CNET Top 5: Apps for the cook
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CNET Top 5: Apps for the cook

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Five apps that can make the difference between cooking perfection or a kitchen disaster.

These days, it doesn�t take a lot of effort to find great recipes online. Whether you�re looking for a way to make the perfect Thanksgiving stuffing, or a way to make Tofurkey taste like.. like something, apps like Allrecipes and Epicurious have you covered. But there�s a difference between having the instructions for great food, and actually having the skills and tools to make it. I�m Donald Bell, and in this Top 5, I�m counting down five apps for the iPhone or iPad that will make you a better cook. Even if you�ve been banned from the kitchen, having these on hand could help you get back into the cook�s good graces. Staring off at #5: Knife Skills. Carving the turkey shouldn�t remind your dinner guests of a crime scene. To reaffirm everyone�s belief in mankind�s mastery over the animal kingdom, take a minute to really learn how to use a knife. Whether it�s to cleanly slice an avocado, or to cleave a leg from a pig carcass, this $5 app will get you up to speed. At #4: Time egg pro. The timer built into your phone is great, but what about when you need to run 5 timers simultaneously for the turkey, the yams, the green beans, the stuffing, the casserole? Great cooking requires great timing. Just make sure you enable notifications so this app can do its job. Coming in a at #3: Kitchenator. Is your recipe measured out in pints and ounces and all you have are cups and tablespoons? Have no fear. For .99 cents, the Kitchenator app quickly dials in any conversion. Liters, quarts, cups and pints, this app will make sense of everything. The only thing it can�t do is keep track of how much Chardonnay your Grandma�s been throwing back. But #2 is a real life-saver: Substitutions. You�re halfway through the recipe, it says you need cardamon and quinoa, but you�re holding a box of shake and bake. You�re not going back to the supermarket at 4pm on Thanksgiving day. What you need is a solid substitution. That�s what you get here. Whether you�re looking for a replacement for yogurt, or you need to make the pumpkin pie gluten free for your hippie uncle, this .99 cent app does all the heavy lifting. Now before we get to #1, a lot of you are probably wondering, �Hey Donald, where�s the Android love?� All I can say is go cry to the mothership. With the exception of the timer, I couldn�t find any of these on the Google Play store. And what�s worse, Google doesn�t even have a category for food and cooking apps. Android has caught up to iOS in a lot of ways, but there are still some dark corners in the app catalog. Alright, and finally, my #1 recommended app to save Thanksgiving dinner from the brink of disaster. The Escoffier Cook�s Companion. This free app has a little bit of everything: conversions, timers, ingredient information, glossary -- everything you need to up your cooking game, all in one place. Plus, just saying Escoffier makes you sound like you know what you�re doing. So there you go, five ways to increase your cooking potential through the power of technology. For more Top 5s from me, including 5 must-have Android tablet apps, head over to Top5.cnet.com. I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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