4 Ways to Turn Your iPad into a Handy Kitchen Accessory

Written By John Richards on Saturday, August 18, 2012 | 7:07 AM

4 Ways to Turn Your iPad into a Handy Kitchen Accessory Whether you're a cooking novice or plan to try out for the next season of Top Chef, there are lots of reasons to tuck your iPad into your apron pocket for your next kitchen adventure. Consult cooking-themed apps to inspire and educate you, entertain yourself with music or a movie, or catch up on current events by listening to the evening news. Concerned about the potentially disastrous combo of delicate gadgets and kitchen messes? Not to worry; we've got you covered there, too. Read on to learn why it makes sense to incorporate your iPad into your culinary routine.

les epicurious app ipad scrnsht 300
1. Recipe resources
As you probably know, there are dozens of iPad apps centered around cooking. If you've already got one (or seven), it's obvious why your iPad belongs in the kitchen with you — you want to be able to consult all that info as you work.

If your app collection doesn't extend to cuisine yet, you're in for a treat. The award-winning Epicurious app (download Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List for iPad and iPhone) is a good starter kitchen app; it's a massive database of recipes, searchable by keyword and ingredient. It's also free. If you already have an extensive recipe collection of your own, try The Recipe Box (download The Recipe Box for iPad, $3.99), which lets you enter and organize your recipes.
For a last-minute meal idea, hit Google Recipes on the web, which lets you search by dish name or ingredients. You can filter results by calories, prep time, and ingredients. It's especially nice for moments when you need to eat ASAP and downloading a new app (and learning its interface) sounds like too much trouble.

les pandora 3002. Music, radio, and podcasts
Some people (such as Julia Child) find cooking to be a spellbinding adventure all on its own. Many of us, though, view it as a bit of a chore and would welcome a little distraction as we chop and sauté. Enter your iPad. If you have wireless internet at home (which, as an iPad owner, you probably do), you're ready to go. (3G service works, too, though you might have to pay more attention to your usage depending on the terms of your plan.) iPad (and iPhone) apps Pandora and Spotify offer the chance to extend your listening beyond your own music collection, as do Mog and iHeart Radio.

If you'd like to catch up on world events as you cook, check out the BBC's online radio broadcasts or National Public Radio. And if you subscribe to any podcasts, what better time to catch up on them than when you're stuck in the kitchen? Many local radio stations stream their programming online, too, so if you're an oldies fan or want to listen to the college basketball game, it's worth a look to see whether you can tune in via iPad.

3. Movies and TV

Remember that tiny TV with rabbit ears your grandma had in the corner of her kitchen? When it's not in use as a cookbook or a radio, your iPad can serve the same purpose. Cooks who are starved for entertainment can watch movies from their Netflix queue (download Netflix for iPad) or catch the latest episode of Modern Family. Note that this is best reserved for those who are already confident in the kitchen; if you think you'll need to consult your recipe apps to make sure you know how to boil an egg, it's probably smart to keep them easily accessible.

4. Practical tips
And that leads us to the "You'll poke your eye out!" portion of the article. In many ways, the kitchen might seem like the worst possible place you could put your iPad, besides maybe the bathtub. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a little caution and common sense, you (and your iPad) should be just fine.

les original ipad kitchen stand
If you plan to make your iPad a kitchen fixture, it might be worth investing in a stand; this way, the screen is upright for easy viewing, and you're less likely to splatter it with cake batter by accident. There are lots of models to choose from, including a standard tablet stand, a kitchen-friendly version designed to suspend your iPad over the counter for easy reading (pictured), and a model that lets you stick your iPad to the side of the fridge. If you'd rather take your chances, at least choose a spot for your iPad to sit that's out of range of the faucet, the stove top, and the cutting and mixing area. Happy cooking!

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