Ask The Butcher
Developer: Blind Mice Studios
Runs on: iPhone
Have a question for the butcher? Too bad, he’s not at the counter. That’s the first glaring omission you find with Ask the Butcher by Blind Mice Studios…
you can’t ask a question!
When you open the app, there are three main buttons to choose from: “Diagram of Cuts;” “List of Cuts;” and “Have a Question.” When you click the third option, it takes you to a page that then launches outside of the app to the “answer” page of the website. If your question hasn’t already been asked, you’re out of luck, since the form to ask a question on the website is built in Adobe Flash, which iPhone users know is not compatible—you’re left staring at a white page asking you to install a plug-in that you can’t.
Saying all that there are several dozen questions already answered with thoughtful responses. Moreover, the answers to your questions may lie within the app itself. Let’s sharpen our knives.
To start, this app is gorgeous with great graphics and diagrams. If you know the name of the cut you can scroll through the alphabetical list (with pictures) before clicking to learn more. In the diagram view, you get a chalk outline of the various cuts for lamb, beef, veal or pork. The cuts are each labeled with a number (1,2,3…) and clicking the cut takes you to a page that describes that particular cut in detail (it’s the same page reached through list view).
For example, clicking on the No. 3 cut of lamb will reveal the name (Rack) and alternative names/cuts (French Trimmed Cap Off, Cutlets, Rib, Cap off Rack, Cap on Rack). The page also describes the flavor of the meat, descriptions of the muscle within the cut and best preparation methods. This page further offers sub-navigation that includes a single recipe and cooking time.
A standout feature is the cooking time, which is a working timer with multiple settings for the type of cooking (BBQ or Roast), weight and doneness. More impressive is that the timer (not available for every cut) adjusts based on the cut and your setting preferences.
In whole, what Ask The Butcher offers is great. What dulls this app is what is not included. The Apple App Store is already testing the next version (1.1), which will include a timer for every cut, additional cooking methods and more weight options to choose from within the timer. What is not mentioned but is on the wish list are more recipes along with the ability to upload your own, videos, more animals and cuts, and of course, the ability to ask the butcher.
Toque Rating: 3/5