When I am cooking I am likely to have either my tablet or smartphone at my side. Especially if it’s something new I’m trying, or something I don’t make very often. It’s a rare occasion that I have to pull out one of my ancient recipe files. The digital age has revolutionized everything around us — including cooking dinner. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a skilled chef, there are a number of smartphone apps, online resources and gadgets that can make your time in the kitchen much less frantic, and much more productive and fun.
Soup up your time in the kitchen with these handy tips and tricks using your smartphone or tablet (plus a few super cool kitchen gadgets!)
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Digitize Your Recipes
Turn stacks of index cards and torn-out pages of cooking magazines into a digital, searchable, and sharable recipe collection. There are lots of free apps out there to help you accomplish this…but the favorite, by far, seems to be the Evernote Food app (IOS; Android). Collect your recipes, share your favorite home-cooked meals, and save recipes from across the web in a single platform — essentially designing your own personalized cookbook. Even better….Evernote Food syncs to all your devices, so you can access the same recipes on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
Other good recipe collection apps:
Regardless of your kitchen expertise, cooking apps offering something for everyone! While some cater more to the experienced foodie, others will help those who are still learning to dice an onion or boil water.
Here are a few favorite apps for cooking:
Display & Protect Your Phones & Tablets
With so many great tablet & smartphone apps to use in the kitchen now….you need a way to display them while you’re cooking. Here are some great options:
If you regularly refer to your tablet for recipes but have nowhere to put it, then it’s worth getting a stand so you can place it. Made especially for use in the kitchen, the Chef Stand gives you the freedom to interact with your tablet while you cook. The case-compatible stand has a non-slip rubber base and two different angles that are ideal for countertop use.
Belkin has also come up with this cabinet mount for tablets that will keep them out of harms way and ready to consult as you cook. No tools required! (It’s also good if you want to watch Netflix while doing the dishes!)
Chef Sleeves protect your device from messy, slippery, and sticky situations. A cheaper alternative than a stylus. These sturdy, moisture-resistant sleeves are made of a high-tech plastic for brilliant clarity and maximum sensitivity to touch.
DIY Tablet Sleeve
Having a tablet in the kitchen comes with the added risk of drops and spills. Cover your screen with plastic wrap to continue swiping without risking smears or stickiness.
The Latest High Tech Kitchen Gadgets
Designed to make cooking easier and more fun….here is just a small sampling of the high-tech kitchen gadgets I found that promise to elevate your whole cooking experience!
Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo ($129.99)
The Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker enabled with WeMo is everything that you love about Crock-Pot Slow Cookers taken to the next level. Using the free WeMo App, this smart Slow Cooker adjusts temperature, cook time and more, all from your smart device. Simply sync your slow cooker to the free app and you have access at your fingertips. The app provides options to monitor remaining cooking time, change your cooking temperature, adjust cook time up or down, shift to warm setting and turn off.
Drop Connected Kitchen Scale ($99.95)
Make a recipe without a single measuring cup. Drop is a Bluetooth-compatible kitchen scale that connects to your iPad— making it a recipe box and kitchen assistant all in one. Choose a recipe from the app’s vast database and Drop walks you through each step. Put your bowl on the scale, add an ingredient, and Drop tells you when the proper amount is reached. Then Drop automatically resets for the next ingredient.
Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator ($299.95)
Sous vide is a method of cooking vacuum-sealed foods in a low-temperature water bath. (Read about my DIY method here: How To Cook The Perfect Steak….In Your Cooler.) Until recently, it was a technique mastered only by world-renowned chefs, but now sous vide machines are available to home cooks.
iDevices Mini Kitchen Thermometer ($48.99)
Monitor the temperature of the dish you’re cooking from your iPhone, iPad or other iOS 7 or higher smart device. With this cooking thermometer, you can be sure your chicken is cooked perfectly or your roast is just right, even if you’re in another room. Great for oven or stovetop cooking.
Egg Minder Smart Egg Tray ($24.99)
The Egg Minder features a built-in Wi-Fi chip to allow it to sync up to your smart device. Once paired with your smartphone or tablet you can now open the app from anywhere to view how many eggs you have which can be incredibly handy on impromptu grocery shopping trips. In the actual egg crate next to each egg is an LED light that will alert you to which egg of the bunch is the oldest and should be used next and when that egg is removed from the Egg Minder the next oldest will be indicated and so on. The Egg Minder will also communicate with you through various push-notifications to alert you to when an egg has gone bad, an egg is close to going bad, and even set the Egg Minder to notify you when you are running low on eggs.
SmarTrack Storage containers ($3.99 – $29.99)
The Cuisinart SmarTrack food storage containers come with embedded QR codes. When used in tandem with a dedicated app, the system can keep track of expiration dates. The app connects to Cuisinart’s recipe database and allows for input of personal recipes. The system will also be able to also keep track of location. This makes the storage containers useful for items well beyond the kitchen. The BPA-free containers are dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
Taylor Digital Measuring Cup ($29.95)
This is the only measuring cup with an integrated digital scale that precisely measures wet or dry ingredients by weight to determine volume. It automatically converts weight (ounces, fluid ounces, grams, or milliliters) into volume (cups) for water, milk, oil, sugar and flour, features a tare function for layering multiple ingredients and displays the readings on an LCD display on the handle.
The Smoking Gun Handheld Food Smoker ($99.95)
The Smoking Gun offers an alternative to traditional smoking methods. Simply fill the Smoking Gun chamber with your choice of combustible, turn it on, light with a match or lighter and apply cool smoke where you’d like it. Works on various types of wood chips, teas, herbs, spices and even hay and dried flowers.
And coming in the near future……………..
Mobile Induction Heat Plate by Electrolux
This mobile induction plate is easy to take with you wherever you go, making cooking anywhere a real possibility. It’s also a great solution for small apartment living (in those spaces that are so small they don’t have a kitchen). The best part is that you control the heat level and time with your cellphone. The smartphone app is designed to be used with intelligent food packaging where NFC-tags provide instructions on how to heat the food properly. Mind. Blown. ;-)
Do you have any favorite high tech kitchen gadgets?