Paprika App HeroSource: Android Central

I have been cooking and baking for years and consider myself a pretty experienced cook. However, there are still plenty of apps I rely on to use in the kitchen for recipes and cooking assistance. Some of them provide some great recipes with star ratings and tips from other home cooks and bakers, while others serve as a perfect digital cookbook where you can store your favorite recipes and even upload your own. Others provide inspiration and even step-by-step videos if you want to follow along to make sure you get every step right. Here are some of the best of the best when it comes to cooking and recipe apps.

Best Overall

Paprika Recipe Manager 3

Paprika App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

My hands-down, go-to app in the kitchen is this one, which I have been using for years to store my favorite recipes. It's super-easy to save a recipe from a website without all of the fluff that might come with it, including long, drawn-out intros from the passionate home cooks, ads, and extra detail. This app automatically strips all of that out, keeping only the necessities: an image, the ingredient list, and directions, along with the ability to scale the recipe to your needs.

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It's worth upgrading to the paid version, which is $4.99 and allows you to store more than 50 recipes as well as use the sync feature that will automatically recognize a website with a recipe and ask if you want to save it. You can also add a Save Recipe button to your web browser and tap this any time you find a good recipe to have it automatically save to the app.

In the free version, you can still use the in-app browser to search for recipes and save them to the app in the consistent format, as well as manually add your own recipes, complete with photos. The app also has a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar for meal planning.

Best Overall

Paprika Recipe Manager 3

Easily save your favorite recipes

With one click, you can save all of your favorite recipes and strip out all of the useless detail surrounding the recipe from a website, keeping everything in a clean, organized manner.

Best for Instant Pot Users

Copy Me That

Copy Me That App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

Visit any online forum or group for fans of the Instant Pot multicooker, and you'll find this app among the top-recommended ones to use. But it's useful for anyone who wants to save and organize recipes of all kinds in a neat and organized fashion.

You can easily copy a recipe from any website without all of the extra information that you don't really need. You can also add a Copy Me That button to the Chrome browser for one-click adding to the app. Everything can be synced to all Android Google devices.

Additionally, it has a shopping list and meal planner section. You can add your own photos and easily search through recipes to see what others are sharing in the community as well.

Best for Instant Pot Users

Copy Me That

Favorite among Instant Pot users

Instant Pot users or not, this app is a winner for neatly organizing all of your favorite recipes from across the web, noting just the bare bones essentials without all of the fluff.

Best for Inspiration

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Allrecipes App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

The app leverages the 30 million home cooks in the AllRecipes user base, a favorite for me when searching for recipes. If a recipe has a 4-star or above rating with at least a few hundred reviews, you can pretty much guarantee it will be foolproof.

If you aren't sure what to cook, this app has a really neat feature: shake your device, and options will scroll across the screen like a slot machine to provide inspiration. For example, when spinning and getting Bread for the Dish Type, Legumes for the Ingredient, and 45 minutes for the Ready In time, three matches come up for Ecuadorian Huevos Rancheros, Chickpea and Grape Muffins, and Chickpea Cinnamon Pancakes, all recipes not likely to be on the radar.

You can also manually search by keyword, ingredients to include or exclude, dietary needs, or how long it takes to prepare, get step-by-step videos to walk you through how to make things, and save your favorite recipes and grocery lists. You can even see what ingredients are on sale near you and get recipe ideas when you walk into select stores.

Best for Inspiration

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Totally inspired cooking

The cool dinner spinner will flip through dish types, main ingredients, and ready in time to provide you with creative matching recipes, encouraging you to explore beyond the usual.

Best for Step-by-Step Videos

Tasty

Tasty App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

This app is where you can find all of those cool sped-up videos you see people sharing on their social media channels of that recipe you swear you want to try one day because it looks super easy. Follow along with the more than 31,000 recipes and see the unique and signature overhead videos that show just the person's hands and the ingredients going into the pot or mixing bowl.

You can use filters to customize results based on if you only want to see vegetarian dishes, for example, only want to see gluten-free dishes or want to explore low-carb alternatives. There are also meal recommendations.

For those outside of the U.S., there are metric values as well. The neatest part of this app, however, is that it will keep your phone awake while it's open so you don't have to use your grubby fingers to unlock your screen or change your unlock settings whenever you cook.

