There are apps for everything. Of course also for cooking. Can this work? And if so, with which applications?
There are many reasons to fire up the oven or stove at home: Cooking is fun, healthy and cheaper than eating out or ordering all the time. Nevertheless, there are many people who cook little or not at all. Why?
“Cooking regularly – that has to fit into everyday life,” says Nora Karrasch. In her day-to-day work, the nutritionist works time and again with people who have never learned to cook or simply cannot 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 to find exactly what you need. This is exactly what is important, especially for people without a lot of experience in the kitchen.
André Kramer from the “c’t” trade magazine took a closer look at some of the countless cooking apps on the market: ” KptnCook“, ” chef“, ” Yummy“, ” Eat Smarter“, ” Kitchen Stories” and ” Seven Cooks“. Anyone looking for cooking apps will inevitably stumble across these candidates. Nora Karrasch also recommends “Eat Smarter” and “Kitchen Stories”.
Many recipes or good recipes?
Kramer quickly noticed that the concept and focus of the various apps vary significantly. That’s why there was no test winner for him. Which app is the best simply depends on what you need.
Good examples are “KptnCook” and “Chefkoch”. While “KptnCook” only publishes three new recipes a day, “Chefkoch” offers over 350,000 recipes. “Chefkoch” has 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 – a lot of tofu, a lot of Asian, often grated with lemon zest,” says Kramer. The concept makes “KptnCook” primarily a source of inspiration. “Chefkoch”, on the other hand, is the right app if you’re looking for something very specific.
The “Lecker” app, 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 Chefkoch’s recipes are uploaded by members of the community, the delicious recipes come from our own test kitchen. 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 needs to go, so I’m looking for zucchini recipes,” says Kramer. Filters are an important advantage of cooking apps. You can use this to search for specific recipes that match the stock situation or your own eating habits. You simply filter for certain ingredients or cooking styles or deliberately exclude others.
“In most apps there is the option to search explicitly for vegetarian and vegan recipes,” says Kramer. For example, “Seven Cooks” has a special focus on vegan and vegetarian cuisine. “Eat Smarter” in turn has a wide variety of categories that are intended to help you eat healthily: such as low-carb, high-fiber or gluten-free. Due to the different categories, both “Seven Cooks” and “Eat Smarter” are particularly clear and easy to navigate.
Nora Karrasch praises the wide range of vegetarian and vegan recipes in the various cooking apps: “The 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 illustrative material for customers who are not quite comfortable with meatless cooking.
Clear and concise
In addition to the filter functions, apps also have something ahead of conventional cookbooks: no space restrictions. This makes it possible to illustrate the recipes and their instructions in detail. According to Kramer, “KptnCook” in particular stands out positively here: “The recipes are easy to cook, even for beginners”.
The “Kitchen Stories” app even goes one step further and, in addition to recipes, also provides numerous tips on cooking techniques and background information on dishes. “It’s like a little further training for hobby cooks,” says Kramer. Conversely, the app also helps beginners with their first steps in the kitchen.
How much do cooking apps cost?
All of the cooking apps mentioned are initially financed through advertising and/or product placement. This means that you can use them for free in principle. For the full range of functions of the respective apps, however, you usually have to register. Depending on the app, you can then, for example, save recipes or exchange ideas in the community. In addition, most apps have paid premium functions, such as individual weekly plans.
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Ultimately, it’s about 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. Nevertheless: “There is never a guarantee that we will live healthier with a cooking app”.