I cook quite a lot and I have about 20 hardbacks on my sagging cookbook shelf. I'm used to following recipes so I was looking forward to trying an app cookbook for the first time. Lewis recently did a Jamie Oliver iphone review here on Mobot, so I thought it would be good to try and few different apps and see how they compared.
When I first heard of Whiskapp, I thought that given the name, all recipes would involve the use of a whisk, but that's not the case. It's just a pretty straight-forward set of recipes, categorised into four sections – basics, dinner, veg and cake. You can hold a whisk if you want... but it's not necessary.
Navigation-wise, Whiskapp is very easy to use. The layout is clear and concise, and the text is quite easy to read. Each recipe is split into a list of ingredients, the steps to follow, and possible variations.
The popups were a bit annoying. Sometimes in the middle of a recipe you'll get a message like "do you want us to find you a recipe for dinner?" I couldn't figure out how to turn these off, or even if you can. (UPDATE: When you start the app for the first time, it tells you that if you shake the phone it will find a recipe for you related to the time of day. I must have unknowingly shaken it and that's why the pop-ups appeared!)
One thing that is very handy in Whiskapp is the recipe search feature. Simply type in one of the ingredients you have to hand, and you'll be returned a list of things you can make using it. For example, I had some spare chicken skulking in the bottom corner of my fridge, so I did a quick search to see what I could make.
The first Whiskapp recipe I tried was moussaka. I am a huge fan of moussaka (Tesco Finest range!), but I've never tried to make it before. The recipe was good, and the final product was very tasty. I also tried a few more of the basic recipes, like couscous, hollandaise sauce, and shortbread. All were pretty easy to follow, and produced decent results.
One thing I would recommend when you're trying a new Whiskapp recipe is to quickly scan through the steps before you start cooking. I didn't really do this first time out, and at stage three of the mousakka recipe I was faced with having to griddle-fry all my slices of aubergine, which was pretty time consuming.
If I had been reading a regular cookbook, I'd probably have scanned down the page and spotted that one early on in the process and been more prepared for it.
There are some limitations of using an app as a cookbook that can't be avoided. Obviously there's only so much information you can fit on to a small screen, so you simply have to accept that you may have the instructions running over a number of pages. That means having to turn the pages, often with sticky hands, which isn't ideal: white sauce all over an iPhone probably isn't terribly good for it!
Also, my keypad lock kept coming on when I was preparing things for the recipe, and I kept having to pick up my phone and enter the pin code. I was also bending over a lot, trying to read the small text in the app, more so than I would have done using a regular cookbook.
- Easy to use & navigate
- Good choice of recipes
- Cheap app
- Hard to use as a cookbook while cooking
- Irksome if you have a keypad lock
- Annoying popups
Summary: For only £2.99, it's definitely worth it for trying out a few new recipes.
Developer: Whisk Media Ltd
Compatibility: iPhone & iPod Touch
Price: £2.99 @ Appstore