Southern Living Big Book of BBQ – App Review

Part of PadGadget’s continuing series Get Cooking with iPad

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate with friends and family than with some good ol’ southern barbecue?  Well, Time Home Entertainment recently released its app version of Southern Living Big Book of BBQ and as part of our Get Cooking with iPad series, I’m going to give you my take on it.

I’ve been a Southern Living Magazine subscriber for years and one of the things I appreciate in every monthly issue is the beautiful spread of decorating and recipe photos.  The Big Book of BBQ app does not disappoint, delivering a nice collection of barbecue and recipe related photos.  Viewable in both portrait and landscape mode, a swipe of a finger will take you from preparing the grill to cooking dessert and everything in between.

Recipes include a list of ingredients, a breakdown of time requirements (prep time, chill time, grill time, etc.) and directions.  Some recipes also include additional bits of information in audio and video clips, cooking tips, advice on tools to use and extra recipes.  Cooks have easy access to the Table of Contents, can jump from recipe to recipe or access the Southern Living website simply by tapping the bottom of the iPad screen and selecting the desired option.

I found this BBQ app to be a nice colorful cookbook with tasty looking, easy to prepare recipes, much like those included in Southern Living’s numerous traditional cookbooks.  However, while the app includes many of the basic interactive features found in other cooking apps, it has received some criticism from customers for its lack of detailed “how-to” videos and features, like the ability to create shopping lists and mark favorite recipes.  I didn’t miss those features but if you are looking for richer interactive features in your cookbook app, then this might not be for you.  Personally, I think the content looks great and makes up for some of the missing bells and whistles you might find in other cooking apps.

If you’re looking to fire up your grill and enjoy the three day weekend, you can pick up the Southern Living Big Book of BBQ app in the App Store today for $7.99.


What I liked: I found this app easy to maneuver and enjoyed perusing the photos and tasty looking recipes.

What I didn’t like: The videos were short and duplicated in a number of the recipes.  There were also no video demonstrations detailing recipe preparation and cooking, which I find to be a nice bonus.  Although it is not something that bothers me, some users may not like the fact that there is no way to create a grocery list or mark favorite recipes.

To buy or not to buy: At $7.99, this Big Book of BBQ is more expensive than many competing apps and still lacking in a few areas, but if you are a Southern Living fan, you might decide to bite the bullet and make the purchase strictly for the recipes.  If you’re on the fence and still not sure, wait for this one to go on sale and pick it up then.

About Cristi: Contact me via Twitter: @PadGadgetCristi

  • Anonymous

    I picked this app up and I absolutely love it! The “How To BBQ” section is amazing. I learned more about how to properly BBQ meat from that chapter than my old man ever taught me! I will be q-ing up some serious meat this weekend.