How the iPad Can Help Out in the Kitchen

Drop is a connected scale for the kitchen.
Drop

Whether cooking is one of your passions or a chore, there's no need to be without a handy helper in the kitchen. The iPad may not be suited for everything, but it can help out in a number of different ways from providing recipes to making sure you get those recipes just right to alerting you when your steak is perfectly medium rare.

Best of all, it can do all this while providing nice background music. And if you don't need the iPad for recipes, you can always use it to stream your favorite TV show.  

Note: Prices reflect the pricing of products at publication and may fluctuate.

01
of 05

Measure Perfectly Every Time With a Connected Scale

Drop is a connected scale for the kitchen.
Drop is a connected scale for the kitchen. Drop

Let's start with the single coolest accessory for the kitchen: a scale. If you have ever wanted a helper that could measure out ingredients, look no further than the Drop connected kitchen scale. While this gadget won't actually portion out the ingredients, it is about as close as you can get without a living, breathing helper. And Drop can turn just about anyone in the family into a useful kitchen assistant.

Drop is two things: a scale and an app. The scale measures how much the ingredient weighs and sends that information to the iPad, but it is the app that does the real magic. Not only does it contain a ton of interactive recipes that you can customize based on portion and the number of people served, it also helps you complete the recipe.

The combination of the Drop scale and app allows you to use a single mixing bowl. As you add ingredients, Drop remembers how much the bowl weighed previous to your current ingredient, so it can accurately alert you when you've added enough of that ingredient. Drop will even keep track of baking time.

Drop isn't the only connected scale on the market, but it is one of the few that can actually help you cook dinner without poor app design getting in your way. 

Price: $79.99

02
of 05

Cook Just Right With Thermometers

Supermechanical

Sunny days are great for barbecuing, but why would you want to be tied to your grill when you could be enjoying the day? Connected thermometers allow you to keep track of that steak or pork shoulder without constantly hovering over the grill to check it.

Weber's iGrill thermometers are easily some of the best available. The iGrill 3 can keep track of four pieces of meat at the same time and the iGrill Mini will keep track of a single piece of meat, which is perfect for a pork roast or whole chicken.  Price: $49.99-$99.99

Supermechanical's Range is another great solution. In addition to a meat probe, Supermechanical offers a version with a round tip that is great for brewing or making candy.

Unfortunately, these don't quite extend to the oven. While some smart thermometers suggest they can be used with baking, most suffer spotty connectivity at best and melted plastic at their worst. Price: $59.95-$119.95

03
of 05

Avoid Spills With a Stand

Prepara

While scales and thermometers are two of the coolest accessories you can get to enhance your iPad use in the kitchen, perhaps the most useful overall thing you can buy is a stand. Let's face it, leaning your iPad against a loaf of bread and using two oranges at each corner to hold it there is the most temporary of solutions. A good stand will both hold your iPad in place so that you can clearly read the recipe on the screen and not take up too much counter space.

Prepara iPrep. An excellent stand that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, the iPrep is designed for the kitchen. Not only does it have a slot for holding a stylus, it has rubber grips to keep the stand from slipping on marble or granite countertops.  Price: $24.99

Readaeer BamBoo Reading Rest. If you still have a lot of cookbooks you love to use, this is the iPad stand for you. Not only does it make a great stand for any size iPad—even the whopping 12.9-inch iPad Pro—it is perfect for holding cookbooks as well.  Price: $15.99

Belkin Counter Mount. If you prefer a permanent solution, the Belkin's Counter Mount gives you a way to hold the iPad in place while disappearing under a cabinet when not in use.  Price: $49.95

Techmatte iPad Stand. If you are mainly concerned that the iPad stays at a readable angle without spending too much money, the Techmatte stand is a solid stand. It supports multiple angles and will handle any size iPad. Price: $12.99

04
of 05

Protect Your Screen With a Stylus

The Cosmonaut is thicker than the standard stylus, which can make it easier to grip. Studio Neat

With all of the chopping, kneading and squishing that happens in the kitchen, you probably shouldn't operate your iPad with those fingers. And washing your hands every time you need to flip a digital page or launch an app can become bothersome, which is why a stylus for the kitchen can be a handy investment. A stylus is like a pencil for the iPad. It lets you manipulate the screen without touching it with your finger.  

The iPrep stand comes with a stylus and stylus holder, which is why it topped the list of iPad stands for the kitchen. But if you go a different route, you will probably need some type of stylus to protect the iPad's screen. Remember, picking out a stylus for the kitchen is different than picking one for drawing. While Apple's Pencil is awesome, the price tag is overkill for the kitchen and you wouldn't want to risk the electronics in it with messy hands. Instead, go for a more low-tech solution.

Adonit Mark. The Mark makes it to the top of the list for one major reason: price. It's cheap. If you are going to be holding a stylus with messy hands, it may wear out quickly and you don't want to keep buying an expensive stylus.  Price: $12.99

Studio Neat Cosmonaut. While more expensive than the Adonit Mark, this stylus has a wider grip that can make it easier to use with powder on your hands.  Price: $25.00

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo. This one is both a stylus and a regular pen, so if you find that you need an old fashioned pen-and-paper combo for the kitchen, this is a good stylus to buy. Price: $29.95

Chef Sleeves. Do you prefer your finger to a stylus? The iPad is a multi-touch device, and while a stylus can be great, you can't use gestures like pinch-to-zoom with one. Chef sleeves protect your iPad in a plastic sleeve that is thin enough to let you operate your iPad while keeping it from getting messy.  Price: $19.95 for a pack of 5.

05
of 05

Find and Organize Your Recipes

Cooking apps aren't just about recipes. They can also help you plan meals, shop for groceries and use up leftovers. BigOven

Remember, the iPad not only has an app for almost every need, it is also a great e-reader. You should be able to find your favorite cookbook in the iBooks store, and if you have a collection built up on your Kindle, you can definitely read Kindle books on your iPad. Rather than focusing all the great cookbooks available, let's instead take a look at a few of the best apps.

Big Oven. Perhaps the best recipe app on the iPad, Big Oven gives you access to over 35,000 recipes. That should be enough for most families. It also has a good interface that won't get in your way when trying to find your next meal, allows you to tag your favorites and has a shared grocery list. Price: Free with ads, $1.99 a month ad-free subscription.

Epicurious. Let's face it. Epicurious has seen better days. While it was once one of the premier recipe apps on the iPad, it has sadly gone downhill from neglect. However, it still has around 30,000 really good recipes, and it is free.  Price: Free

Sidechef. Don't know how to cook? No problem. Sidechef is designed with the cooking-challenged in mind. The recipes are laid out in step-by-step style and handy videos will help you out. Price: Free

Tender. No. Not Tinder. But, yeah, this is basically Tinder for food. It's a fun app, but also very useful. How many times have you pondered what you might want to eat? And pondered... and pondered. Instead, just swipe through recipes until you find a winner. Price: Free

Paprika Recipe Manager. Sort of like Pinterest for food, this recipe app allows you to grab recipes from the web and keep them all in one place. You can also plan out meals on your calendar, set multiple timers to help while you are cooking, create grocery lists, etc. You can, of course, add your own recipes from scratch. And it's available on most other platforms (so your recipes are on your iPad and your Mac). Price: $4.99