tatty collection of handwritten recipes and pages torn out of magazines with this digital recipe file, which allows you to store recipes you find online in the in-app browser and upload your own. Our favourite feature is the screen lock that stops your device turning off half way through a recipe so your screen doesn’t have to come into unnecessary contact with messy hands. You can also tick off ingredients as you go when you’re cooking so you’ll never forget to add the baking powder again. £2.99, iPhone, iPad £3.05, Android
Gojee is a curated collection of recipes by well-known food bloggers, including both food and drink recipes. Users choose recipes based solely on the photographs, which are large, stylish, and guaranteed to make your stomach rumble, and tap through to find ingredient lists and methods. You can search by ingredients you have, ones you dislike, and just what you fancy. Much like Pinterest, you can also build a collage with your favourite recipes and find inspiration in ‘similar’ photographs. Free, iPhone and iPad
5/10 The Photo Cookbook
Perfect for the novice cook, the Photo Cookbook includes simple recipes illustrated with clear, step-by-step photographs, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing the lingo or the exact technique for cutting a mango. Plus each recipe begins with a to-scale photo of all the ingredients, so you’ll never have to puzzle over how big a ‘thumb sized piece of ginger’ is again. The purchase price includes access to over 80 recipes, expandable to 240 with in-app purchases. £2.49, iPhone and iPad
6/10 Kitchen Calculator PRO
This app is an essential for any baker. The simple conversion tool converts measurements between all the usual units of weight, temperature and volume, as well as some of the vague ones commonly used by television chefs including a ‘dash’ and a ‘pinch’. You can also scale up and down recipes to serve different numbers of people. £2.49, iPhone and iPad
7/10 Mary Berry Bakes
Now you can have the queen of cakes Mary Berry in your kitchen with you as you bake. Launched just last month, the app includes 70 fool-proof recipes from the Berry’s Baking Bible, including her gorgeous Wimbledon Cake, plus extra bookmarks and favourites features. Every recipe comes with special tips from Mary and is accompanied by a mouth-watering photo so you have something to aim for. £2.99, iPhone and iPad
8/10 The Multi Timer App
Any cook who has tried to multi-task by whipping up a pudding while the main is cooking or to manage the timings of a roast will know the frustration of only having one kitchen timer. Enter the Multi Timer App, which allows you to set multiple timers at once, name them and save the ones that you use regularly. One great feature that makes this app unique is that once the timer has finished, it continues to run into minus figures so that you can always tell how far you’ve missed it by. Free, iPhone and iPad
Epicurious is one of the best free cooking apps available, simply for the sheer number of recipes it offers – over 28,000 in fact. The recipes shown on the homepage vary according to season: currently featured categories include Easter desserts, Passover mains and spring brunches. As with many recipe apps, you can save favourites and add ingredients to your shopping list, but the best feature is the search function, which allows you to whittle down thousands of recipes by cuisine, dietary concern or just what you’ve got in your fridge. Free, iPhone, iPad Free, Android
10/10 Great British Chefs Kids
This award-winning app is designed to get children cooking with over 100 recipes by top British chefs. The interface is simple and the recipes are easy to follow and come complete with child-friendly names like the ‘campfire chilli con carne’ and ‘bacon roly polies’. Our favourite part is a series of how to videos on basic cooking techniques like separating eggs with breaking the yolk and melting chocolate without burning it, perfect for the budding chef. Free, iPhone, iPad
If you’re a bit of a novice in the kitchen or you seem to have a special talent for burning everything, The Photo Cookbook and Mary Berry Bakes are the perfect apps to hold your hand and guide you through step by step. But for the more experienced chef, you can’t beat Gojee for sheer inspiration.