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Tablets, smart phones and apps in the Kitchen

Anyone use a Tablet computer (or smart phone) in the kitchen for recipes or other apps?

I have used my android tablet a couple of times to refer to web page recipes and cook from it. I have e-cookbooks on the tablet and have used the tablet to refer to some of those recipes, also, while cooking. I must admit, however, a recipe printed on a single 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper is easier to use.

So far, I haven't found any apps to use in the kitchen.

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  1. I bring up a recipe on my tablet sometimes. If it's something I think I'll use again, I have it printed.

    1. i've used my laptop in the kitchen over the years. I once exploded port sauce out of the blender on one...so keep it away from my work area now when I do use it.

      My husband keeps some recipes on Evernote on his Ipad and we'll use that as well. Same thing. Well away from where we are working.

      My middle aged eyes don't like doing much on my phone if I can avoid it.

      1. Yes, I've been using my iPad with macgourmet since the iPad came out, before that I was using it on my iPhone.

        1. Sounds dangerous. I've lost a few to liquidy environments.

          1. I use an iPad and Pepperplate, and any other electronic sources available to me such as Epicurious. I cook in a couple of different kitchens, and it's really helpful to be able to generate shopping lists and have all the recipes I need in a single package. The shopping lists transfer automatically to an iPod Touch, which I agree is too small to cook from. If there is danger of spillage, I put the iPad in a ziplock bag.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sr44

              I should add that I've acquired several cookbooks on my iPad that some idiot decided should take up in paper a square yard when open for use.

            2. I use my iPhone all the time. My favorite app is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

              What I mostly use it for though is recipes that I have collected from newspapers and magazines. I just create a PDF and eliminate a lot of paper clutter. That's what I do with recipes from library books too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ChillyDog

                You should really try Pepperplate!! It's been invaluable as far as getting rid of the pile of notes and clippings, and is just an awesome app in general! As long as you're typing PDFs you might as well type them into a good organizer like this IMO.

                1. re: penni

                  Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out.

                  BTW, I don't type recipes. I use Genius Scan.

                  1. re: ChillyDog

                    Any tips for using Genius Scan? They are trying to teach me this stuff at Apple classes. (I might be a slow learner.)

              2. I use my iPad all the time. For recipes & appropriate cooking music. So far, I havent used any one app. But this is 2014 & I promised to get more organized.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kalivs

                  I've tried a lot of the apps and recently deleted all of them except Bittman's.

                2. I've used both iPhone and tablets in the kitchen.
                  No different than following a recipe in a book, other than be(more) careful with drips and drops.
                  Some of the tech "holders" intrigue me.

                  1. I use a 10" Android tablet. All recipes have been stored in DropBox [free] since last July - once you save a doc via a word processing program or text file to DB, it automatically updates to all devices - for me, three. I love it. I cooked last years' Thanksgiving/Christmas/post Christmas dinners using it.

                    Because I usually load the recipes from my desktop, either c/p'ing online recipes or keying them in in MS Word, I can save anything that looks interesting without paper. I back the DB folder up with my regular monthly backup to external storage.

                    I gifted tablet/Kindle stands for Christmas, but am unhappy with the stand I bought for myself, and am searching for a new one - stand size on the counter is a big consideration! Lipper International via Amazon offers a couple of good options, I probably will buy one this week.

                    For decades, I manipulated multiple manila folders of clipped recipes, said recipes getting more and more stained and tattered. I still love cookbooks, but DB is easier for what were once clipped recipes.

                    And as for the 'mess' on the device surface, a screen protector and a small squirt of whatever cleaner one uses works wonderfully.

                    A friend has Bittmans 'How' for the iPad, and uses it constantly.

                    1. The wife uses an Ipad in the kitchen, its propped up on a stand at the end of the counter.

                      Interestingly enough, I was shown this tidbit on kitchen tablet use just this week. Its in German, but the translation is obvious...and hilarious. Enjoy.


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: porker

                        That was one of the funniest little videos I've seen in a while. Made me feel better about my dh. Even he wouldn't do that!

                        1. re: porker

                          I didn't know Apple made a knife. ;-).

