Best food apps: Ten of the finest apps out there for all things food

The days of coupon cutting and old school grocery list making are slowly evolving. Shoppers these days use their Smartphones to plot routes to farmer’s markets, to scan products to reveal nutritional ratings and to come up with instantaneous meal ideas.

From cooking measurements to menu design, from the best cocktails to the worst takeout places, here are ten top food industry apps.

Kitchen Math

Even the best chefs may struggle at times with converting weight and volume units and temperatures into understandable or locally used measurements. How much is a “dash?” Is it different than a “pinch?” How do UK cooking measurements convert into US units?

Fluid ounces, cups, quarts, pints, it’s all there. As are some more obscure measurements, like drops, jiggers and shots. The app gives you instantaneous conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and even provides the USDA recommended cooking temps for your favorite meat. A must-have app for cooks.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Price: $0.99

Harvest

Ever seen someone in the grocery store smelling cantaloupe, rapping their knuckles on a watermelon or rolling a lemon around in their hand? They likely need this app. Apple’s Harvest app takes the guesswork out of produce selection.

Harvest provides intelligent tips and techniques for purchasing the best quality fruits and vegetables. The app also includes pesticide residue levels, gives info as to what’s in season based on your area, and educates you on how to properly store your favorite fruits and veggies.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Price: $1.99

Appetites

This app gives you a chef’s point of view and can make even the worst home cook into a serviceable chef. Essentially, the app is a collection of interactive video cooking classes. Cook along with your favorite chef as you master the basics to the complex, from how to properly dice an onion to baking a maple bacon cornbread.

Hundreds of recipes are available. Appetites is the 2012 Webby Award Honoree and the 2011 winner for Best of the iPad. "It makes even the trickiest recipes seem easy," says Bon Appétit magazine.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Price: $9.99

Speakeasy Cocktails

Making the perfect drink requires knowledge of the ingredients and the patience to make them well. Drink connoisseurs and mixologists will love this app.

Maker Open Air Publishing says the following about their Speakeasy Cocktail app: “During Prohibition, getting a stiff drink required passwords and secret passageways. Now, two of the world's top bartenders and leaders in the speakeasy revival, Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz, share their secrets with video tutorials, instructional graphics, and more than 200 recipes, culled from the world's best.”

Take a course in craft cocktailing, a guided tour through a winery and learn tips from the pros. “It's a cocktails recipe book app that will transform the way you see, judge and drink cocktails,” says Gizmodo.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. (You must be at least 17 years of age to download.)
Price: $4.99

Fooducate

Eliminate nutrition label confusion with the Fooducate app. Scan the product’s bar code for a detailed response regarding the nutrition and ingredients. Pros and cons are instantly at your fingertips in an easy to understand rating system.

Each product is graded from an ‘A ‘to a ‘D’ or anywhere in between using “a scientific algorithm based on its nutrition facts and ingredient list.” Calorie information is displayed, as are the percentage of users who like or dislike the product. If your product is not there, photo it and send to Fooducate and they will research it.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free

Seafood Watch

Choose the best seafood at your grocery store, favorite fish market or when dining out. Info on ocean-friendly seafood, based on your regional location, is only minutes away. Search for your favorite seafood by “Best Choice,” “Good Alternative” or “Avoid” rankings. Farm raised or wild caught? When’s the best time to eat clams? Lost when it comes to sushi? This app has all the answers.

A new feature on the app allows users to contribute by adding the names of restaurants and stores in the U.S. where you’ve found sustainable, quality seafood.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free

TrueFood Network

Shockingly, 70 percent of the packaged foods on the shelves of our favorite supermarket contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients. The push for non-GM foods is gaining momentum, and this app provides valuable information on common GM ingredients, brands that contain them and those that do not, and tips on how to avoid GM ingredients.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free

DinnerSpinner

A new recipe is only a wobble away. Give your Smartphone a shake to arrive at a new answer to ‘What’s for dinner?’ Voted by Time magazine as one of the 50 Best Apps of 2012, Allrecipes.com’s DinnerSpinner allows you to build a dinner menu around just one ingredient.

A new feature on the app now allows you to scan ingredients and add them permanently to your spinner. Related recipes will be available to you based on that ingredient. You can also create a mobile shopping list.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free (The ‘Pro’ version is $2.99)

GrubHub

Not in the mood to cook? Not a problem. Search over 20,000 eateries, from takeout at the finest of dining restaurants to the most obscure Chinese delivery joints, all based on where you are right now. If you prefer to search by what you are in the mood for, rather than by what’s near you, enter the cuisine, the restaurant or the individual menu item you are looking for and filter restaurants to see which are currently accepting online orders.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free

Epicurious

Over 30,000 recipes from the award-winning food site Epicurious.com are now in the palm of your hands. From Apple’s iTune store: “Save your favorite recipes, and sync your Favorites list in the app with your online Recipe Box at Epicurious.com. You can also create shopping lists, and e-mail recipes and shopping lists to yourself and friends.”

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.
Price: Free

Image Source: Fooducate.com