11 Apps to Turn Your iPad Into the Perfect Cooking Companion

The iPad has proved itself a very useful device in more situations that any of us thought possible. Developers have done some truly wonderful things in many different areas, from gaming, to music, and even cooking!

The iPad is definitely shaping up to be an incredible cooking companion. There is a plethora of cooking and food related applications now available and we’ll try to sift through the pile for some of the best and most interesting ones available right now.



Epicurious is a relatively straightforward and fully featured cooking application. More specifically it is best used as a recipe discovery and management tool. The application is free, but can be linked to your Epicurious.com account with the purchase of a $1.99 add-on from within the App.

With a huge, professionally curated, recipe database there are a ton of fantastic recipes to browse and choose from. Some seasonal sorts and a robust search tool make exploring recipes a breeze. It is also possible to favorite recipes and build automatic shopping lists depending on the dish you’d like to cook.

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Conde Naste



BigOven is another free application (this one is ad supported) that boasts more than 170,000 recipes to explore. It has many of the common features we’d find with a recipe type application like this. There are several good ways to search the database of recipes to find what you’re looking for, or to be inspired as well.

One cool feature offered in BigOven is the ability to do a “use up leftovers” search. You enter in up to three ingredients you’ve got sitting around that you’d like to use up and BigOven will attempt to search for some recipes to help you to do just that. It’s a nifty feature that does set this one apart!

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: BigOven.com



Appetites is a different cooking application (at least from what we’ve got through so far). Here’s the concept. Food bloggers will take you through cooking their recipes by using a combination of written steps along with video. It turns cooking their recipe into an immersive cookery class!

This is a pretty interesting approach as it’s really nice, especially for the novice, to actually see exactly what each step entails. There are currently six bloggers that are part of Appetites and each have anywhere from four to eight recipes to chose from. Each will have at least one free recipe with the others being a $0.99 per recipe in app cost.

It’s a very well designed application and especially good for someone just beginning to explore cooking. It’s hard to mess anything up when you have a video snippet for each step (coming from a novice).

Price: $4.99
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: Clear-Media


How to Cook Everything

This application is built on the book by NY Times food columnist Mark Bittman. This app includes 2,000 recipes and tons of how-to information. Not only about the specific recipes, but about cooking in general. From the equipment used to particular techniques, it’s all in here.

This is really a book that has been completely readapted for the iPad, and it works out perfectly. Along with all the fantastic information you’ll see some handy features such as built in timers and email friendly shopping lists.

This one is on the expensive side at $9.99, but it does hold a wealth of information that is guaranteed to raise your culinary prowess. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing how to app, this is the one.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: Culinate, Inc.


Culinary Fundamentals HD

Culinary Fundamentals is another educational application. This one uses videos as the primary means of teaching. There are over 260 instructional videos that will teach you all sorts of different cooking techniques. From knife skills to shellfish preparation.

Using this application is like taking a full blown culinary class. All of the videos are actually native to the application so there is no need for a network connection to use the app. New videos are said to be released with free upcoming updates as well. With all of that said, I’d say the $4.99 price tag for this one is certainly justified.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Futura Group


Substitutions for iPad

Substitutions is more of a cooking tool. As you may have guessed, this application will find ingredient substitutions for you. You simply search through a database of different ingredients to find what you’re looking for, select it, and the application will suggest to you some possible replacements.

This could be an incredibly useful application for someone cooking for others that have some allergenic or other ingredient specific needs. For example, did you know you could substitute mashed banana for egg in baking recipes? I sure didn’t.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Gormaya


The Video Cookbook

The Video Cookbook is exactly that, a video cook book. There are over 120 recipes with accompanying professionally made videos. Each video can be downloaded and deleted and then re-downloaded if you like so that you can save space on your device.

Many of the common cook book type application features are present here as well, such as a glossary of cooking terms, shopping list creation, and the ability to save recipes to your favorites. Additional recipe videos are said to be available as in-app purchases in a future update.