                            1. re: porker

                              Hahahahahaaa! That was hilarious! Thanks, porker!

                            2. I use the app "Paprika" on my iPad it allows me to add recipes from any source and is fantastic. It provides google search engine and automatically downloads from many sites. It provides a grocery list and other stuff too. I don't know of another app like it. No need for a cookbook in the kitchen. Everything is in alphabetical order. I currently have almost 800 recipes on it. And growing.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Barnaclelee

                                I have been using Paprika for a few years. Love it!

                              2. I use my old Kindle Fire and Pepperplate in the kitchen, with a tablet stand. For years, I was still printing out recipes and sticking them to the fridge with a magnet, but this past autumn I was finally able to ditch the paper. The fact that Pepperplate has apps for every conceivable platform (plus a web based app) is what finally allowed me to switch.

                                1. iPad and Pepperplate. Love the "Cook Now" feature on the iPad Pepperplate app. And I love that I can look up ingredients in Pepperplate on my iPhone at the market.

                                  1. I use my iPad and Paprika almost every day. I have 1700+ recipes, all sorted into custom folders. I use all of it's features, including menu planning and shopping list.

                                    IME, most cookbooks don't translate well to tablet form. If you're printing out recipes, you're an ideal candidate for a recipe aggregator app, which is designed to hold your recipes. There are many, free and paid, with varying features.

                                    Try BigOven's android app to get a feel for how they work, and what features are of the most value to you. Some features require a premium membership, but Bigoven lets you test drive the premium stuff for free.

                                    1. Android tablet + Dropbox. I can load recipes from the desktop or the laptop to Dropbox, and voila. I back the dropbox file up with my monthly backups - don't want to lose it.

                                      I am really liking the tablet in the kitchen, I have a screen protector and a stand, which help greatly. I spent a few days loading [either from Internet or keying by hand into MS Word] a boatload of paper recipes.

                                      I've also added the BHG cooking app and Big Oven app to the tablet, and they are fun to look at - and even cook from.

                                      The tablet goes into the kitchen 3-4 nights out of 7.

                                      1. I use Pepperplate. At my last house, when I was too poor to spring for internet, I used my smart phone. Now I use my computer.

                                        I really like it, but it does have some drawbacks that annoy me sometimes.

                                        Android App:
                                        - There is no way to search for your recipe by name. You have to scroll down your list until you find what you're looking for. (You can't use your categories or favorites list, either.)

                                        - I often have trouble syncing up my shopping list between phone and computer.

                                        - When on the Planner screen, you can't just click on the recipe name to bring it up. You have to look at what you have planned, and then scroll through your list to find it.

                                        - The way the category search works isn't really helpful. If you select "asparagus" and "appetizer", you are probably trying to find all of your appetizer recipes that contain asparagus, right? Well, it's going to bring up ALL of your asparagus recipes and ALL of your appetizer recipes.

                                        Anyway. Even with those issues, I like it and use it constantly. (However, the ONLY reason I wish I had an Apple product is that they seem to have all of the good food apps! Maybe I'll cave one day.)

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Kontxesi


                                          Paprika solves almost all. Search by name, ingredient or source. click on things to your heart's content, good stuff happens when you do. :)

                                          You're aware of the PC limitation, but perhaps a tablet could sub in for your PC here; they're great in the kitchen. Did I mention you can check off ingredients? Switch between recipes? You can.

                                          I know I sound like a shill for Paprika, but I'm not. I'm just a digital cook who's tried almost all of those cool Mac cooking apps. I spent ~$200 (MacGourmet, Yummysoup, SousChef and more) ISO the best one for me. This is the one I chose.

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            I haven't made the leap to a tablet yet.... I'm a gamer, so I have to have a real computer, and between that and my smart phone I'm just about covered. This seems to be my only gap, but it's not a big enough one for that kind of investment.

                                            Some day, when I'm rich, I'll treat myself to one. :) (How much is Paprika, btw?)

                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                              Paprika was $5 for IOS/Android when I bought it.

