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7.16.2016

Wellness App Review: SideChef

Cooking from a recipe can be difficult, especially if you’re using a device to do so. The screen will often go dark or you may be unable to scroll through the recipe at times if you have food on your hands. Good news! There’s an app that can help you cook new recipes without having to look at your device. It is like having your own instructor help you walk through cooking. This free app is called SideChef and it is available for both Android and iOS. Whether you’re an expert in the kitchen or a beginner to the culinary world, this is a great app to check out!

How it works

After you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be asked to register. You can register using Google+, Facebook, or through email. Once you are logged on, it is easy to get started. The homepage of the app shows you featured recipes for the day to spark some creativity or you can search for recipes based on what you’re looking for in that moment. The app also encourages the social aspect of cooking so you can even add your own recipes. There is a plethora of recipes so if you see something you like, but aren’t necessary ready to prepare it, you can add it to your “cookbook” to view at another time.

Choose a recipe you’d like to prepare to see the ingredients, step-by-step instructions and eye pleasing pictures of your food of choice, as well as see who contributed the recipe. Tap “start cooking” to begin the automated instructions. You’ll see a picture illustrating the step as well as hear instructions to guide you (all while your screen stays lit!). Be sure to check your settings and turn voice control on so that you can simply say “next” to progress to the next step. If step requires a timer, one will automatically appear on your device for the required time. Follow the steps to the completion of the recipe!

Pros

  • You can email the list of ingredients for recipes you choose to cook for easy grocery shopping!
  • Visually appealing, easy to use app
  • Cookbook feature is great! You can easily save and access recipes.
  • Some recipes feature tips from the recipe creators
  • The meal plan feature not only helps plan your meals, but will also help you create your shopping list
  • Search for recipes is easy. You can search by region, dish type and other tags (i.e. quick and easy, low salt, vegetarian, spicy, kid-friendly and more!).

Cons

  • The voice which walks you through the recipe is very robotic.
  • The voice control only recognizes the word “next,” so you still have to tap your device to start and stop the timer.
  • Finding your meal plan is easy; finding your cookbook of saved recipes is much tougher.

Overall consensus

This app provides helpful assistance in determining what to cook, what to buy, and how to cook it. Being able to prepare recipes while listening to instructions at your own pace without worrying about getting your device dirty and using built-in timers is really neat. Plus, being able to plan your meals and create lists for the stores helps make the overall cooking experience much easier. As the name implies, it is like having your own personal side chef!