Cooking

Hold the iPhone

7 ways to use your iPhone in the kitchen
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Image: Courtesy of SparkPeople, Inc.

Even the best food could use a dash of ones and zeros. Geek out with us as we explore the intersection of food and technology this month.

It's no secret that we're all glued to our smartphones every second of the day, and the time we spend in the kitchen is no exception. According to a report from Google, "59 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds head to the kitchen with either their smartphones or tablets."

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Instead of fighting the urge to reach for your device every 10 seconds, why not scratch the itch and make it worthwhile? Use it to help you cook, rather than distract you. Here are seven ways to use your iPhone in the kitchen.

① Scale Up
Let an app like Kitchen Scale help you convert volume measurements into grams, ounces or pounds. Any good chef and especially good bakers weigh their ingredients, but many recipes give quantities in only tablespoons and cups. Use this app to choose your ingredient and convert the quantity, and then weigh out your ingredients on your scale. (Because we know you have a kitchen scale.)

② Manage Your Recipes
Between Pinterest, website-specific bookmark functions and your inbox, there a thousand places to save recipes you want to try. Choose one app, like Paprika, to keep everything in one place.

③ Use Your Phone as a Timer
This one's obvious, but have you actually employed the timer function? If you're cooking multiple dishes at once, or even just one dish, it's easy to lose track of time. Hit the timer and you can focus on other things, instead of trying to remember and inevitably forgetting to check the oven.

④ Substitute with Ease
With Substitutions, it's really easy to swap in ingredients if you don't have something on hand or want to make changes to a recipe. Switching up ingredients isn't always straightforward, especially in baking, so let apps like this one be your guide.

⑤ Get to Know Your Produce
If you want to know what's in season, how to tell if a fruit or vegetable is ripe, or how to cut and store your produce, an app like Perfect Produce is for you. Perfect Produce also contains nutrition advice and recipes.

⑥ Watch Videos
With the bounty of quick, instructional food videos these days, this one's a no-brainer. Tasting Table's videos walk you through everything from dinner recipes to food hacks and culinary techniques. We know you're ogling over videos like these while you're at your desk, but since your phone is in the kitchen with you anyway, use the videos to walk you through the process as you cook.

⑦ Study Up
If you're confused about a cooking term or ingredient, use a trusty culinary app like Escoffier Cook's Companion to clear things up. Escoffier, which also contains a timer, measurement converter and lists for your ingredients and equipment, happens to be a jack of all trades, but others, like Food Dictionary, are more focused.

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