After its most recent update Food Network in the Kitchen now offers a more complete cooking experience. In version 3.0 users can now plan meals and shopping lists, watch how-to videos, and enjoy deeper iOS integration. The iPhone/iPod touch version of the app also enjoyed a complete overhaul, but though the two platforms offer slightly different experience, users only have to pay for the app once, since it is a universal binary.
iPad-toting foodies can still access recipes from their favorite celebrity chefs including Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Paula Deen, but now users can browse through recipes by chef, theme, or collection, so it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for.
Whether the user is updating or downloading the app for the first time Food Network in the Kitchen begins with a brief summary of its features.
The app is divided into three main screens: Chefs, Collections, and a seasonal theme — right now it’s Tailgating. It was easy to browse through the app’s wide variety of offerings.
I checked out the healthy collection, and compared Ellie Krieger’s Beef Stroganoff to Tyler Florence’s version. To compare recipes simply tap the folder icon in the upper-right, then choose the Prepare & Plan icon from the menu at the top of the screen. Comparing recipes is useful to see how long each will take and which is healthier. Ellie Krieger’s Beef Stroganoff takes 3 hours less than Tyler Florence’s to make, and skips the whopping 11 tablespoons of oil and butter. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight.
Download Food Network in the Kitchen from the App Store for $1.99.
What I liked: Small details like being able to increase text size or cross off ingredients as the user goes through a recipe make Food Network in the Kitchen a pleasure to use.
What I didn’t like: The recipes tend to be less healthy than those I typically cook, so even though I enjoyed using Food Network in the Kitchen, it probably won’t be my go-to cooking app. Also, there targeted ads embedded in the app. If I pay for an app I don’t want to see advertising, even if the ad in question features something I’m interested in, which, in this case was Anthony Bourdain’s new show on the Travel Channel.
To buy or not to buy: Food Network in the Kitchen is definitely one of the best values in the App Store. For only $1.99 users can access features often found in pricier apps. The how-to videos alone are easily worth the purchase price. Despite all the new features, Food Network in the Kitchen takes up a mere 15.3 MB, so it won’t hog your storage, or break your pocketbook.
- App Name: Food Network in the Kitchen
- Version Reviewed: 3.0
- Category: Food and Drink
- Developer: Television Food Network
- Price: $1.99