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Get Your Cook On
Photo/William Brinson, Prop styling/Peter Tran

Whether you’re trying to perfect your technique for Beef Bourguignon or you just can’t seem to boil an egg, the world of culinary apps brings help to your kitchen. Peruse the market and you’ll stumble on guides to worldly cuisines (Peruvian, Cajun and Nordic, to name a few) and recipe books catering to cooks who are time-pressed, venturesome grillers, vegan eaters, South Beach devotees and Paleo dieters alike. You’ll also happen on programs specializing in simulated cookery, for those who prefer to fry their bacon virtually.

While some apps boast thousands of recipes, others help you nail down just one. Take for example the egg-timer apps—and there are several—which determine how long to boil your egg based on shell size, refrigerator temperature and altitude. (Download an altimeter app for help with that last stat.)

A few programs will even prove useful to both the kitchen novice and culinary expert. Glossaries, like the aptly titled Cooking, decipher the meanings of terms like julienne and chiffonade in a pinch. They’ll also convert grams into ounces, and suggest substitutions when you don’t have a required ingredient on hand.

Other guides are specific to a particular kind of food. Fromage, for example, describes 750 cheeses. Pocket Barista specializes in coffee and can aid in translating tricky espresso terminology while coaching on your macchiato technique using graphics and illustrated diagrams.

Apps like Herbs+ and iSPICE navigate the world of seasoning. With flavor profiles, images and recipe suggestions for dozens of herbs and spices, you’ll never need to ponder the difference between marjoram and oregano again. You’ll also have a leg up when you want to add a certain zing to your favorite barbecue rub.

Weber’s On the Grill is a very useful app for outdoor cooking. As well as providing several hundred recipes, it gives you tips and instructional videos. What’s more, it serves as a quick reference guide, breaking down cooking times and temperatures by the cut of meat and its thickness or weight.

Still feel overwhelmed at the idea of putting pan to stove? Download OpenTable and there will be at least one thing you can make: a last-minute restaurant reservation at one of the 15,000 restaurants it serves.

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