                                            2. re: DuffyH


                                              Thank you for being a shill! I have been using Microsoft OneNote, which I thought was a fantastic solution, until I saw Paprika mentioned. I am a new Mac convertee, following the great pc laptop meltdown of summer 2013. My macbook Air came with a $100 app store gift card, so I broke into those funds and bought the OS X and the iOS versions. AMAZING!

                                              If I were going to design a recipe app, this is what I would have designed. My old, 1st generation iPad isn't good for a lot anymore, but it's an amazing recipe book.

                                              Thanks for the tip!

                                              1. re: Susangria

                                                You're very welcome, Susangria. I do love Paprika, even as I moan and groan about the delay in getting v2 out for OSX. I can't have it on my old iPad, but if they ever release the damn thing, it will fit very nicely onto our Airs.

                                                And thank YOU for the extra foam suggestion in that other thread. ;)

                                          2. EVERNOTE | I have had a good experience with Evernote. Of my 5,000 Evernote web clips, almost 3,000 are recipes--which wasn't even my anticipated use-case. The speed and simplicity of web clipping is especially valuable, as I follow many food magazines/blogs/sites online and on-phone. Evernote's recent 'Clearly' browser add-on formats exceptionally well, automatically removing anything 'non-recipe' from the original web page as it clips. The search feature on computer, online and on-phone is just about the best I have come across in any software--especially useful, for example, when trying to locate a recipe with an odd ingredient, a foreign name, or barely remembered as an 'almond cake' from three years ago. Pops right up, with or without keyword tags! I don't work for Evernote; I just really like their product and cook with it as my main recipe resource.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: edbattle

                                              I second the Evernote suggestion. I have Nexus 7 tablet and Evernote does nice job of formatting the captured content to the screen size. Much easier than reading recipes directly from the web browser.

                                            2. Evernote with my iPad, computer and smart phone. There's nothing better and it's free! There's even a food add-on app specifically for recipes and restaurant visits! Also free.

                                              1. To avoid kitchen spills, I prop my tablet on the bottom shelf of an upper cabinet, where it's just about at eye level. I lean it against the dishes in the cabinet, and it's held in place by the bottom lip of the cabinet.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Bzdhkap

                                                  Too clever, I like it! Accomplishes essentially the same function as the $90 under counter mounting arm the Dude bought me for a birthday one year.

                                                2. Ditto to the accolades for Paprika...it may be what most makes me love my IPad! In addition to features others have extolled, you can email your recipes to friends right from the app , automatically laid out for you with photo, ingredients section, directions sections and notes if you have added any. It also allows you to scale recipe size. It is the best! Also ditto to cooking with your iPad in a ziplock gallon size bag zipped closed. You can fearlessly swipe and tap no matter how much batter, flour, whatever is on your fingers, right through the bag!

                                                  1. My hillbilly tech iPad stand....Handy for tabletop use as well as the kitchen

                                                    4 Replies
                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                        A 2" slice of pvc pipe...had some laying around. I made a taller one too. The big box home stores will sell you a 2 or 3 foot section if you want to tinker

                                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                          We love pvc! We built a ladders golf set with pvc, a few tennis balls and some extra line from our boat. Next up is a poolside towel cabana.

                                                          Is there anything that can't be made from pvc?

                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                            Ha! Cheap tinkertoys for adults. Talk about tennis balls, I'm playing around with a tennis ball launcher...and a train horn

                                                    1. I have been trying out Google drive. Now it's easy to move recipe (text, doc, etc) files from my PC to my tablet. I've been using the tablet to display recipes while cooking instead of using the usual scraps of paper. ;-)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. I use my iPad and a few kitchen apps. The app I use most often is Microsoft OneNote. I also use OneNote at the office and save recipes in notebooks. The notebooks are cloud based and update to my iPad automatically. I use a stand for it and place it on the bar counter that rises above the kitchen counter. It's been hit with a bit of spray a few times, but no dunking.

                                                        1. I use Pepperplate on my iPad in the kitchen, but even when I keep it a distance from the cooktop, I often find it grease-spattered if I'm pan searing. I need to find some kind of cover for it for that use.

