Cook This Chicken with Your iPhoneWhile eating is essential to our survival, the ability to cook is no longer a requirement thanks to fast food establishments on every corner and gas stations overflowing with processed food-like substances waiting to be thrown into the microwave and nuked into oblivion. For most people, the only time they even go near the oven is when they need to “cook” a big bag of pizza bagels. Don’t worry, anybody can become a kitchen whiz with these iPhone cooking apps.

While it may not be necessary, cooking is a good skill to have. It promotes good health, it impresses people, and food always tastes better when it was made with your own two hands. Not to mention, when the apocalypse rolls around, having basic cook skills is going to make you a hot prospect in whatever nomad gang you decide to join.

Learning how to cook no longer requires you to heft around a stack of dusty tomes passed down from your mother. That entire library can be replaced by your iPhone, which offers several stellar apps – both free and paid – that can aid you in your culinary journey.

Food Network in the Kitchen

Food Network In the Kitchen for iPhone

Channel your inner Alton Brown with the Food Network app

iTunes Store Link: $1.99

Everyone is familiar with Food Network and anyone with even the slightest interest in cooking is familiar with at least one of their personalities, like Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Bobby Flay. I’m an Alton Brown man myself. And as an Alton Brown man, I can fire up the Food Network in the Kitchen iPhone cooking app and browse a robust list of his recipes. This app offers thousands of recipes, and while their database may not be as impressive as other apps on this list, these recipes are more about quality than quantity. Throw in little tools like a unit converter and multiple cooking timers and you’ve got one of the handiest iPhone cooking apps around.

Epicurious

Epicurious for iPhone

You might want to start with something a little easier than lamb chops

iTunes Store Link: Free

Epicurious, for those who don’t know, is a popular food and cooking website that’s been around since the mid-1990s. The brand has even seen a documentary series that aired on the Discovery Channel. If that’s not impressive enough for you, their app won an American Society of Magazine Editors digital media award two years in a row. The Epicurious app offers over 30,000 recipes from a variety of high end publications, all of which you can save to your favorites and email to your friends. If that’s not enough, the app also allows you to create and store shopping lists, which you can also email.

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro for iPhone

Plenty of search options can you help you find what you're looking for

iTunes Store Link: $2.99

All Recipes.com’s Dinner Spinner Pro app is more than just a recipe application, although it does give you full access to the website’s impressive catalog. It also gives you the ability to save recipes to your account, search for recipes using the ingredients that you have, create and share shopping lists, and share your favorite recipes to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. And I didn’t even mention the coolest feature. The iPhone cooking app lets you scan in the barcodes of food products to add them to your shopping list or search for recipes that they can be used in. Best of all, since it’s the pro version, there are no pesky ads.

BigOven

BigOven for iPhone

Star ratings will help you find the best of their 250,000 recipes

iTunes Store Link: Free

The BigOven app from BigOven.com boasts a lot of great features, like in-depth grocery list functionality, social network integration, and even meal planning, but the most impressive thing the app has to offer is its database of over 250,000 recipes. That’s over a quarter of a million recipes, all in the palm of your hand. They’re all searchable by loads of helpful criteria and you can read reviews to get a sense of which recipes you’d like to make. The app will also do certain things for you, like automatically creating a grocery list that’s even sorted by aisle.

20 Minute Meals – Jamie Oliver

20 Minute Meals for iPhone

20 Minute Meals is designed to make cooking more enjoyable

iTunes Store Link: $6.99

I was a little hesitant to include this app on the list, both because it’s pricey and it offers less than a hundred recipes, but the quality of the experience is so top-notch that it needs to be on here. 20 Minute Meals only contains sixty recipes, which sounds pathetic when compared to BigOven’s 250,000, but they’re all quick, easy, and come with step-by-step photographs and helpful voice prompts to make sure that you’re nailing it. There are also almost two dozen exclusive Jamie Oliver videos that teach you handy kitchen tips, a kitchen essentials guide, and a wonderfully intuitive design. If you’re buying an app solely for the recipes, maybe look elsewhere, but if you’re serious about your work in the kitchen, this is the iPhone cooking app to get.

Image credit: iTunes

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