- Comprehensive content
- Integrated kitchen timer
- Accessible without Internet access
- Shopping list isn't consolidated
- Takes several minutes to download and set up
If you don’t know your shitakes from your ceviche, you may want to take a look at the new How to Cook Everything app ($4.99, Culinate Inc). Based on the book by Mark Bittman, an author and columnist for The New York Times, the How to Cook Everything app contains nearly everything you need to make your way around a kitchen.
Learn Basic Kitchen Techniques
How to Cook Everything is part recipe app and part cooking instructor. It’s divided into two sections: recipes and kitchen basics. Under the Kitchen Basics tab, there’s a host of information on the equipment, techniques, and ingredients used to prepare common recipes. Under those headlines, the sections are divided into subsections where you can learn everything from what knives to buy to how to roast a chicken.
The second part of the How to Cook Everything app contains 2,000 recipes that are also available in Bittman’s book. You can browse recipes by course or food, in addition to searching for keywords or viewing top-rated recipes. There are no photos to accompany the recipes (darn!), but the listings are easy to navigate. When you come across a recipe you like, you can save it to favorites or add the ingredients to the shopping list.
The shopping list is handy, especially if you hate making one by hand. However, the list isn’t consolidated, so if two recipes call for rosemary, you’ll see it listed twice. I had an ingredient listed four times at one point, which is just annoying.
One thing I love about the How to Cook Everything app is the integrated kitchen timer. Whenever you come across a time listed in a recipe (boil for five minutes, for example) just tap the highlighted link to launch the timer. How neat is that?
How To Cook Everything isn’t a huge app (17 MB), but it takes several minutes to download and another minute or two to set up the index the first time you launch the app. You don’t need Internet access to use the app, which is a huge plus.
The Bottom Line
How to Cook Everything contains a wealth of content and plenty of mouthwatering recipes. There are tons of iPhone recipe apps, but I was impressed with the cooking techniques and kitchen basics -- something you won’t find in every app -- along with the integrated kitchen timer. The app is also a great value considering Mark Bittman's book costs at least US$20. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of five.
Update 5/5/10: The How to Cook Everything app was $1.99 for the first two weeks, but the price has now been increased to $4.99.
What You’ll Need