Food App Review ~ Mark Bittman and How to Cook Everything
The Internet Chef in association with Culinate is giving away 5 copies of the Mark Bittman Food App “How to Cook everything” for Iphone, Ipad or Ipod touch. Simply tell us below what your favorite ‘go to’ meal is when you’re in a hurry and you go in the draw to win!
**This competition is now CLOSED**
Platforms available: Iphone, Ipod Touch and Ipad
Cost: Iphone and Ipod touch $4.99 USD and Ipad $9.99 USD
Who? Mark Bittman is a Professional food journalist. He will be the first one to point out that he is not a chef, but what he lacks in formal qualifications, he makes up for with a doctorate in the cooking school of life. Mark Bittman is a food legend in his own right and is responsible for some wonderful writing and musings including “The minimalist” column in the New York Times which only recently he has given away. Mark Bittman is a cookbook author, columnist and appears regularly on television including The Today Show where he hosts a regular cooking segment. You can also find Mark Bittman on twitter ~ @bittman , watch web cooking videos of his minamilst column or stay in touch via his website Mark Bittman. com. Where does he find the time?
What? There’s an app for that… and this is the app for the hugely popular Mark Bittman cookbook of the same name “How to cook Everything” . A 1000+ page behemoth that some refer to as there cooking bible.
Will this app help me to cook and eat better? Most likely. It has over 2,000 recipes and 400 illustrations. Every single recipe and variation by Mark Bittman that are in the book can be found in the app. The recipes are in depth and the collection inspiring. Click on a recipe and instantly view how many times its been liked by other app users with a big blue thumbs up, as well as time it takes to cook, variations on the theme and an overview of the dish. There are sections here specifically designed for “lessmeatatrians”, those in a rush and those who would like some recipe inspiration.
Look and Feel: This app doesn’t lead with graphics. Its a lot of writing with no accompanying photos. Considering the platform that I am viewing this app on, it would be nice to see the app making the most of its environment with stunning photos and visuals. As they say, a picture says 1,000 words. The feel of this app is that it’s a book that is now an app with some cool features thrown in. It lacks wow factor visually and is better suited for the readers amongst us.
Usability: There is so much going on with Mark Bittman’s app that at first I was a little lost whilst learning how to negotiate my way through it. There is just so much happening that it does take a little getting used to. Unlike a book that starts beneath the front cover, with the app you can tap your way all over the place and since there is so much in here I wasn’t sure where to start. Its practicality lies when you have a food question gnawing away at you. What should I cook for dinner? I have all these zucchini, what should I do with them? How do I make a mayonnaise? The answers are definitely within this app as well as a multitude of variations to keep you entertained.
Functions: This is what sold me on this app. The functions are seriously cool. I’m still a little lost without pictures, but the functions do make up for it. Under Mark Bittman’s own special picks you have recipe inspirations with titles like 22 perfect picnic salads, 10 soups to eat hot or cold or 12 classic pasta dishes.
Not sure what to cook and need a little help? The search function allows you to enter your key ingredients say chicken and leafy greens, what cooking technique you would like to use, like steaming or roasting, and what flavors you would like to see in the recipe ~ maybe Spanish or Asian. Using your search parameters, the app then finds the closet recipe match to your cooking conundrum. I don’t know any cookbook that can do that! The app is also available in metric or imperial measures, has a shopping list functionality and comes with a handy built in timer in the recipe. if the recipe instructs you to bake for 30 minutes, Tap on the 30 minutes and the timer starts to count down for you. Handy!
The home screen consists of the following tabs
Tap on this tab and you are taken to a comprehensive break down of recipe groups. From poultry to eggs, breakfast and dairy through to desserts and salads . These sub sections are then broken up again into sub sub sections like essential recipes and more precise recipe groupings.
This tab is like your ‘how to’ section with kitchen equipment lists, basic cooking techniques explained and ingredient list explanation. the ingredients are explained simply and accessibly and also includes tip on buying, storing and preparing. There’s also handy ingredient substitutions which is one of my favorite aspects of Mark Bittman’s writing.
Mark Bittman’s picks
Mark gives his Top 100 recipes for his prescribed essentials, fast recipes, make -ahead recipes and vegetarian recipes in case you were having trouble deciding what to cook. Not sure whether this comprehension section would answer that question though as the options are endless!
This is a great section as the most popular recipes are chosen by the readers and users of this app. If you like a recipe then you are welcome to give it a big blue thumps up and you can view what everyone else finds useful and tasty too.
These meals are 30 minutes and under.. ready, set, GO!
Tap on this tab and be taken to a screen of black and white illustrations where you can click on a picture and be taught how to core an apple, make tortellini, Remove fins from a fish or string a pea. Once again photos would have been nice here despite a very through written explanation.
As explained above, the search function of this app is very handy, provided of course that there is a recipe amongst the 2,000+ that fits your search parameters. I had to challenge the “How to cook everything” by searching for Sea urchin recipes, a delicacy where I’m from but not one that fits into what Mark Bittman describes is the ‘how to cook everything’ basic cookbook. Sadly, there was no recipe for sea urchin to be found. A slightly esoteric search but had to see if sea urchin was there. It would’ve been interesting to see what recipes this app would’ve brought forward.
Overall: If you liked the book, you can now carry it anywhere you go. If you haven’t got the book, this is a nice way to introduce yourself at the Mark Bittman party. It’s full of lovely, tried and true recipes that have made Mark Bittman a household name. My only nag is the lack of graphics, but I am a visual learner so prefer things with pretty pictures. It’s a serious cookbook for hungry people and will be a welcome addition to your “cookapp” library.
Keep an eye out for: Mark Bittman Vegetarian How to Cook Everything and Mark Bittman Video and cooking channel coming to a computer near you soon!
Want more Food app reviews? Check out the review for Poh’s Kitchen here.
Win your own copy of the Mark Bittman How to cook Everything app here!
The Internet Chef in association with Culinate is giving away 5 copies of the Mark Bittman Food App How to Cook everything for Iphone, Ipad or Ipod touch by Simply telling us below what your favorite go to meal is when your in a hurry, you go in the draw to win!