Epicurious, one of my favorite Websites, features thousands of incredible recipes from magazines, cookbooks, top chefs, and popular restaurants. The site’s app, unfortunately, seems a little half-baked.
I’ll start with the good parts. Not surprisingly, the recipes the app pulls from the Web are top-notch. They have clear, concise instructions, and most feature high-quality color photos and helpful reviews and ratings from readers. The home page of the app offers categories such as Kid-Friendly Mains, Grilling Entrées, Healthy Lunches, Decadent Desserts, and “I Can Barely Cook,” to name just a few of the many.
Through the search bar you can bring up recipes by main ingredient, meal/course, cuisine, dietary consideration, dish type, or season/occasion; you can also input your own keyword via text or voice. Good stuff.
When you find a recipe you like, click the plus sign by it. You can then add it to your Favorites, e-mail it, or put it in your Shopping List. The last feature, which adds all of the recipe’s ingredients and their quantities to your Shopping List tab, is really nice. The lists are nicely laid out, and you can check items off as you add them to your shopping cart. You can add as many recipes as you like, and choose to view your Shopping List either recipe by recipe or as one big list–very convenient.
So what’s wrong with the app? Too much, I’m sad to say. Many of the categories in the main menu don’t actually have any recipes under them, so you get only an error message. Also, aside from the Shopping List, this app is sorely lacking in basic features such as a built-in timer. The competing app Digital Recipe Sidekick goes even further by reading the instructions out loud to you as you prepare the meal. I’d love to see a similar feature in Epicurious.
The biggest disappointment for me, though, is that the app gives you no way to alter a recipe’s quantities (which would subsequently affect the Shopping List items)–a failing of the Epicurious Website, as well. You also have no way to post your own reviews from the app.
Considering the high quality of its recipes, Epicurious should have been a great app; but it has a long way to go in features, content, and speed. Let’s hope that the folks behind the app are cooking up something a little better for the next update.