We love leisurely browsing cookbooks filled with tempting recipes and heavenly photography as much as the next foodie, but guess what? Cooking apps are awesome too, especially when we're on the go or pressed for time.
So what makes one app more functional -- or fun -- than another? It all depends on your personal preferences. Do you care to have as many recipes (and their corresponding shopping lists) as humanly possible at your fingertips, or do you prefer to experiment exclusively with dishes that have been vetted by a test kitchen? Are you looking for inspirational photos, or a calculator designed to do all of the pesky kitchen math for you? Browse our slideshow to see some of the best and newest cooking apps around.
Do you love (or hate!) one of these cooking apps? Did we leave off your favorite? Let us know below.
If there's one person who can expertly show you how to cook Mexican food, it's Rick Bayless. This brand new app from the award-winning chef includes 35 essential recipes, 40 instructional videos and an ingredient guide for buying, using and storing Mexican staples. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rick-bayless-mexican-essentials/id520522126?ls=1&mt=8" target="_hplink">Rick Bayless: Mexican Essentials for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad</a>, $2.99 (for a limited time)</strong>
Foodily connects you to the ultimate food community on the web. The app makes it easy to find and share the best new recipes from the web with your friends. Get a daily feed of recipes from chefs, websites like Epicurious and Fine Cooking, and thousands of blogs. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foodily/id475603520" target="_hplink">Foodily for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad</a>, FREE</strong>
This app gives you full access to the #1 recipe website, AllRecipes.com. Dinner Spinner Pro gives you the ability to scan grocery items, help you find recipes to match and build shopping lists for putting together an entire meal. You can also save recipes to your online recipe box, search by ingredient, share recipes over social media, and more. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/allrecipes.com-dinner-spinner/id357140360?mt=8" target="_hplink">Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad</a>, $2.99</strong>
Access more than 60 of Martha Stewart's best cookie recipes with this beautifully designed app. Included are instructional videos, baking tips, kitchen timers, shopping lists, recipe sharing and more. Additional recipe packs can be purchased to expand upon the library. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/martha-stewart-makes-cookies/id409361324?mt=8" target="_hplink">Martha Stewart Cookies for iPhone and iPod Touch</a>, $2.99</strong>
Based on the best-selling cookbook "How to Cook Everything" by New York TImes columnist Mark Bittman, this new app has 2,000 recipes, 400 how-to illustrations and features that include shopping lists, bookmarks, built-in recipe timers and more. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/how-to-cook-everything-for/id409936319?mt=8" target="_hplink">How to Cook Everything for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad</a>, $9.99</strong>
This beautifully designed app from the queen of entertaining herself gives you 60 recipes to start with, including classic drinks, mocktails and bar snacks. Additional cocktail recipe packs can be purchased to build your own library of mixology recipes. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/martha-stewart-cocktails-for/id442876154?mt=8" target="_hplink">Martha Stewart Cocktails for iPhone and iPod Touch</a>, $0.99</strong>
Jamie's 20 Minute Meals is perfect for both fans of the charming British chef and beginner cooks. With the app, you get access to 60 quick and delicious recipes, stunning step-by-step photography for every recipe, 21 exclusive Jamie Oliver videos featuring tips, techniques and kitchen skills and more. <strong>20 Minute Meals for <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/20-minute-meals-jamie-oliver/id318926433?mt=8" target="_hplink">iPhone, iPod touch and iPad</a>, $6.99 and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zolmo.twentymm&hl=en" target="_hplink">Android</a>, $7.99</strong>
Are you a bacon lover? Then there's no doubt you need this new app. With 20 HD videos, 150 hi-res photos and 31 original recipes from the best chefs around, it's got everything you need to bring you closer to bacon. Learn the history of bacon and, if you're so inclined, cure or smoke your own. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/better-bacon-book-make-cook/id506252235?mt=8" target="_hplink">The Better Bacon Book: Make, Cook, and Eat Your Way to Cured Pork Greatness for iPad</a>, $0.99</strong>
Yes, this app is expensive, but it's a small fee to pay for a culinary education worth thousands. The app is an iPad version of the Culinary Institute of America's culinary textbook "The Professional Chef,' which might as well be called "the bible for all chefs." The app includes more than 100 videos of CIA instructors demonstrating tips and tricks for the 850 recipes, 750 images, interactive enhancements, shared notes between cooks using the book and more. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-professional-chef-by-culinary/id473451019?ls=1&mt=8" target="_hplink">The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America for iPad</a>, $49.99</strong>
