Practical Ways to Enhance Your Cooking Experience Through Tech

We live in an age with advantages our grandparents never dreamed of. Technology is constantly opening new doors for anyone who loves to cook--no more leafing through newspaper clippings or handwritten notes to dive deeper into culinary explorations. To take advantage of all the tech available today, here are some tips to keep in mind as you broaden your palate and hone your skills in the kitchen:

Use your smartphone.

It might be hard to beat some of the recipes that have been passed down through your family over several generations. Nonetheless, there are more convenient ways to learn about new dishes these days. With the wealth of apps and websites available, you can discover countless new cuisines and find detailed directions on how to make them part of your personal menu.

However, when using your smartphone to find recipes, plan meals, shop for ingredients, and do other cooking-related tasks, pay attention to how much data you're using, especially if you're in an area without Wi-Fi. Overage charges can drastically raise your phone bill, and that counteracts some of the money-saving advantages of eating in.

Take advantage of great apps.

There are so many apps on the market today that can help food lovers, amateur chefs, and busy parents alike with everything from managing recipes to meal planning, from grocery shopping to cooking. Here are a few of our favorites to spice up your cooking:

BigOven -- This app offers more than 350,000 different recipes to choose from. It also ranks recipes by popularity and allows you to search for specific types of recipes.

Yummly -- This app also has plenty of recipes to discover, along with video guides on how to make them. It's especially helpful for people with food allergies, as you can narrow your search to foods that accommodate specific allergies.

Grocery iQ -- As the name suggests, this app is primarily for grocery shopping, and it helps you shop smarter by adding items to future grocery lists. All you have to do is take a picture of the item or scan the barcode. 

SideChef -- Out of all the cooking apps on the market, GeekWire points out this one might have the most bells and whistles. Among other things, it allows you to access cooking instructions and connected smart appliances with your voice.

Cook your favorite restaurant dishes.

One benefit of dining at local restaurants is that many of the dishes are created specifically for those restaurants. If you have some favorites that you would like to try at home, St. Louis Mag suggests asking the chef for a recipe next time you eat at the restaurant. You could also try contacting them through social media or email. 

Even if you can't get all the recipes you want, you can use the restaurant menus as a starting point for ideas to research. Food52 recommends letting your palate be your guide so you can savor those menu delights at home without the hefty price tag. 

Stock your kitchen with handy devices.

One of the most impressive types of cooking devices to surface in the past decade is the sous vide machine. While there are many different brands and forms, all sous vide machines are designed to do just what it sounds like--enable amateur chefs to cook with the sous vide method. This method used to be available only to chefs at high-end restaurants, which is why it's currently one of the hottest trends among foodies.

Other devices to consider adding to your kitchen include:

  • A digital assistant (e.g., Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.)
  • A Wi-Fi slow cooker
  • A digital thermometer
  • An automated pressure cooker

No matter what level of chef you are, you can grow your cooking expertise by using technology. Remember to make sure your data plan is sufficient, and take advantage of some of the helpful food apps on the market. Lastly, ask for recipes from your favorite local restaurants, and look into all the great devices that can boost your kitchen experience. Bon appetit!

Image via Burst