For years I have struggled to find a good method for searching for and managing food recipes, including buying recipe books and magazines, bookmarking webpages, and saving recipes to Evernote. But none of these methods work as well as an iOS app called Paprika Recipe Manager ($4.99).
Paprika has all the ingredients (pun intended) required for a delicious way to search for recipes, manage them into categories, and even prepare grocery lists. I have tried at least three similar mobile and Mac apps, and none of them come close to Paprika. I started off purchasing just the iPhone version ($4.99), but after adding several dozen recipes, purchasing, and downloading the iPad and Mac ($19.99) versions was well worth the extra moolah.
First off, the user interface for Paprika makes this app most useful. When you first start using it, you will probably want to open the built-in browser and navigate to several of your favorite recipe sites, such as Big Oven, Epicurious, and All Recipes. When you find a recipe in a supported site for Paprika, the app will literally filter for the ingredients, directions, and main photo and save that data to your Recipe Library.
Paprika Recipe Manager is supported by at least three dozen recipe sites, including Eating Well, Food & Wine, Simply Recipes, My Recipes, and Taste of Home. If cooking is a challenge for you, like it is for me, you’ll want to spend a couple of hours loading up your app with potential recipes. And of course you can add your own dishes from scratch.
To keep your recipes well-managed, you’ll want to categorize them according to say, Breakfasts, Lunch, Dinner, Soups, Desserts, Appetizers, etc. You can also categorize by your favorite recipes and/or ratings you assign. Paprika also adds the URL source of your recipe downloads, as well as the prep and cooking time if available.
The app works perfect on the iPad because you can view all the needed information for each recipe on a single page. You can edit the list of ingredients and directions for making the recipe fit your tastes.
The developers of Paprika were smart enough to include a feature for a grocery list(s) based on the selected ingredients you choose for a recipe. When you tap on the grocery cart icon, you simply go down the list and uncheck items you don’t want added to your list.
If you think that is cool, the app even organizes your list according to the food aisles in a typical grocery store. And on top of that it keeps a list of the items you purchased and need to buy.
Now if you are serious about eating at home more than eating out, Paprika also includes a weekly meal planner in which you simply tap and then add recipes to the calendar.
And of course the icing on the cake is that you can sync your recipes, grocery list, and meal planner between devices. So if you have Paprika on your Mac, it is super easy to access all that info on your iPhone when you go to the grocery store. In addition, you can email, print, and share your recipes on Facebook and Twitter.
With Paprika, there are no more excuses about not cooking at home. This app even includes a Timer, Measurement Converter, and a preset for scaling ingredients.
I am not an avid cook, but I don’t know what else an app like this needs. It is the crème de la crème of recipe apps. On those days when I and my family pine for something new to eat, I pull out my current list of 86 recipes in Paprika. Now if only Paprika could just cook the food for me, I’d be a happy camper.
If you use or download this app, let us know what you think of it. I’m quite sure you will be pleased.