TECH

Best Thanksgiving Cooking Apps for iPhone and Android

From Epicurious to Jamie Oliver and Whole Foods, we found the best cooking apps to prepare your holiday meals.

It’s almost Thanksgiving, that time of year when cooking is almost mandatory—even for the most ardent restaurant patron. While some stick to traditional family recipes, others experiment with new dishes. Not unlike novels and newspapers, old fashioned cookbooks seem to have been replaced by smart phones and tablets. So we’ve put together a list of the best cooking apps for every skill level, from the kitchen neophyte to the aspiring gourmand.

Epicurious

The Epicurious app, like the blog, tops many food app lists for its abundance of recipes and photos pulled from Bon Appetit, Gourmet and other go-to gastronomic sources. The free application is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Barnes and Noble Nook and Windows Phone. It offers guides like Weeknight Dinners, Decadent Dinners, Cool Cocktails and Healthy Lunches.

The Professional Chef

The Culinary Institute of America’s The Professional Chef was named one of the five best culinary books of the decade by Food Arts magazine, so it’s no surprise that “The Professional Chef” app would become a favorite as well. The 1,400 page cook book fits nicely into a sleek app that includes 850 recipes, over 100 videos, mouthwatering photographs, space for notes and several interactive tests. At a hefty $49.99, The Professional Chef is a bit of an investment, but individual chapters are available for just $2.99 each for those who can’t commit.

Baking with Dorie

Chef Dorie Greenspan’s baking app uses CulinView, an iPad layout that gives visual cooking instructions as opposed to traditional text recipes. The app, which is regularly $12.99, is currently on sale for the holidays for $7.99. It comes with videos of Greenspan demonstrating her baking techniques and gorgeous photographs that will inspire even the most unskilled to take on any of Dorie’s delicious looking desserts.

How To Cook Everything

In 1998 New York Times columnist Mark Bittman taught culinary novices ‘How to Cook Everything.’ Ten Years later he revised the book and followed it up with an app, offering his tech savvy fans the opportunity to follow his recipes on their iPhone or iPad. How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cost $9.99 each and offer a combined 4,000 recipes that include detailed cooking instructions and even a cooking timer.

Ratio

For the mathematically minded chef, Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio app is a must-have tool in the kitchen. Ruhlman’s app, inspired by his book by the same name, breaks down dishes into simple formulas, rather than detailed recipes. Ratio is basically an ingredient calculator. For instance, if you only have one egg and your recipe calls for three, Ratio will do the ingredient math so you can still make your dish, just less of it. The app is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android for just $4.99.

Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals

With just 60 recipe’s, this app doesn’t provide an extensive archive like others on this list. Its offering is equally as unique and valuable—quick and easy recipes for busy cooks. Both iPhone and Android users can consult Chef Jamie Oliver for shopping lists and cooking instructions to make delicious meals in just 20 minutes.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods shoppers may pay a premium for groceries, but now they can access the store’s own healthy recipes for free. Not only does the Whole Foods Market Recipes app offer a shopping list and a wide variety of recipes, but it also allows you to search for dishes based on the ingredients you already have.

Big Oven

If you’re looking for 170,000 recipes but don’t want to pay a thing, the Big Oven app is for you. Users can store grocery lists and plan meals months in advance using Big Oven for iPhone or Android. The popular app has already received over five million downloads and won About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Recipe App of 2011.

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner

Dinner Spinner is for the cook who likes to gamble. The interface for iPhone and iPod touch is a meal slot machine. Categories like dish type, ingredients and cooking time are options, and users spin until they reach a dish that fits their needs. A downside is that this app lacks a search tool, making finding a specific recipe difficult. The upside? It’s free.