Food and smartphones can be a fantastic combination, and I don’t mean you should stir-fry your Droid. Some of the more recent Android smartphones have large screens (4.3”), and some even come with their own kickstand that lets you prop them up for easy viewing while cooking. All that’s left now is finding a good recipe app that can take you through the cooking process with style.
I’m happy to say that ChefTap perfectly fits that bill… and for a price that can’t be beat. Let’s see what makes it so good.
This is what you see when you first launch ChefTap. By default, the app is populated by recipes coming from Cheftap.com itself, but one of its key strengths is its ability to parse recipes from just about anywhere else and import them into its own interface. We’ll be looking at that ability later, but for now, let’s see what it can do with a recipe that’s already been parsed.
First of all, there are two possible views for the recipe feed: “Pictures” and “List”. The list view looks like this:
You can also star recipes, and view only recipes in certain categories (you need to set up the categories beforehand, though). Now let’s see what an individual recipe looks like… Say, for Cucumber Lime Gimlets:
As you can see, each recipe has two views. The Recipe view looks great for reading the recipe beforehand, when you’re still trying to make up your mind whether or not it’s right for you. The Step-by-step view is for when you’ve already decided to cook, and want to use your phone to guide you through the process. In portrait mode, it looks like this:
When you flip the device over, the app switches into landscape mode, which also includes a list of ingredients:
Once you’ve started cooking, you don’t have to stay within the same recipe. For example, sometimes you may have something in the oven, and want to browse around looking for other ideas. In that case, ChefTap pins your recipe in a “Now Cooking” category, making it easy to access later:
Now, let’s look at ChefTap’s famed recipe import facilities:
You can sync it with your Allrecipes or Epicurious account, which is great. But you can also just browse to any recipe site on your device and share the recipe with ChefTap, and let it figure it out. We’ve recently published a list of 5 awesome food blogs, so let’s test ChefTap with one of those. I like The Pioneer Woman Cooks, so let’ go there on my Android phone:
Okay, so this is a recipe for homemade cinnamon bread. Now let’s try pushing it into ChefTap and see what happens:
You simply share the page (the same way you do for emailing it, for example), and select ChefTap. That’s it! Now let’s go to ChefTap and see what happened:
The recipe appears in the list with all of the other ones, including an image:
Tapping it brings up a view of its ingredients and steps, and includes a direct link to the source:
In this particular case, ChefTap parsed the recipe perfectly, slicing it neatly into ingredients and instructions at exactly the right spot:
This is what the imported recipe looks like in Step by Step view:
Let’s say “1 cup Milk” was actually a step, and tap it to “correct” it:
You can easily change it to a step, title or a subtitle.
ChefTap is impressive. For a free app, it’s darn near perfect. The only two things I feel are missing is a way to increase the font size in the Step-by- step view, and a built-in unit converter. This particular recipe goes by cups, but some bakers like to weigh their ingredients (they say it’s more accurate that way). A way to convert cups into grams (or whatever weight unit you’re used to) would be an obvious feature, especially given ChefTap’s already impressive parsing ability.
Do you have a favorite recipe app for Android? Tell me about it in the comments!