We've all been there: merrily working our way through a new recipe when we suddenly realize we're missing an ingredient and we don't have time to head back to the store. With this new app, you won't have to waste time scouring the Internet for ingredient substitutions -- you'll have over 400 already at your fingertips, neatly organized into logical categories like "Baking & Cooking" or "Spices." (You'll also find lists of subs for gluten-free, vegan and low-fat cooking.) <strong>Substitutions for <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/substitutions/id372387251?mt=8" target="_hplink">iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad</a>, $0.99</strong>
This survival guide from FOOD52 co-founders New York Times writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubb will help you conquer holiday entertaining madness. The iPad app features 75 masterfully curated recipes from seasoned home cooks, 100 minutes of expert video tutorials, and extensive event-planning guidance from Amanda & Merrill and the FOOD52 community. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food52-holiday-recipe-survival/id479448314?mt=8" target="_hplink">FOOD52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide for iPad</a>, $4.99</strong>
Indulge your sweet tooth with the MyRecipes Daily Indulgence app for iPad. It features more than 400 dessert recipes, more than 100 how-to videos, tip and notes from the test kitchens, shopping lists, recipe sharing and more. The recipes come from the magazines Cooking Light, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Real Simple, Sunset and All You. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myrecipes-daily-indulgence/id477970786?ls=1&mt=8" target="_hplink">Desserts: MyRecipes Daily Indulgence for iPad</a>, $3.99</strong>
If you're the type of person who learns by doing (or if you're just a complete cooking novice) Cooking Capsules Taster is the next best thing to making the recipe yourself. Each recipe is accompanied by a how-to video that walks you through each step. <strong><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartcapsules.cooking.android.taster&hl=en" target="_hplink">Cooking Capsules Taster for Android</a>, $0.99</strong>
How does instant access to 170,000+ recipes sound? If it's quantity you're after, BigOven delivers. You can save your favorites and even upload your own creations into the collective database. (Downloader beware: we noticed a recipe professing to taste just like "Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce," so every entry may not be a winner. But each recipe can be reviewed by users, which should keep everything in check.) <strong>170,000+ Recipes by BigOven for <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/170-000-recipes-bigoven/id294363034?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4" target="_hplink">iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bigoven.android" target="_hplink">Android</a>, FREE</strong>
Cook's Illustrated is known for its rigorous recipe-testing process, so you know their recipes will be foolproof (the magazine's motto is "recipes that work." ) But if you want to access all their recipes, you'll have to become a premium member by subscribing to the magazine. <strong>Cook's Illustrated <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cooks-illustrated/id385674638?mt=8" target="_hplink">iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad</a>, FREE</strong>
This app dishes up personalized ingredient substitutions according to your type of allergy, be it gluten, dairy or a specific food like peanuts. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cook-it-allergy-free/id369186630?mt=8" target="_hplink">Cook It Allergy Free</a> for iPhone and iPod touch, $4.99 and iPad</a>, $6.99</strong>
This app handles all the annoying kitchen math for you, like adjusting ingredient amounts according to the number of servings you wish to make. <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kitchen-calculator-pro/id316131048?mt=8" target="_hplink">Kitchen Calculator PRO for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad</a>, $3.99</strong>
This app is the Holy Grail because of its features, price and accessibility. You get 30,000+ recipes from quality magazines like "Bon Appetit" and (the tragically defunct) "Gourmet," plus reviews, shopping lists and fun features like voice recognition search. (Android only). Many of the recipes come with beautiful photos, too, so this app is inspirational as well as supremely functional. <strong>Epicurious Recipes for <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epicurious-recipes-shopping/id312101965?mt=8" target="_hplink">iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.epicurious&hl=en" target="_hplink">Android</a>, FREE</strong>