Apps for learning how to cook

Does anyone remember when learning how to cook was completely trial and error, and by that I mean mostly error? Sure, we could pick up a cookbook or catch an episode of Julia Childs now and then. Nowadays, if you want to learn how to do something, all you need is a web browser. How cool is that? When I started cooking for my family, I was a little lost. But chef Tim Love recommended some instructional apps and I’d like to share my favorites:

Substitutions – $1.99 – Have you ever been preparing a meal and found out that you didn’t have the one ingredient you needed? Or plan a meal for entertaining guests only to find out later that your guests have allergies or dietary restrictions? This app gives great recommendations for substituting any ingredient and there are many categories to search through such as dairy, gluten-free, and low carb.

Perfect Produce App – Fresh, good tasting produce makes a huge difference, and this app ensures that you get it. Every fruit and vegetable listed has what to look for when you’re picking it, what to avoid, and when the item is in season. There’s advice on how to store and handle the produce to ensure the best flavor, and since the app is made by Sparkpeople, everything has nutritional value attached to it. This app also contains healthy recipes that can be looked up by each fruit or vegetable. Best of all, this app is free.

Food Network In the Kitchen – Another great free app, this one is chock full of great recipes. You can search by item or chef, and there is a seasonal section that changes as well. Multiple kitchen timers, a unit converter, and a grocery list that fills out for you based on what you want to make round out this app’s extra features and make it almost essential when cooking. I use this app on the iPad. In addition to all these features, there are how-to videos about everything from proper knife technique to cooking basics.

Also – if you’re ever in Texas, be sure to check out The Woodshed Smoke House – a Tim Love restaurant.