We write reviews when a great new app comes out, but there are also older ones that we think worthy of recommendation, and How to Cook Everything is one of those.
I’m a decent enough cook, but not an instinctive one: I follow recipes to the letter. If it says to put something in the oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes, you’ll find me carefully setting the dial and starting a timer, not casually spinning the dial to roughly the right temperature and glancing in ten minutes later to decide that’s good enough.
But there are times when first I need to decipher exactly what the instructions mean. What’s the technical difference between dicing and chopping? Is sautéing the same thing as frying? And what exactly does it mean when it says ‘prepare the chiles’?
If you find yourself empathising with these types of questions, How to Cook Everything may just be the perfect iPad based cookbook for you too.
It attempts to be the only thing you’ll need in your kitchen when planning and cooking a meal. You can choose a recipe and, with one tap, add all the ingredients to a shopping list, sorted by aisle. If you’re not sure what a term means, you can click on an illustrated explanation. And whenever that recipe tells you to cook something for, say, 15 minutes, you can tap the instruction to automatically start a timer for the correct period.
It’s not the slickest-looking app by a long way – it has a distinctly old-fashioned appearance, especially in the b&w illustrations. But it has a great range of recipes with all the extra help you might need to cook them.
At $9.99 from iTunes, it seems expensive for an app – but it’s a cheap price for a decent cookbook. Recommended.