Find recipes and conquer the kitchen with these free Android apps

Whether it's managing a holiday dinner or just getting creative in the kitchen, Android has a lot of tools to help you do the job.

android in the kitchen
Derek Walter

Bring Android to the kitchen

A smartphone or tablet is a perfect kitchen aide. You don’t have to worry about slopping sauces or powders into a laptop keyboard. If you make a mess just wipe that touchscreen clean, or cover it with plastic wrap to keep the gunk off.

Android also has many good apps that will help you find tasty recipes, get cooking advice, and keep all your ingredients in one place for a faster trip to the grocery store. 

Whether you are preparing for a large holiday dinner, hosting a party, or just trying out something new, check out these apps that free you from sifting through an oversized cookbook or wondering where you wrote down grandma’s cookie recipe.

food network in the kitchen

Food Network in the Kitchen

If you're a regular Food Network watcher and have a favorite celebrity chef or two, then the TV channel's app is a must-have. You can browse through recipes that you've caught on shows or glance at specific topics, like dinners, brunch, or desserts. 

The app had a good database of cooking choices, so don't mistake it for just a gimmick to hook you into more Food Network programming. It's neatest feature is that with one tap you can send all the contents of a recipe into a shopping list. Also save favorite meals to your recipe box. Start with Spicy Pop Pulled Pork, it's delicious.

Sign in with a Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to sync your information between Android and iOS if you swap devices often.

Food Network in the Kitchen (Free)

yummly

Yummly

Yummly is a great all-in-one cooking solution, with tons of food suggestions, recipes, and methods for organizing it all inside the app.

Browse through the photo-heavy interface, then tap and swipe the different choices for information about ingrediants or nutrition. There is a "Yum" button on each of the images, which saves it when pressed. It acts similar to the Facebook "like" button, tabulating how many others have recommended it.

It has a rather elegant UI with lots of folding animations and easy-to-follow guidelines. There is also a large set of recipes devoted to those trying out vegeterian, vegan, or other alternative diets.

Yummly (Free)

grocery iq

Grocery IQ

Cooking up good meals requires making a trip to the grocery store for all those ingredients. Grocery IQ is the best Android app for quickly creating a list and syncing it up with others.

You can add items by voice, along with typing it or scanning barcodes, so just tap the microphone and start saying all those things you need while browsing through the refrigerator or pantry (it helps to reduce any background noise so it accurately catches what you say). Sign in to the same account with your spouse, partner, or fellow chef so either person can change up the list. 

Grocery IQ struggles a bit sometimes with specific items. For example, when saying, "Chilli Cheese Fritos" the app suggested three separate list items. So for certain brand names, it may be best to stick to a more generic title and then edit the text afterwards.

The app will also find coupons for you based on the items added to your list. It's one of the few apps that is not only free, but actually puts money into your pocket.

Grocery IQ (Free)

cookpad

Cookpad Recipes

This is a well-designed recipe app with a lot of different options. It has a meal planner, shopping list, recipe box, and a breakdown of different food categories. Create an account with Google or Facebook to save all your tasty information.

Along with the digital recipe box capabilities of Cookpad, it includes a link to the active user forums, where you will find many threads about cooking strategies, equipment suggestions, recipes, and even food photography.

The redesign was part of a rebrand—it used to be Allthecooks before being acquired by Cookpad. Cookpad rolls off the tongue better, and has a better method for tracking down good meal ideas.

Cookpad Recipes (Free)

foodspotting

Foodspotting

Foodspotting is a great app if you take culinary inspiration from dishes you see out and about. Restaurants and dinner parties are great ways to pick up ideas, so the app lets you "foodspot" by documenting and sharing with others.

It has a social-network element to it, where you can create a profile and follow others to keep tabs on their favorites. Use the Explore section to see what other meals are out there - though you're likely to get hungry doing so.

The only downside is the interface defiitely needs an overhaul. The service is still pretty active, so hopefully the devs will impress us all with a Material Design ready theme soon.

Foodspotting (Free)

must have recipes

Must-Have Recipes from BHG

Better Homes and Gardens has transitioned rather well from its heavy, oversized cookbooks to the world of mobile apps.

Its Android version of its app has a strong database of recipes, shopping lists, and detailed directions. The latter breaks down each of the recipes step-by-step, including nutrition facts, tips, and make-ahead instructions.

While the app is free, there are in-app upgrades sprinkled throughout if you are tempted by additional recipe categories like soups, fall baking, or 30-minute dinners. 

The interface could use a touchup, as the sidebars get too small when using it in portrait mode.

Must-Have Recipes from BHG (Free)

google now recipes

Google Search

Don't overlook some of Google's built-in Android tools. Google search does an excellent job when searching for recipes, pulling out snippets like user reviews and cooking times in the results page.

If you're using Google Now, the app will do some searching for you. The digital assistant will offer up cards with other recipes out of your search history.

It's a rather odd implementation as looking for a recipe is usually tied to a specific dinner or event. So if you already made the meal and don't need to find alternatives, just swipe away the card when it pops up. Unless you're always on the lookout for new methods of making pulled pork.

Google Search (Free)

evernote food

Evernote Food

Evernote wants to help you remember everything. Recipes is a good area to put this philosophy to work, as it's easy to acquire a large number of different favorite meals.

Evernote Food breaks this down into categories to keep your recipes, favorite restaurants or meals all organized and easily accessible. You can browse through suggested dinners or restaurants with its Foursquare-powered database, or capture your own and send them to Evernote with the company's army of browser plug-ins or mobile apps. 

You'll need an account to put the app to work, which will also create a folder to connect what you save in Evernote Food to the main mobile or desktop app. 

Evernote Food (Free)