You don't need to meticulously create a plate of deconstructed celeriac foam with sautéed liver (finished with a parmesan tweel) to impress your guests.
Just fire up some of these cooking apps, and you'll be whipping up tasty, wholesome nosh in no time. Unless, of course, you have a nap, burn everything to a crisp, set off the smoke alarm, and spend the rest of your evening combing the streets for your cat who ran away in all the commotion.
But what are the chances of that actually happening?
1. Kitchen Stories
Coming across like someone shoved a glossy foodie mag inside your device, Kitchen Stories is all gorgeous design and lush photography. The recipes are easy to follow, with huge photos alongside steps. Video guides help you nail tricky procedures, and they blissfully lack an annoying chef adding a soupçon of ‘personality’ to the mix.
Download for iPhone
2. Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Recipes
Speaking of annoying chefs, Jamie Oliver’s been apping it up for years. Ultimate Recipes is a premium take on his iOS app, providing 600 mouth-watering recipes for a fiver. You get loads of pics, short video tips from the master, and unintentionally comical semi-random nuggets of advice when working your way through a recipe. Pukka! Salt! Etc!
It might have an uninspiring interface and access to fewer recipes than BigOven and Yummly, but Epicurious makes our list because it still houses more dishes than you could ever hope to eat (35,000) and doesn’t faff about sending you to mobile websites for directions. The search is smart, too – you can filter by food types and allergies.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to pick and choose from dozens of online recipe sources, but your browser bookmarks are raging out of all control, get Paprika. You browse sites, pilfer recipes (which Paprika intelligently imports), and can edit the results if some kind of heathen has said to use vegetable oil instead of butter.
Given that many people love their stomach more than humans, it was inevitable an app would combine food and Tinder. In Tender, you rifle through recipe cards, swiping left to discard and right to add one to your cookbook. The app’s underpinned by a social network, but mostly it’s about swiping and feeling guilty when ditching healthy dishes.
6. Napkin Recipes
More tech demo than full-fledged app, Napkin’s worth a download to glimpse the future of cooking apps. Each step has a photo but is also read aloud; you can talk back, too, skipping steps and setting timers without covering your iPhone in random food. (Yes Chef for iOS runs with the basic idea – and has 350,000 recipes – but with bare-bones steps.)