                                                          1. I use the Pinterest app on my phone or iPad, or just search the web. The iPad rests in an acrylic cookbook holder, which is an imperfect solution - I constantly have to pull it out and touch it to wake it up. I have tried the Bittman app and really liked it - especially the feature that allows you to disable the sleep/lock screen. There are also disposable covers you can buy from Amazon that are meant for the kitchen: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00A2UTDOC Has anyone tried them?

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: dancingmonkey

                                                              I haven't, but I'm not normally that messy that one is necessary. IME, it would take a serious liquid spill on the tablet to warrant use of something like that. Mine's had plenty of splatters in it's time. I wipe them off with a damp sponge, no worries.

                                                              1. re: dancingmonkey

                                                                >>> The iPad rests in an acrylic cookbook holder, which is an imperfect solution - I constantly have to pull it out and touch it to wake it up. <<<

                                                                When I use my iPad for following recipes I change the "sleep" setting so it never turns itself off. When I'm finished with the recipe, I change it back.

                                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                                  Nothing worse than having sticky fingers and you have to push a button on the tablet to see the next step in the recipe. ;-).

                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                    Ahhhh... that's where a stylus comes in handy. :)

                                                                  2. re: CindyJ

                                                                    I think I mentioned upthread that many recipe aggregator apps automagically disable sleep mode. It returns when you leave the app.

                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                      I also turn off the auto-lock on my iPad when cooking--it doesn't take too much effort! :)

                                                                  3. A clever trick for recipe apps is the "clap" (no, the hands) to advance a page. Protein 1 has it

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                      The best of them will also de-activate sleep mode, to keep the tablet or phone always on and lit. One of the early recipe apps I used, might have been the original iPad version of MacGourmet Deluxe or The Recipe Manager, kept falling asleep on me. So annoying.

                                                                    2. I keep recipes I've found in Word files. I have them broken down in separated files by Entrees, Soup/Salad, Sides, Desserts, etc. They're kept on my networked external hard drive. I get my Motorola tablet in the kitchen, bring up the desired recipe and start cooking. Very handy, and I can access the files over the internet if I'm somewhere other than my home

                                                                      1. Netflix streaming. I like to have old star trek episodes playing while I chop. I have one of the "original" iPads and it's pretty terrible now for web stuff. But we agreed I don't get a new one till I have another kid, so netflix streaming it is.

                                                                        If i'm searching recipes, it's on my lap top in the dining room. One too many food disasters on my previous one, so a wall between it and the stove are required for safety

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: autumm

                                                                          Curious...What makes an older iPad less desirable for web surfing than a new one?

                                                                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                            I'm curious, too. My original iPad works as well today as it did the day I got it. I've not noticed any problems with surfing.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              My original iPad is slower. I am no longer able to upgrade the iOS for it, and that excludes the ability to download some newer apps. Even the Paprika I downloaded for it the other day only allowed me to install an older version. So, I use it as a kitchen cookbook/video player. In addition to Netflix and Hulu and MLBtv, I have Amazon instant video that has all the old "The French Chef" episodes from PBS.

                                                                              1. re: Susangria

                                                                                I get that. I really want a new iPad to run Paprika 2.0. Heck, I'd spring for a cheap Android tablet just for the kitchen if they'd only release v2.0 for Android.

                                                                                In the meantime I enjoy 2.0 on my iPhone and get all excited every time I see a new update for my Mac, convinced it will be new Paprika. I have been known to use my Mac in the kitchen. Hope springs! :)

                                                                            2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                              Compared to the faster processors on my iPhone 5 and my laptop, it just seems Pokey! to me. It works fine, but compared to what i'm "used to" it takes forever

                                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                On the Tech Guy radio show, a caller mentioned that
                                                                                they had been receiving DirectTV NFL games on their
                                                                                original iPad, but since a operating system upgrade,
                                                                                which the iPad original couldn't use, DirectTV
                                                                                no longer worked. The original iPad couldn't use
                                                                                the upgraded DirectTV app.

                                                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                  I see no difference at all between Paprika 1.x on my gen1 iPad and Paprika 2.x on my iPhone 4s running iOS 7.x.

                                                                                  For people who stream video content it would matter, for almost all cooking apps, not one little bit. Still, I have no problems at all with Netflix. It streams flawlessly.

