The Apple App Store has no shortage of cookbook applications. Condé Nast's free Epicurious app alone has 30,000 recipes pulled from past issues of Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and Self magazine. (It has several hundred recipes just for chocolate cake.) With such a feast of excellent recipes, let's focus instead on apps that make cooking easier. Here are six great kitchen apps for iPad and iPhone.
KitchenPad Timer ($1.99): This multitasking app simplifies the hassle of running several timers concurrently. The software sets individual countdowns for as many as five burners and four ovens, each illustrated for quick reference. Once a buzzer goes off, you won't need to remember which pot is about to overcook – the app lays it all out in front of you.
When you open KitchenPad for the first time, make sure to turn on "push notifications." That way, the timers will still sound even if your tablet or phone has switched to a different app.
Harvest – Select the Best Produce ($1.99): Interested in trying out a new fruit or vegetable? Harvest tells you what to look for when picking out produce from the market. It lists the telltale signs for more than 125 items, including how to squeeze an avocado, sniff a pineapple, and inspect chard.
ConvertBot ($0.99): Whether you're reading from a British cookbook or trying to convert cups to tablespoons, this elegant unit converter cuts through confusing measurements. While the app doesn't have all the cooking-specific units of the $3.99 Kitchen Calculator Pro (no pinches, dashes, or jiggers), ConvertBot branches into nonkitchen measurements, such as time, currency, and area.
AnyList (Free): This handy app lets you build, save, and share household shopping lists from one device to another.
Substitutions ($0.99): All out of allspice? This referance guide proposes quick substitutions for more than 400 ingredients, including low-fat and low-sodium alternates.
Seafood Watch (Free): This app helps shoppers choose sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., monitors which species are being overfished and suggests more ecological alternatives. Its sushi guide also includes the Japanese names for each fish. (It's available for Apple and Android devices.)