App of the Week: Cook’s Illustrated

Accidental Locavore Cooks Illustrated AppThis app is from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, a publication the Accidental Locavore thinks is one of those love-it-or-hate-it magazines. I’ll let you guess which side I come down on…

Cook’s Illustrated is a standard recipe app with a pretty large collection of recipes, grouped in alphabetical order, so desserts are the third thing on the list. If you’re not a member, you get about 10 recipes for free in each category. What makes these recipes a little different is that each one comes with the obsessive/compulsive explanation of the issues surrounding each and every dish. Once those hurdles are (successfully) overcome, the recipes are pretty straightforward.

Two attractive features are the ability to add ingredients to a shopping list, and a built-in timer that you can set to time various stages of a recipe. Now I’m not sure how much I want to be setting and resetting my iPhone while I’m browning chicken, but it’s there if you need it.

Another feature is their rating of various food products under “Taste Tests”. If you need to know what the best potato chip is, this is your app. Unfortunately, there is no telling when these taste tests were conducted, so products may or may not be the same as when they were rated. As with the recipes, there’s a detailed explanation as to the issues surrounding say, jarred salsa.

Downsides? You’re better off if you’re into the Cook’s Illustrated too-much-information mindset.  The search engine is a little weird, returning everything but onion soup, when the Locavore searched for onion soup. It’s only an iPhone app, so you can’t take advantage of the screen size of an iPad. And today, the biggest downside? You can’t download it from the American app store, although the Cook’s Illustrated website has a link.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Cook’s Illustrated

Developer/Seller:  Cook’s Illustrated

Cost: free for the basic recipes, $34.95 for a one year membership to the site

Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch




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