Who doesn’t enjoy a good meal in the comfort of their home? However, before you can indulge in delectable meals, you must be able to cook them first. Learning to cook can be a challenge, especially if you can barely boil water. There are a myriad of techniques and ingredients to use that can make cooking seem very overwhelming, not to mention the cost of taking cooking classes can leave your pockets with an echo. However, you can learn how to cook using your smartphone or tablet. There are top cooking apps available for beginners that are inexpensive and uses easy step-by-step instructions.

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List App

The Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List is a free, award-winning app available for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It features over 30,000 recipes from the popular Epicurious website. The recipes come from Bon Appetit, Self and Gourmet, accomplished chefs and cookbooks. A beginning cook can quickly adapt to the detailed ingredient list and cooking instructions, which upstages the vague cooking directions of similar recipe apps. With the app, you can create shopping lists and a favorites list, email recipes and shopping lists to anyone and filter search according to holidays, what is in your fridge, etc. If you are using an iPhone or iPad, you can access a cooking-friendly view to make it effortless to follow the step-by-step instructions while cooking.


Appetites is the first video cooking classroom app, optimized for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It is available for $9.99. The app comes with over 30 step-by-step video cooking classes that teaches you how to cook from the view of you as the chef and in real-time video. With the option of choosing from 18 popular chefs and foodies to cook along with, a novice cook can quickly learn valuable cooking skills. Extra cooking classes can be downloaded by tapping on a video recipe with a blue “download” ribbon, or you can purchase videos in the app. Users of Retina iPad can see the new video cooking classes in HD.

The Photo Cookbook

The Photo Cookbook app is like having a professional chef giving you private cooking lessons in the comfort of your own kitchen for only $3.99. All recipes in this app begins with high resolution photos of all the ingredients you will need to start cooking and ends with a photo of the finished meal. Each cooking step is short, to the point and accompanied with photos, which makes it easier to understand for beginning cooks and experienced cooks who may overlook the details. iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users can download the basic version with 84 illustrated recipes. Recipes are divided into four subjects — “Quick & Easy” (60 recipes), “Italian” (15 recipes), “Asian” (5 recipes) and “Baking” (4 recipes). Additionally, you can expand your recipe tutorial library to 240 recipes with over 2,000 photos by in-app purchasing.

How to Cook Everything

The How to Cook Everything app is the entire best-selling cookbook of the same name by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. The app features all 2,000 recipes from the book and variations, 400 how-to illustrations and plenty of extras that makes cooking easier. The $9.99 app is optimized for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but some features are exclusive to iPad. Some of the features in the app include cooking guidance, searching capabilities with enhanced filtering, email-friendly shopping lists, ability to convert quantities and temperatures to metric, built-in timers throughout cooking steps and social network integration so you can share your meals.

KnowledgeBook: Cooking

KnowledgeBook: Cooking is the cooking app without any recipes. However, it offers rules of thumb about cooking and answers all those little questions about cooking like, “What can be substituted for buttermilk? How many bananas does it take to make 1 cup of slices? Or, how many cups are in a pint? Additionally, the KnowledgeBook: Cooking app features other useful sections, such as general cooking terms, substitutions, measurement conversions, high-altitude considerations and yields and equivalents. This app is ideal for beginners with questions about phrases and cooking terms associated with recipes and cooking in general. The KnowledgeBook: Cooking app is free and is available on Android and iOS devices.

Jason Kane is an avid gamer, both of the mobile and non-mobile variety. When he’s not honing his skills, he blogs for SOASTA, a leader in mobile app testing.

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