Must-have Android apps for holiday cooking and baking

Keep your sanity in the kitchen this holiday season with these helpful Android apps.

With Thanksgiving planning upon us and the rest of the holidays right around the corner, there's a lot of pressure to cook, bake, and show up to events bearing food and drinks. Luckily, all the recipes and drink suggestions you could ever need can fit on your Android phone, thanks to a plethora of cooking apps in the Play Store.

From the many options out there, I've uncovered four of the most useful Android apps that can help you prepare a fabulous meal no matter if you're a pro in the kitchen or barely know your way around a whisk.

Editors' note: For iOS cooking apps, check out Jason Parker's holiday roundup . If you need a little extra help in the kitchen, check out Ry Crist's guide to cook gadgets for holiday cooking.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Food Network In the Kitchen

With its extensive database of recipes and general food knowledge, it's hard to go wrong with the Food Network. The Web site and TV channel's free mobile app, In the Kitchen, makes it simple to browse and search for recipes by keyword or dish type, such as appetizer or drink. If you're like me and have a favorite Food Network chef (mine's Alton Brown), you can also browse recipes straight from their kitchens and cooking shows.

You can sign up for a Food Network account to save recipes to your Recipe Box or add them to a shopping list. But even without an account the app gives you helpful kitchen tools such as a timer and unit converter.

For Thanksgiving, the In the Kitchen app has a special page of all the Thanksgiving recipes you could need, including turkey, mashed potatoes, cocktails, appetizers and desserts. Each recipe gives you user ratings, difficulty level, cooking times, and number of servings. Those stats make it easy to browse for, say, an easy stuffing recipe that you can make in 40 minutes or a complicated turkey preparation that will impress the entire family.

You can also download In the Kitchen for iOS.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Yummly

If you're looking to broaden your recipe horizons, Yummly is perfect. It's like a recipe search engine, scouring the Web for all of the best recipes from big names like Martha Stewart and CNET sister site Chow, plus dishes from smaller food blogs. You can search for any recipe and get the full ingredient list, calorie count, and directions. When you find a recipe you want to make, you can add the ingredients to a shopping list with one tap.

Perhaps the best part of Yummly are the search filters, which help you find recipes that are gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, and even those that use specific cooking techniques. There are more filters than you'll probably ever need, and they are incredibly helpful for narrowing down search results. The app is currently featuring a collection of Thanksgiving recipes so you can find something to make for the big meal.

You can also download Yummly for iOS.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Timer+

Your phone probably already comes with a timer, but it might not be able to keep time for multiple occurrences at once. Timer+ is a dead-simple free timer app that can run multiple countdowns at the same time. That means you can have a timer for your turkey, stuffing, side dishes and pie running simultaneously to keep your cooking on track. You can set different chimes for each timer and even pause and resume individual countdowns if needed. Of the many, many timer apps out there, Timer+ has one of the best designs, and it's one of the easiest to use.

You can also download Timer+ for iOS.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Vivino

This free wine app can help you out if you're tasked with bringing a bottle to your Thanksgiving dinner or any other holiday event. Just scan the label of any wine you find at the store and Vivino gives you ratings and reviews, average price in your area and country and area of origin. It also shows a summary of the wine, including notes about the variety and food pairing suggestions. I especially appreciate the pricing information, because it helps clue you in if you're overpaying at your corner market.

You can also download Vivino for iOS.

 

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