The big selling point of this one is the video aspect, although I may be a little bias toward video as I am definitely a visual learner. Video works so well for cooking on the iPad, and with this application making it the predominate tool it’s hard to ignore.

Price: $5.99
Requires: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Futura Group


Omaha Steaks HD

This one is for all you carnivores out there. Omaha Steaks sells some top quality steak and now have an accompanying iPad application.

As you would guess this application focuses completely around steaks. There are some different recipes all divided based on the cut of steak. Each recipe includes the core features you’d expect such as creating a grocery list and step by step instructions.

There are also some instructional videos with topics such as “The Perfect Grill Marks”, “Understanding Doneness”, and “Know Your Cuts” among several others. There’s actually more to cooking steak that I originally thought! This one has definitely taught me some things.

A couple of other features round out this very well done (no pun intended) application. Custom grill timers will allow you to create specific timers for specific steaks.

For example, if someone wants their steak well done and another wants theirs medium-well you’re able to set different cook timers for each one. Omaha Steaks HD also throws in some fun conversation cards to keep your party interesting. You’ll see questions such as “Would you like to climb Mt. Everest?” and “Which makes a better pet, a dog or a cat?” Definitely not essential, but a fun feature nonetheless.

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Omaha Steaks International, Inc.


Whole Foods Market Recipes

This is an all round solid free iPad cooking application. I would say it’s more geared towards those looking to cook healthily or those looking to cook for more specialized diets, but it’s a really nice app for anyone interested in cooking.

The App itself isn’t over-blown with features. It includes the things you need, and nothing more. The list of possible recipes is easily searchable and nicely organized.

It’s particularly good that while searching you’re able to input up to three ingredients that you have on hand. The application will search for recipes that include those ingredients. It’s a fantastic way to find some great ways to use all those apples your neighbor just dropped off for you.

There is also a tool to locate a Whole Foods Market near you if you’re so inclined. I guess that’s the least we can do after they give us such a nice app for free.

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later
Developer: Whole Foods Market, Inc.



Allrecipes is a cooking application that combines some of the features you’d expect (if you’ve read about the Apps above) combined with a of couple new ones.

You’re able to search through a large database of more that 45,000 recipes using search terms combined with filtering, which features the ability to include or not include certain ingredients, time to cook, or method to cook, among a few others. It’s a pretty efficient way to search.

Creating a shopping list from a recipe you chose is very simple, and it’s also possible to save recipes in your Recipe Box. This is a Pro account feature and will cost you $4.99. The Recipe Box on the iPad App will sync with the same service on the Allrecipes.com website. It’s also a nice feature that, if you’re completely stuck for dinner, you can ask Allrecipes to “Inspire Me”.

This is a great App and I’ll be taking a more detailed look at it in the near future. Check back for a more in-depth look!

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Allrecipes



Yelp is a well-known restaurant rating website that now has an accompanying iPad application. This is a little deviation from what we’ve been talking about so far, but if you’re a foodie that doesn’t like to cook all the time you’ll need to go out!

This App offers all of the core features of the website including the viewing of other patron’s ratings and reviews of particular establishments. You’re able to search based on your current location or any other location, and able to view a map of the restaurants available – along with any photos that other Yelp users have uploaded.

Yelp is definitely not a failsafe way to discover new restaurants, as all of the content is user generated. One vocal bad experience can cancel out ten non-vocal great experiences really quickly. With that in mind, it’s best to think of it as a solid place to start searching for an interesting restaurant in an area you don’t know very well.

Price: Free
Requires: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: Yelp

Your Thoughts?

Now that you’ve seen our eleven favorite cooking Apps for the iPad, why not leave a comment and let us know what your favorites are. Do you use any of the Apps listed above or do you have some other gems to share?

How do you find the iPad as a cooking companion? Is cooking with your iPad at your side the future, or a fad?