Best for Step-by-Step Videos

Tasty

Watch food as it's made

Easy-to-follow overhead view videos that show the step-by-step instructions to creating a culinary masterpiece at home.

Best for Vegans

Oh She Glows

Oh She Glows App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

This is the go-to recipe app for vegans. Designed by the New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon, the app includes plant-based recipes you'll also find on her award-winning blog, OhSheGlows.com.

But what really sets the app apart, aside from the completely vegan options, is the absolutely stunning photography that accompanies each recipe, showcasing the delicious plant-based food. There are more than 150 recipes in all, the majority of which are also gluten-free. Along with each recipe, you'll also get detailed nutritional information.

You can filter recipes by dietary restrictions, allergies, and dish type, and strike ingredients out as you cook so you don't lose track. There's also an anti-lock so the app won't go to sleep while you're in the middle of following directions.

Best for Vegans

Oh She Glows

Satisfy your vegan diet

For those who have decided to go vegan, this is a solid app to find delicious dishes with bright and beautiful imagery that will make even the biggest carnivore salivate.

Best for Customization

Yummly

Yummly App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

The app starts out by asking you to set your personal taste and nutritional preferences, so it can create a profile for you and find matching recipes, asking questions like what cuisines are your favorites, what foods you dislike, and select items for a virtual pantry. There are more than two million recipes, each of which comes with step-by-step instructions, including video tutorials, timers, and other handy tools.

Set auto-filters for tastes, allergies, and diets through the dominant search engine, and get recommendations as well. Once you find a recipe you like, save it using the "Yum" button, or add the recipe to your shopping list, with items categorized by aisle to make the trip quick and easy.

The app also has a neat scheduling feature that allows you to set the time when you want to eat, and it will send a gentle nudge when it's time to start cooking. It also works with a voice engine so you can say "Hey Yummly" and give a command, like asking it to pause or rewind a video.

Best for Customization

Yummly

Powerful search engine and personal preferences

With an incredibly powerful search engine, you can find just about any recipe in this app and have search results tailored to your taste buds.

Best for Novices

Cookpad

Cookpad App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

For those just getting into cooking and baking, this app has an abundance of recipes – over three million of them – from which to choose alongside all of the necessary instructions. But what makes it really cool is that its social aspect, which allows everyday home cooks to share their recipes, then follow along when others make them to see what changes they make and what they think about it.

Keep a list of all of the recipes you've made by marking them as "cooked," and use a cooking log to keep track of changes you made to the recipe, like adding more salt, doubling the lemon zest, or increasing the cooking time by five minutes. People can see who is cooking their recipes in real-time and follow the conversation to see what you are doing differently. Once you get the hang of things, start sharing your own recipes.

You can filter by food title and ingredients and use a daily meal planner. The app, available in more than 20 languages, is great for helping aspiring cooks improve and build confidence.

Best for Novices

Cookpad

Learn from others

Get better at cooking by using recipes from this social community and sharing your own to get feedback from others who make them.

Best for the Barbecue

Weber iGrill

Weber Igrill App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

This is the grillmaster's app, which is used alongside iGrill gadgets like the Bluetooth thermometer. Connect the device to the app, and you can use timers and monitor the temperature of your cook. It even has a preset temperature library with an ideal temperature for different cuts of meat and fish.

You can use preset temperatures or your own custom ones and set multiple timers at once so one person can have their medium-rare steak while the kids can get them well done. Even enter the thickness of the meat to ensure the right calculations and cook doneness. Export temperature graph data so you can save it for next time.

The app also has a handy grocery list area and more than 300 recipes along with a Recipe of the Week if you want to get creative and try something new.

Best for the Barbecue

Weber iGrill

Grill like a pro

An iGrill Bluetooth product is required, but once paired with this app, you'll be the talk of the neighborhood thanks to your professional-level grilling skills.

Best for Celebrity Chef Guidance

Food Network Kitchen

Food Network Kitchen App Group LifestyleSource: Food Network Kitchen

If you have ever wanted to learn how to cook or make the signature dishes of your favorite celebrity chefs, this app is the way to do it. While the free version provides access to 30,000 recipes across multiple devices, it's the paid version that really adds value.

