iPad Week: Using Recipe Apps

Q: The iPad seems perfectly suited to at-home cooking. What are the best apps for recipes and how do I use them?

The iPad, in part because of its form factor and in part because the display is so gorgeous, was almost immediately put to work in the service of good food and great cooks. Cooking sites released image-laden apps that allowed users to browse, search, bookmark, and drool over fabulous recipes. The larger food and cookery sites realized right away that cooks want an easy way to generate printable, shareable recipes and shopping lists. They also realized that cooks were going to be following recipes on their iPads in the kitchen while they cooked.


Long before the iPad, there were cookbooks; glossy cooking and food magazines, many with equally glossy Web sites; and large community sites for cooks and lovers of food of all sorts. There still are. With so many resources available, searching for just the right recipe can be confusing. Fortunately, iPad apps are available to save you time and effort. Epicurious.com, the Web home of Epicurious magazine, recently released a version of its iPhone app for the iPad. This free app (available at the App Store) makes it easy to browse or search thousands of recipes provided by Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, professional chefs, popular cookbooks, and famous restaurants. Here's how.

Using Epicurious to browse recipes:

  • Tap the Epicurious icon on your iPad to launch the app. The Epicurious splash screen appears very briefly, followed by the home screen, with its control panel open. On startup, the control panel displays the Featured category. (The categories change based on season.)
  • Tap one of the categories in the control panel to browse recipes by type. You see a screen that looks very much like a page in a printed cookbook, with navigational tabs along the right side.
  • Tap a recipe to see that recipe in its own screen, with the Ingredients floating window open.
  • Tap the recipe to make the Ingredients window disappear and see information about preparing the dish.

TIP: A display bug in version 2.1.1 of Epicurious may prevent the red Back button from appearing. If you're viewing a single-recipe screen and don't see this button, rotate your iPad to change its orientation. The button will appear.

Searching for recipes in Epicurious:

  • If a category screen isn't already open on your iPad, complete the first two steps of "Using Epicurious to browse recipes."
  • Tap the gray Control Panel button in the top-left corner of the screen. You return to the home screen, where you find the control panel open.
  • Tap the Search button at the top of the control panel to perform more advanced searches. This feature lets you search for a specific type of food or drink, the main ingredient in a recipe, or a cuisine; it also lets you search by dietary restriction or special occasion.

NOTE: You can also search via the Search field in the top-right corner of each recipe screen, but that field limits you to a keyword search.

Favoriting Epicurious recipes:

  • Tap the Epicurious icon to open the app, if it isn't already open.
  • Locate a recipe that you want to be able to find later. When you're looking at that recipe's page, you'll find a white star to the right of the recipe title.
  • Tap the star to favorite the recipe. The srar turns blue to show that the recipe has been added to your favorites list.

TIP: If you want to remove a recipe from your favorites list, tap its blue star. The recipe is deleted from the list, and its star reverts to white.

Displaying your Epicurious favorites:

  • Launch Epicurious, if it isn't already open.
  • If the control panel doesn't appear on the home page, tap the gray Control Panel button in the top-left corner.
  • Tap the Favorites button at the top of the control panel. The My Favorites screen opens. Each recipe in the My Favorites list has three icons to the right of its title. These icons all work the same way wherever they occur in Epicurious.

Viewing and emailing a recipe's shopping list in Epicurious:

  • Display your My Favorites screen.
  • Tap the Shopping List icon to the right of a recipe's name to generate a shopping list for that recipe. If you tap the Shopping List icon for other recipes in your list of My Favorites, those shopping lists are combined with the first.
  • Display the shopping list by tapping the Control Panel button in the top-left corner to open the Control Panel screen and then tapping My Shopping List at the bottom of that screen. You see a nicely laid out My Combined Shopping List screen.
  • To email yourself a copy of a recipe, tap the red Back button in the top-left corner of the My Combined Shopping List screen to return to your My Favorites screen; then tap the email icon to the right of the recipe you want to send. Epicurious creates a blank email ready for you to add addresses, with the Subject line listing the recipe's title and the body of the email containing the recipe.
  • Add an email address and a brief message at the top of the email body, before the recipe.
  • Tap the send button.


Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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