Best Ways to Use the iPad in the Kitchen

How the iPad can help you out in the kitchen

Man cooking using a tablet for recipes
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Whether cooking is one of your passions or a chore, it's good to have a helper in the kitchen. The iPad may not be suited for everything, but it can help out in a number of different ways, including providing recipes and making sure you get them just right. It can also alert you when your steak is perfectly medium-rare. Best of all, it can do all this while providing nice background music for your kitchen endeavors. 

Measure Perfectly Every Time With a Connected Scale

One of the most practical tools in the kitchen is a scale. The Drop connected kitchen scale talks to an iPad and displays weights and measures on its huge, easy-to-read screen. While this gadget won't actually portion out the ingredients, it does keep you informed in real-time.

Drop, a connected scale for the kitchen
Drop

Drop is two things: a scale and an app. The scale measures how much the ingredient weighs and sends that information to the iPad. The app contains a library of interactive recipes that you can customize based on portions and the number of people being served, and it also helps you complete the recipe.

The combination of the Drop scale and app makes it possible to use a single mixing bowl. As you add ingredients, Drop remembers how much the bowl weighed previous to your current ingredient, so it can accurately alert you when you've added enough of that ingredient. Drop also keeps track of baking time.

Drop isn't the only connected scale on the market, but it is one of the few that can actually help cook dinner without poor app design getting in the way. 

Cook Just Right With Thermometers

Sunny days are great for barbecuing, but you don't have to be tied to the grill when you could be enjoying the day. Connected thermometers keep track of steaks or pork shoulders without constantly hovering over the grill to check it.

Weber's iGrill Thermometers

These temperature-reading devices monitor four pieces of meat at the same time, and the iGrill Mini keeps track of a single piece, which is perfect for a pork roast or whole chicken.

Supermechanical's Range

In addition to a meat probe, Supermechanical offers a version with a round tip for brewing or making candy. These don't always extend to the oven. While some smart thermometers suggest they can be used with baking, they don't all manage without some connectivity or durability issues.

Supermechanical Range meat probe thermometer
Supermechanical

Avoid Spills with an iPad Kitchen Stand

While scales and thermometers can enhance iPad use in the kitchen, don't neglect the tablet. It becomes more useful if you get it a stand. A good stand holds your iPad in place so that you can clearly read the recipe on the screen, save counter space, and keep your hands free to cook.

Prepara iPrep

Prepara makes an excellent, affordable stand. Not only does it have a slot for holding a stylus, but it also has rubber grips to keep the unit from slipping on marble or granite countertops.

Prepara iPrep tablet kitchen stand
Prepara

Techmatte iPad Stand

If you are mainly concerned that the iPad stays at a readable angle without spending too much money, the Techmatte stand is a solid pick. It supports multiple angles and will handle any size of iPad.

Protect Your Screen With a Stylus

With all of the chopping, kneading, and squishing that happens in the kitchen, you probably shouldn't operate your iPad with those fingers. And washing your hands every time you need to flip a digital page or launch an app can become bothersome, which is why a stylus for the kitchen can be a handy investment. A stylus lets you manipulate the screen without touching it with your finger. 

The Cosmonaut iPad stylus
Studio Neat

The iPrep stand comes with a stylus and stylus holder. But if you go a different route, you shouldn't skip this component. Picking out a stylus for the kitchen is different than picking one for drawing. While the Apple Pencil is awesome, the price tag is overkill for the kitchen, and you wouldn't want to risk the electronics in it with messy hands. Instead, go for a low-tech solution.

Adonit Mark

The Mark makes it to the top of the list for one major reason. It's cheap. If a stylus is held with messy hands, it may wear out quickly, and you don't want to keep replacing a pricier option.

Studio Neat Cosmonaut

While more expensive than the Adonit Mark, Studio Neat's stylus has a wider grip that can make it easier to use with powder on your hands.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo

This one is both a stylus and a regular pen, so if you find that you need a pen-and-paper combo for the kitchen, this is a good way to go.

Find and Organize Your Recipes

The iPad not only has an app for almost every need; it's also a great e-reader. You should be able to find your favorite cookbook in the iBooks store, and if you have a collection built up on your Kindle, you can read Kindle books on your iPad. But here are some apps to look for.

Big Oven

Perhaps the best recipe app on the iPad, Big Oven provides access to over 35,000 recipes. That should be enough for most families. It also has a good interface that won't get in the way when trying to find your next meal, tags your favorites, and has a shared grocery list.

BigOven cooking app screenshot
BigOven

Sidechef

Sidechef is designed with the cooking-challenged in mind. The recipes are laid out in step-by-step style, and videos will help you out. 

Tender

This app is basically Tinder for food. It's a fun app and it's also useful. Swipe through recipes to discover new dishes and decide on dinner.

Paprika Recipe Manager

Sort of like Pinterest for food, this recipe app grabs recipes from the web and keeps them in one place. You can also plan out meals on your calendar, set multiple timers to help while you are cooking, create grocery lists, and more. You can also make your own recipes from scratch. And it's available on most other platforms, so you can get to your recipes on both your iPad and your Mac.