How to Cook Everything: Essentials

Price and Platform
Free; available via Apple App store
RD Score
4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis of the App
Based on Mark Bittman’s bestselling cookbook, How to Cook Everything: Essentials is a starter app. It provides a feature rich glimpse of the full app (available for $9.99) with 100+ key recipes and variations and kitchen basics content articles.


  • Simple recipes, essential to every cook’s repertoire.
  • Recipes are designed to inspire creativity.
  • Recipe search prominently positioned on the home page. Each search returns top ranked recipe essentials with an accompanying list of variations to make the recipe your own.
  • Searches can be filtered by key ingredient, cooking technique, style or recipe type using the FMVE key (F=Fast, M= Make Ahead, V=Vegetarian, E=Essential).
  • Well-appointed section on kitchen basics provides useful articles on ingredients, equipment and cooking techniques.
  • Expansive cooking technique content articles are the the meat of this app, providing not just an explanation of the technique but its application to different foods from grilling vegetables to braising meat, panfrying bean fritters and butterflying a chicken.
  • Highly rated recipes are noted with the community’s thumbs up votes (though there’s no way to vote it down).
  • Smart timers are conveniently embedded within the recipe steps eliminating the need for oven or kitchen timers.
  • Recipes can be added to a grocery list or calendar for meal planning, saved to favorites, printed and shared via email, Facebook and Twitter.




  • Recipes and content are limited.
  • The app encourages upgrades by previewing premium content on every page (only available with an upgrade to the complete edition).
  • Inconveniently placed banner ads on every page.


Bottom Line
How to Cook Everything Essentials is a content rich starter app for the novice cook seeking basic cooking knowledge and skills. The seasoned cook may find that this app leaves a lot on the table and opt for the complete edition upgrade to access to over 2,000 recipes and variations and full content.

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Marisa Moore
Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, is based in Atlanta and specializes in culinary nutrition, communications and consulting. She blogs at Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.