5 Recipe Apps That'll Actually Get You Cooking

Almost everyone could use a little help in the kitchen. Maybe your knife skills are only so-so, maybe you don't know the difference between a sweat and a sauté, or maybe you just need a little inspiration for what to do with new potatoes, broccoli, and eggs. (When in doubt, make a quiche.) You can't exactly carry around both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking everywhere you go, right? Though Julia's quiche is pretty solid, we gotta admit.
You're better off investing in an app or two that can help direct you in your time of culinary need. There are zillions out there, and all do different things: teaching fundamentals for newbies, organizing recipe databases for pros, and everything in between. We've rounded up five of our favorite cooking apps that address each of those concerns. Click through to check 'em out, but not before you've had a snack. You will get hungry.
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Photo: Courtesy of Gojee.

This one's for those Pinterest cooks out there. Gojee's emphasis on great photography and interesting recipes is what makes it different than most apps. It curates recipes from food blogs and organizes them in a pleasing layout, but also offers basic filtering tools. Tell it what you don't like or what you're allergic to, or even what you're craving. The number of recipes might be more limited than something like BigOven, but they all look amazing.

Free for iOS.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mark Bittman.
How to Cook Everything

Mark Bittman's app version of his popular cookbook won't win any design awards. What it lacks in aesthetic oomph, it completely makes up for in comprehensiveness and adaptability. Following Bittman's "keep it simple" philosophy, most of the 2,000 (largely vegetarian) recipes can be whipped together last-minute and rarely involve exotic ingredients. It's pricier than most, but it provides you with technique (in case you forgot how to debeard a mussel) and lets you search the whole database offline. When you're faced with the tyranny of recipe choice, this should be your go-to.

$9.99 for iOS.
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Photo: Courtesy of Panna.

Panna is both an app and cooking magazine that not only gives you recipes, but also teaches you how to cook with videos from legit chefs, including Rick Bayless, Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman, Seamus Mullen, and Anita Lo. (Even the NYT's Melissa Clark offers kitchen tips.) The app itself is free, but you get about a dozen recipes in each bimonthly issue, with about three hours of video. You can access the videos in either streaming format when you're on the go, or download them for offline viewing.

Free for iOS, $14.99-$24.98 for in-app subscriptions.
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Photo: Courtesy of BigOven.

BigOven stores and organizes all the recipes you come across online, as well as BigOven's 250,000-plus public recipe database. (You can use the latter feature to help you cobble together dishes out of leftovers.) To add recipes from outside BigOven.com, sign up for a free account and add it via the Web. Grocery lists and menu plans — standard features of any decent recipe app — are also included. If you upgrade to the pro version, you can snap a photo of a recipe in a magazine or book, and the app will convert it to digital form and save it with the rest of your recipes. A pro membership gets you nutrition information, too.

Free for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paprika.

If you typically scour the Web for recipes, Paprika will help you keep far-flung bookmarks organized. Paprika supports over 190 different websites (including Serious Eats, Food & Wine, The New York Times, Chow, Epicurious — and even BigOven) and allows you to save recipes from them to your personal database with the click of a button. You can scale those recipes, save nutrition information, and access everything offline. A browser bookmarklet makes things even easier, allowing you to save recipes while viewing them on your computer and instantly syncing with the mobile app. The difference between BigOven and Paprika is that Paprika doesn't provide any recipes itself — it leaves everything up to you to curate on your own.

$4.99 for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

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