For $40/yr. (60-day free trial)You can access step-by-step cooking classes from your favorite Food Network chefs, culinary experts, award-winning chefs, cookbook authors, and even surprise celebrity guests. Get exclusive recipes and hundreds of on-demand classes you can follow along with at your own pace, rewinding and skipping as needed.

You can also feel good about the purchase as every subscription sees up to 100 meals go to kids living with hunger through a partnership with the charitable organization No Kid Hungry.

Best for Celebrity Chef Guidance

Food Network Kitchen

Coaching from your favorite chefs

Cook with your favorite celebrity chef in the kitchen with the upbeat step-by-step cooking classes in this app.

Best for Leftovers

BigOven

Big Oven App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

We've all been there: you have a fridge full of leftovers, and you're trying to figure out what to do with them instead of throwing everything in the trash. One of the neat features of this app is a section that helps you figure that out. Type in up to three ingredients you have left in your fridge and see some ideas of what you can make. For example, I added chicken, rice, and mozzarella cheese and received recipe suggestions for items like white chicken and cheese broccoli casserole and east risotto.

You can also get recipe ideas from other users, including friends, family members, and bloggers, save and share recipes, and clip them from favorite websites. Another handy feature is the ability to create a shared grocery list that everyone in the family can access.

Most features are free, but you can get more via a Pro membership ($21.92/yr. or $2,17/mo., both with a 30-day free trial.), including recipes that cater specifically to specific diets using advanced search filters, nutritional insights, and unlimited recipe uploads.

Best for Leftovers

BigOven

A creative way to use leftovers

Type in up to three leftover ingredients, and the app will provide creative suggestions of what you can make with them.

Best for Aspiring Home Cooks

Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

If you feel like you have developed a talent you want to share with others, use this app to upload your own recipes to share with the community of users, including photos, videos, and step-by-step instructions.

The app has thousands of free recipes, tips, and articles through which you can peruse as well, along with instructional videos and skills tutorials. Save favorite recipes in your own personalized digital cookbook.

A grocery list will be automatically generated based on recipes you choose, and you can convert measurements as needed, right in the app. Once you've made a recipe, rate and share it with others to keep the conversation, and the cooking, going.

Best for Aspiring Home Cooks

Kitchen Stories

Show off your skills

Create and upload your own recipes, complete with photos and instructional videos, so others in the community can try your recipes and weigh in.

Best for Creativity

Pinterest

Pinterest App New LifestyleSource: Christine Persaud / Android Central

While this app isn't just for cooking and recipes, it's a great resource when you're looking for a show-stopping dish for your next gathering, kids event, or themed party. Find everything from creative ways to cut sandwiches that kids will love to the best way to serve cute apps or a creative way to make your fruit kebabs pop. I used this app, for example, to find a recipe for adorable little strawberry and cream cheese Santa Claus apps for a Christmas party.

While there are posts from companies and brands, a lot of it is homemade so you can find things you won't find anywhere else. There are also different tips and tricks for how to do things like keep eyes in place on homemade animal cookies or how to shape a cookie or sandwich into a car.

It's also a great site to use to share ideas of your own with others and just browse through pages and pages of results to find inspiration.

Best for Creativity

Pinterest

Show off food design and creative talents

Pinterest is a repository of cool stuff, including recipes and creative ideas on how to present food in a unique and eye-catching way.

Find the right app for your cooking style

Google Home HubSource: Android Central

When it comes down to it, I'm rarely ever in the kitchen without the Paprika Recipe Manager 3 app by my side. And when I find and make a recipe that turns out amazing, one of the first things I do is add it to the app, so it's in my personal digital cookbook of the top recipes in my cooking arsenal.

The app is super intuitive, and the way it quickly imports recipes from any site and automatically converts it to an easy-to-read and unified format is flawless. A lot of recipes online today have tons of information before getting to the actual bare bones of the recipe that this app strips out for you.

Plus, I love the ability to quickly scale a recipe so I can make more or less, depending on what I have available. The free version is great on its own, but it's worth paying the $5 for the extra stuff that makes it so simple to save a recipe from your computer, phone, or tablet via cloud sync and keep as many recipes as you want.

Of course, each of the apps noted here has its advantage and strong point. No matter what your cooking style, type of cuisine, or whether you're just starting out or consider yourself pretty skilled, there's a useful cooking app. And any of these are worth adding to your list of kitchen tools.