Good Food One-Pot Recipes
Developer: BBC Worldwide
Runs on: iPhone
One-Pot Recipes is one of BBC Worldwide’s seven Good Food apps—and the first one I’ve ever reviewed. Some of these food apps are available for multiple operating systems, including Android, however One-Pot Recipes is only available for iOS devices.
One-Pot Recipes includes 150 dishes sorted by Vegetarian, Slow, Quick, Low-fat, Soup, Comfort, Budget, Pots and Pan Roasts, Casseroles, and Five Ingredients. There are two main ways to find recipes, through an “Inspire Me” opening page where you select ingredients to narrow the recipe results, or through the Recipes tab where you can navigate by the category and view recipes in a classic scrolling list, similar to other apps such as GetCrocking and SoupMaster, that includes thumbnails with basic recipe information. The app also includes a standard search, which isn’t all that great—adding beef as an ingredient in my Inspire Me pot narrows my recipes to 14 while searching “beef” offers just two recipes.
In terms of design, this app looks great. The Inspire Me page is really indicative of the entire app. It’s clean, offers a clever and playful design with ingredient thumbnails that drop into a pot when clicked. The pot can be swiped left or right to navigate the type of dish (vegetarian, five ingredient, etc.) and below the pot shows the number of recipes available as the choices narrow with each ingredient added. I said this page is indicative because this opening page is also where I first noticed the problems with this app. I started dropping ingredients into the pot and realized that no recipes were available. I then had to pull ingredients out of the pot to find a combination that would yield results. Why didn’t the developer eliminate ingredient options dynamically when an ingredient was added, i.e., when “potatoes” are added “tomatoes” should cease to be an option since they don’t have any potato and tomato soups.
The individual recipe pages are probably the strongest area of this app. They have nice images (that can expand full-screen for better viewing), nutritional information and really helpful tags that appear in the Overview page. These tags identify things such as “freezable” and “easy to size.” The Ingredients tab offers the recipe in metric or imperial measures, although the Method page doesn’t convert to imperial measures, so adding “200 ml” of water (water not being on the Ingredients page) to the coconut milk for the Coconut Curry recipe will still need to be converted manually—thankfully iPhone 4S users can just ask Siri (see other ways you can use Siri in the kitchen). From the Overview tab you can also add the recipe to your Favorites page; add the ingredients to your Shopping List; or share the recipe with friends via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.
The Favorites page merely displays the recipes alphabetically in one giant list (a complaint I regularly have) and the Shopping List didn’t work for me…at all! This is a huge glitch. While I could add ingredient lists to my shopping list from the recipe page, clicking the Shopping List button froze the app. I tried everything to get this to work, even installing the app on a different phone. The app also crashed a few other times while I was clicking around and the bugs became an increasing point of frustration the longer I used the app.
The final portion of this app is an Extras page, which provides videos, tips, substitutions, and more. These extras are nice, but nothing spectacular. Even the videos, where I assumed a BBC product would excel, needed better direction. An example of this was a risotto video I watched where the camera never cut above the pot to see what the risotto looked like during the cooking process. The best you get is a side angle where you occasionally get a glimpse of the creamy goodness as it piles up on the spoon as it gets stirred around.
Scoring this app was difficult for me because I feel that it could be a really great app if the bugs got fixed. Unfortunately the bugs have taken control and I don’t know when the exterminator will arrive.
Toque Rating: 2.5/5