In the kitchen food network apps 2012


If you spend a lot of time with Guy Fieri, Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay on TV, why not take these chefs into your kitchen via your iPad?The new and improved Food Network in the Kitchen for iPad adds a number of features not found in the original app released in November 2010. It offers a fresh user interface, recipe-comparison tool, user ratings and reviews, and the ability to add notes to recipes.The app gets it mostly right for foodies looking for something fresh and fun to whip up, but a few missing ingredients mean users might still be hungry for more.At its core, Food Network in the Kitchen features more than 40,000 recipes culled from its various TV shows and personalities. There are three parts to the main menu: Chefs, Collections and Featured recipes by theme (such as, Valentine’s Day meals and desserts).All three main areas can be swiped left and right or up and down, so you can tap on one of the large thumbnails for content. Under Chefs, touch the square belonging to Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen or Alton Brown, for example, to be taken to their collection of recipes. All are then separated into recently added, popular and editor’s picks.

The “collections” area segregates all of the app’s recipes by cuisine (Mexican, Italian, Asian and so on) and by type of food (such as chicken) or other categories (brunch, side dishes, comfort food and quick & easy, to name a few).

Each recipe you land on has a full list of ingredients and directions (with three font sizes to choose from), a photo (tap to expand), total time (prep and cook), yield (number of servings) and difficulty level (easy, medium, difficult). You can now type notes for each recipe, read users’ ratings (out of five stars) and comments, flag the recipe as a favorite, tap to add the ingredients to a shopping list or share via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

Too bad there isn’t any nutritional information for each recipe. And you can’t change the yield number and have the app automatically recalculate the number of ingredients (say, if you’re cooking for five, but the yield is for two servings); other cookbook apps have simplified this process for you. Another “beef”: There is no option to wirelessly print the recipe, but you can e-mail and then print from a computer, if you like.

Also curiously missing is video. With an app called Food Network in the Kitchen, you’d think there would be many video clips pulled from the various TV shows to see how the pros do it. After all, many other cookbook apps we’ve reviewed in this space have video, including Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Recipes, MyRecipes Daily Indulgence and the Big Book of BBQ.

One of the welcome new features, however, is a side-by-side recipe-comparison tool. Not sure if you should make Italian barbecued chicken with polenta or chicken parmesan? A recipe-comparison option lets you look at multiple recipes side by side to make the decision — perhaps based on cooking time or what ingredients you already have.Finally, there are a few other tools, such as a unit converter (by volume or weight) and five timers (which can be used simultaneously or one at a time).
While not perfect, Food Network in the Kitchen is an appetizing $2 addendum to the TV network, as it houses thousands of recipes from various TV shows and the website into an easy-to-use and attractive digital cookbook. Hopefully, the developer will add a few missing ingredients sooner rather than later, including video, to make the app even more tasty.

After its most recent update Food Network in the Kitchen now offers a more complete cooking experience. In version 3.0 users can now plan meals and shopping lists, watch how-to videos, and enjoy deeper iOS integration. The iPhone/iPod touch version of the app also enjoyed a complete overhaul, but though the two platforms offer slightly different experience, users only have to pay for the app once, since it is a universal binary.

iPad-toting foodies can still access recipes from their favorite celebrity chefs including Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Paula Deen, but now users can browse through recipes by chef, theme, or collection, so it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for.

Whether the user is updating or downloading the app for the first time Food Network in the Kitchen begins with a brief summary of its features.The app is divided into three main screens: Chefs, Collections, and a seasonal theme — right now it’s Tailgating. It was easy to browse through the app’s wide variety of offerings.I checked out the healthy collection, and compared Ellie Krieger’s Beef Stroganoff to Tyler Florence’s version. To compare recipes simply tap the folder icon in the upper-right, then choose the Prepare & Plan icon from the menu at the top of the screen. Comparing recipes is useful to see how long each will take and which is healthier. Ellie Krieger’s Beef Stroganoff takes 3 hours less than Tyler Florence’s to make, and skips the whopping 11 tablespoons of oil and butter. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight.

Download Food Network in the Kitchen from the App Store for $1.99.
What I liked: Small details like being able to increase text size or cross off ingredients as the user goes through a recipe make Food Network in the Kitchen a pleasure to use.What I didn’t like: The recipes tend to be less healthy than those I typically cook, so even though I enjoyed using Food Network in the Kitchen, it probably won’t be my go-to cooking app. Also, there targeted ads embedded in the app. If I pay for an app I don’t want to see advertising, even if the ad in question features something I’m interested in, which, in this case was Anthony Bourdain’s new show on the Travel Channel.

To buy or not to buy: Food Network in the Kitchen is definitely one of the best values in the App Store. For only $1.99 users can access features often found in pricier apps. The how-to videos alone are easily worth the purchase price. Despite all the new features, Food Network in the Kitchen takes up a mere 15.3 MB, so it won’t hog your storage, or break your pocketbook.

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