Did you know that your phone can be a great help when cooking? In this article, we look at some of the genius ways to use your smart phone in the kitchen.
In recent times, cellphones and food are two things that often come together at the table. When you’re at home, your kids are probably on their phones texting or browsing. When eating out, many of us pull out our phones to snap a picture of our food.
That said, your smart phone isn’t limited to eating time. In fact, it’s very useful in the kitchen as well. Here are some of the most common things home chefs use their phones for.
1. Find and Collect Delicious Recipes
Your phone is a treasure trove of recipes that are waiting to be discovered. Whatever kind of recipe you’re looking at you can easily find them thanks to the many apps around.
In addition to apps, there’s Pinterest which contains a huge collection of dishes you can make for every occasion. And, if you’re a fan of a specific chef or home cook, all you need to do is go to their website and check out their latest creations.
Free recipe apps like AllRecipes, Yummily, Epicurious and BigOven all have thousands of recipes you can search and sort through. They’re perfect if for finding breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack ideas.
You can also filter them, so they show certain types of recipes. This lets you quickly find, recipes that are less than 30 minutes to make, vegetarian dishes or gluten free meals.
If you want to know a recipe for a certain food, you can also try Pic2Recipe, which can find recipes for you along with their step by step instructions all from just supplying it with a picture of the dish.
2. Run Different Timers at the Same Time
My phone’s timer is one of the things I use most. It helps me keep track of different things and prevents me from spending too much time on one task.
In the kitchen, your phone’s timer lets you monitor different things at the same time. Most cellphones only come with a single timer. That is, you can only use one at a time. If that’s all you need for keeping track of something you’re stewing or steaming, then, that’s great.
For me, I need a bit more. That’s why I love Timer+ so much. It lets you set all the timers your need. This makes it easy to leave the laundry going while you’re busy in the kitchen.
Similarly, it’s perfect for when your cooking a few dishes at the same time. This lets you keep track of how far they’re all in. All the while, you’ll be able to do something else in the meantime.
This really takes out a lot of effort on having the keep rechecking each pot.
3. Converting Measurements
If you bake or like to be precise on measuring ingredients, try a number of different kitchen calculator apps that make converting measurements quick and simple.
This is something that really helps me a lot because I’m not very good at math. In the kitchen, a lot of the recipe ingredients call for fractions. That can be a bit daunting for me when I need to add or subtract.
Also, I don’t have the entire conversion tables memorized. Apps make it easy for me to convert grams to ounces. And, use the right conversions and units even in both liquids and solid foods.
Knowing how many ounces of beef for example also makes it easy to tell my butcher how much I need. Plus, it lets you have a basic idea of how much it costs, which helps me with our budget.
4. Learn How to Cook Different Foods
Thanks to the internet and all the wonderful apps in your phone, it’s so easy to learn new cooking techniques. I remember when I used to stir fry everything because that was the easiest.
I wasn’t comfortable with poaching, had problems getting the temperature right when grilling and didn’t know how to make steamed foods delicious.
That’s all changed. And, the best part about it is that all I had to do was look things up.
It did take a bit of reading and experimenting. But, it’s so much easier when you can see the correct steps laid out before you. And, you can always ask around for help when you hit certain problems.
Besides learning to cook, I also credit my phone for helping figure out how to cook some foods properly.
I used to have problems with fish sticking on the pan and grill. Cooking chicken breast was also an issue because it would come out dry. And, getting steaks to the right medium rare doneness was hit or miss.
While it took a while to figure them out, I can consistently do them well without messing up the dish.
5. Finding Substitutes for Ingredients
If you or any of your family members have food restrictions, your phone is a great place to look for substitutes. This lets you swap out certain ingredients from recipes and use options that are more amendable to you or your family’s dietary needs.
This makes it easy to convert your favorite dishes into healthier options, be it low calorie, gluten free or vegetarian.
In addition to being able to substitute ingredients for dietary purposes, your phone can also help you find alternatives to ingredients you don’t have. Whether you’ve run out of them at home or your local store doesn’t carry them, odds are these ingredients can be substituted by other foods or combination of items.
6. Learning Nutrition Information and Ingredients
Along with many recipes, you’ll also find their nutrition data. This helps you figure out how many calories that dish has, its sodium, carb and nutrient content as well.
This helps you limit your calories to stay in good shape. And, it will help you ensure that you get most of the nutrients your body needs.
In addition to the nutrition labels, you can also search data for specific foods. This will help you figure out how much protein there is in chicken, pork and beef. Or, if you’re looking for healthy fats to add to your diet, which foods contain the most omega-3 fatty acids.
Your phone also helps a lot when it comes to produce. Apps like Perfect Produce lets you quickly look up which fruits and vegetables are in season. It also includes useful guides in choosing produce, how to tell if they’re ripe, store and prepare them.
7. Take Pictures of Your Creations
Finally, be proud of your own creations. Use your phone to snap a picture of your dinner and share it with your friends on Instagram. Your phone is fully equipped to take high resolution photos that look amazing, even if you’re not a photographer.
After you’ve taken the picture, you can beautify the image by sharpening it and making sure the colors are right, with your phone’s photo editing tools.
Also, you can take photos of the dishes you’ve ordered when eating out. You can use this to try and recreate the recipe or share it to your friends.