If you are afraid of the kitchen or haven’t gotten around to discover the trills of making a beautifully-presented dish all by yourself, but you are looking to venture into this world, you’re on the wrong website. Well, actually, this time you aren’t. See, while this isn’t a cooking website, we do tend to cover a wide variety of topics; after all, apps are helpful for many things.
This time, we will cover The Video Cookbook. The Video Cookbook is meant to help you discover and understand the intricacies of cooking. The question here however, is whether or not this app can make you into a cooking expert or simply provide you with some basic recipes.
Introduction to The Video Cookbook
The Video Cookbook is a cooking guide of sorts that will not only give you some good video recipes, but it will also help you keep track of ingredients needed to prepare dishes, provide you with a glossary of terms used in the world of cuisine, and hold your hand throughout your experimentation in the kitchen.
In other words, The Video Cookbook is a great app to have if you’re planning on cooking some of the dishes featured in it, but as far as every other dish that isn’t included, you’ll have to do that on your own.
Think of it like this… The Video Cookbook is a cookbook with pictures and videos. So then, what makes it worth your money?
The Video Cookbook’s Features
The features built into The Video Cookbook are what make this app better than picking up a normal cookbook — sort of. See, even though there are a few useful features that this app provides, the developers don’t make them as useful as they could be.
Shopping List: This feature allows you to create a very detailed list of ingredients that you’ll need to prepare whatever dish you add to it. This is great except for a few things. First, you can’t add a personal dish to the app, so basically you can’t create custom shopping lists. Also, adding a dish to your shopping list is kind of… well, pointless. Why would someone need to add the dish to the shopping list if there is already a list of ingredients in the recipe pane itself? The only advantage of adding the dish to the shopping list is that you can then email or print out the list, but again, why can’t this just be on the recipe tab? It makes no sense.
Glossary: This is the coolest feature of The Video Cookbook. The glossary, as you may have guessed, displays many terms used in the kitchen; you know, things like: al dente, boudin, bruschetta, Frappé, etc. Some of the words you may not know how to pronounce are accompanied by a playable voice recording that will help you with the proper pronunciation. Handy feature.
Download all videos at once: This isn’t really a feature, but it is good to mention that you can download all the videos with one click.
Downloading videos is perhaps the biggest downside of the app. Why can’t we stream them? Why do we have sit and download them? Why must I waste hard drive space on videos when I could stream them?
The Video Cookbook Looks
The Video Cookbook looks, in all honesty, like a web browser. From the way it’s presented to the way it behaves, it’s like a web app. Well, to be fair, some parts look like a normal app. Things like the shopping list and the glossary act pretty much like a normal app, but there is no consistency throughout the application. When you switch from the shopping list, to the recipes, to the settings, it is all different.
The recipes tab is also very convoluted. There are buttons and actions everywhere in the UI, and you kind of have to mess with them to know what everything does.
The Video Cookbook is an app for a very select audience. If you want to learn how to cook, you will probably want to spend a bit of money elsewhere. If you want to practice with the recipes in this app, go ahead, but with YouTube at your disposal, it is kind of hard to find a real incentive to pay for this app.
On top of that, there are a few in-app purchases that would allow you to gain more recipes. This is kind of annoying. No matter how cheap they may be, you can probably find many of these recipes online — Google being your best friend. Sure, this app has “professionals” showing you what to do, but there are some great free alternatives to this application.
Putting videos, shopping lists, ingredients, step-by-step instructions and so on in a handy application is great, but the problem here is how this application is delivered.
If this application was ten or 12 dollars with an ever growing library of free video recipes, then we would have something. If the app would evolve and improve on the features it has plus adding a number of other functionalities, then we would have a beast. Sadly, this isn’t the case with The Video Cookbook — not currently, anyway.