                                                                                2. re: autumm

                                                                                  I watch/listen to Netflix while I cook, too. Right now it's Law & Order: SVU, but recently BSG and Star Trek OS. :)

                                                                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                    If Seinfeld came back I can see it now, George Costanza can't return his iPad because it has been in the bathroom. ;-).

                                                                                  2. re: autumm

                                                                                    Also curious about the iPad per kid thing, almost sounds like govt program :)

                                                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                      I survived the initial nursing phase with my first by using my iPad like crazy. Now that it is older and slower, we agreed that I don't "need" a new one for kitchen stuff, but that if it would be my primary entreatment at 2 AM, then that would be a good investment in new mommy sanity whenever that day comes

                                                                                      1. re: autumm

                                                                                        That's a bit similar to my situation. I use mine for streaming Netflix (which it does just fine, btw) and cooking. Makes it hard to justify an upgrade.

                                                                                        I used to use it for accessing web content in my real estate business, and speed was 100% critical then. It was also a business write-off.

                                                                                        If Paprika releases an Android update, I might spring for a cheap sub-$100 tablet just for kitchen use.

                                                                                  3. My wife and I have been using a ASUS tablet for 2+ years now in our kitchen. It works for us.

                                                                                    The comments made about protecting the tablet and keeping it away from food, knives, and sticky fingers are all very true. We found that we were constantly going back and forth with each recipe step, head up, head down, rubbing our fingers across the screen to re-activate the recipe. This meant that the tablet also required cleaning after some meals. One of our older neighbours from France thought this somewhat of a heresy, saying " But you are supposed to KNOW these recipes by memory. " ( Alas, too many to remember for my simple mind. )

                                                                                    Originally, we had the ASUS low on the countertop. Then further away along the counter, and then placed even further away behind a plastic screen cookbook holder.

                                                                                    Last year Rösle came out with a stainless mount designed for tablets, that hangs on the open kitchen rails we have. There is a small spring-loaded arm that keeps our tablet in place and better protected. The height of the tablet seems better now, at eye level above and to the side of the cooking, so the tablet is off the countertop and better protected.

                                                                                    In many European homes, touch-screen monitors have been in use for about 5-6 years now, especially in kitchens. We have seen a few in use, two in Inox or stainless steel frames, and are debating that possibility. I can connect that in the house via WIFI, and also to TV/Radio, or even the door cameras if someone enters the driveway to drop by.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                      I agree that under cabinet mounts are very helpful. Eye level is a treat, too. Mine is mounted between my range and fridge, and just a quick spin from my island where I do most of my prep work. I've got one like this (iPad 1) from The Joy Factory.


                                                                                      When the Dude bought it for me 3 years ago, there weren't many choices, and this was one of the best. I wouldn't choose it again, as the arms need frequent tightening. But it's still giving me great service and always keeps my iPad high and dry. I can turn it every which way, too, which is really nice.

                                                                                    2. Just found this article today and haven't tried any of these apps listed in the Salt Lake Tribune, but most are free:

                                                                                      "10 recipe apps to help you cook up memorable meals"

                                                                                      1. I use my iPad mini in the kitchen all the time. I store my recipes electronically so its easy to call up whenever. I have one of those plastic screen protectors on it so its wipes easily from splashes etc and I keep it away from anything like hot stoves or anywhere it can fall easily into the sink but I've never had a problem.

                                                                                        1. I use an iPad in the kitchen to listen to "Welcome to Night Vale" podcasts while I'm cooking.

                                                                                          1. I am so clumsy I'm afraid to use my laptop/tablet/iphone for recipes in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I am also too lazy to run from the other room to the kitchen to check the recipe! Alas, I still print recipes or use cookbooks in the kitchen, but I also like writing notes on the recipes so it works out well.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ollieollie

                                                                                              Get someone in the other room to shout out ingredients to you. ;)

                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                Great idea Duffy. My wife loved that.

                                                                                            2. Just remember somewhere out there on the interweb is a thread titled "Tablets, smart phones and apps in the Bathroom"

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                  Hah !

                                                                                                  Just sit back, smile for the camera, and let yourself go.

                                                                                              1. i use my i pad and a big zip lock on an easle