There are apps for everything. For cooking, too, of course. Can that work? And if so, with which apps?
There are many reasons to fire up the oven or stove at home: Cooking for yourself is fun, healthy and cheaper than going out to eat or ordering in all the time. Nevertheless, there are many people who do little or no cooking. Why?
“Cooking regularly – that also has to fit into everyday life,” says Nora Karrasch. In her day-to-day work, the nutritionist repeatedly works with people who have never learned how to cook or simply can’t reconcile it with their new job or children.
According to Karrasch, a cooking app can reduce the complexity of cooking. On the one hand, because it usually makes thousands of recipes directly accessible. On the other hand, because it offers filter functions that help you find exactly what you need. Especially for people without much experience in the kitchen, that’s exactly what’s important.
André Kramer from “c’t” magazine took a closer look at some of the countless cooking apps on the market: ” KptnCook”, ” Chefkoch”, ” Lecker”, ” Eat Smarter”, ” Kitchen Stories” and ” Seven Cooks”. Anyone looking for cooking apps will inevitably stumble across these candidates. “Eat Smarter” and “Kitchen Stories” are also recommended by Nora Karrasch, for example.
Lots of recipes or good recipes?
Kramer quickly noticed that the concept and focus of the various apps vary considerably. That’s why there was no test winner for him. Which app is the best simply depends on what you need, he says.
Good examples of this, she says, are “KptnCook” and “Chefkoch.” While “KptnCook” only releases three new recipes a day, “Chefkoch” offers more than 350,000 recipes. “At “Chefkoch” there are chicken soups from all over the world. But I have to choose what I need from this variety myself,” explains Kramer.
At “KptnCook,” on the other hand, you get recipes curated by food bloggers and chefs – modern, mostly from similar cooking styles: “Superfood, fusion, vegan – lots of tofu, lots of Asian, often with lemon zest grated over it,” Kramer says. The concept makes “KptnCook” primarily a source of inspiration, he adds. “Chefkoch,” on the other hand, is the right app if you’re looking for something very specific, he says.
The app “Lecker,” a product of the magazine of the same name, is a middle ground between “KptnCook” and “Chefkoch. Lecker” also has a large recipe database with over 60,000 cooking and baking ideas. But while at Chefkoch the recipes are uploaded by members of the community, the Lecker recipes come from its own test kitchen. So here, as with “KptnCook,” the selection is rigorous.
Vegan, low carb or gluten-free?
Filter functions in the apps help, for example, to use existing food sensibly. “I have a zucchini that has to go, so I search for zucchini recipes,” says Kramer. Filters are an important advantage of cooking apps. They can be used to search for specific recipes that match the food on hand or the user’s own eating habits. You simply filter by certain ingredients or cooking styles, or deliberately exclude others.
“In most apps, there is the option to explicitly search for vegetarian and vegan recipes,” Kramer knows. Seven Cooks, for example, has a special focus on vegan and vegetarian cuisine. “Eat Smarter, on the other hand, has a wide variety of categories that are intended to help people eat healthily, such as low carb, high fiber, or gluten-free. The different categories make both “Seven Cooks” and “Eat Smarter” particularly clear and easy to navigate.
Nora Karrasch praises the wide range of vegetarian and vegan recipes in the various cooking apps: “Germans eat too much meat. A maximum of 600 grams per week is recommended, but the German average is one kilo.” The nutritionist uses cooking apps as a source of inspiration and visual aids for customers who are not yet completely comfortable with meatless cooking.
Clear and concise
In addition to the filter functions, apps have something else ahead of conventional cookbooks: no space limitations. This makes it possible to illustrate recipes and their instructions in detail. According to Kramer, “KptnCook” excels here: “The recipes are easy to follow, even for beginners.
The app “Kitchen Stories” even goes one step further here and, in addition to recipes, also provides numerous tips on cooking techniques and background information on dishes. “It’s like a little continuing education for amateur cooks,” says Kramer. Conversely, the app also helps beginners take their first steps in the kitchen.
How much do cooking apps cost?
All of the cooking apps mentioned are initially financed via advertising and/or product placements. That means you can use them free of charge in principle. However, you usually have to register to use the full functionality of the respective apps. Depending on the app, you can then save recipes or exchange information in the community, for example. In addition, most apps have premium functions that require a fee, such as individual weekly plans.
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Ultimately, it’s a matter of finding the right app for your own level of knowledge and personal needs and priorities. In any case, cooking apps are an uncomplicated way to get a taste of cooking and healthy eating, says nutritionist Nora Karrasch. Still, “there is never a guarantee that we will live healthier through a cooking app.”