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Apps for Learning - Cooking

There's nothing quite as satisfying as sitting down in front of a meal you've made yourself, but even with the ridiculous amount of cookbooks on the market and shows you can watch, it can be more than a little daunting. Inevitably there will be some piece of information you can't find or some technique that you can't quite get the hang of. It's situations like this where app based learning really proves its worth.

There are so many different elements to cooking, it's hard to cover them all in one app, but there are plenty around which cover some aspect of it or another with astonishing detail. These 5 will help you make the jump from Rustlers to russet potatoes. 

Personally, I find that I'm more of a visual learner with things like cooking. Words on a page just don't seem to communicate information to me in a such a way that I can translate them into movement and I'm far from alone in this. It's one thing to be told how to cut a pineapple and another to be shown. This is where Look & Cook comes in, it's probably the most eye-catching cooking app on the market. It only offers 44 recipes, spread across various different vibes (everday, picnic, breakfast, romantic, etc), but once you select one, the recipe is shown as an image of all the separate ingredients and selecting any of them will show you more detailed images of how to prepare them, as well as step-by-step guides to the actual cooking of the meal. It even has a voice control option so you don't have to get your greasy hands all over the screen.

Fundamentally, cooking is a science. It's about taking elements, combining them and adding heat, pressure or creme friache. To that end, Ratio eschews the standard recipe format, and instead lists ingredients and gives you information on how they react to one another. It shows what things are made up of, different ways of preparing them and which other things they go well with. It's as much an introduction into the philosophy of cooking as it is helpful tool for the actual doing of it. There isn't really any other app on the market which approaches cooking from this angle and it's as fascinating as it is useful.

If you're any kind of vegetarian or vegan, or are even just eating with someone who is, finding the right ingredients can be daunting. Meat substitutes are one thing but actually knowing what's vegan or veggie friendly and what isn't is harder than you might think. Worcester sauce, for example, is not suitable for vegetarians because it contains anchovies. This app features a roster of more than 13,000 user-submitted recipes of all shapes and sizes, every single one of them completely devoid of animal products. You can create personal recipe boxes or scroll through all of them by user rating or view count.

If you're looking for something which will guide you through every aspect of learning to cook, this is the one you want. Based on the book and kitchen guide of same name by Mark Bittman, this app is the essential tool for transitioning from quaking with fear at the thought of microwave rice to making your own signature pilau. The app contains 2,000 or so recipes and 400 illustrations to give you the best possible guide to each step of the process. It has a recipe sharing component and allows you to make shopping lists so that you're never short of any key ingredients.

This one has been around for almost as long as the iPhone has an in that time it's been honed into the most comprehensive, broad cooking app on the market. The enormous, ever-expanding library of recipes, pulled from various sources is easy to sift through to find exactly what you're looking for, and each recipe is accompanied by a series of often mouth-watering images. Using the app in tandem with the Epicurious website will enable you to sync recipes and favourites lists so that you can access them anywhere at any time. The most important thing though is the detail, each step of each recipe is covered so intricately that you're never at a loss for exactly what to do next, or what ingredients you'll need to get. 

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Apps for Learning - Cooking Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, October 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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