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These iPhone apps know how to cook

by Megan O'Neil

We all have to eat. So whether you are more comfortable with Chef Boyardee or Julia Child, there is always opportunity to improve ones familiarity with ingredients and cooking techniques. As such, we have compiled a list of the best cooking apps on iTunes, no matter your level of expertise.

Cooking can be an intimidating prospect for novices, but luckily there are a couple of great apps for those with an aversion to the kitchen. Visuals are always a plus, and the Cooking for Beginners app (99 cents) is plugged with simple demonstration videos made by regular folk. The Lost in the Kitchen app ($4.99) is designed for cooks who are "greener than their vegetables." The app has a great section that includes tips for hosting gatherings that will leave your guests impressed.

Another simple, but useful, app for inexperienced cooks is the Easy Recipes app (99 cents), which stands apart with its clean design and easy-to-follow instructions.

If you are a home-grown scientist with a big curiosity about life's tiniest chemical reactions, or you need help explaining to your kid why dough rises, check out Cooking for Geeks ($4.99). It is part cookbook, part laboratory manual.

For men who are particularly uneasy in the kitchen, there are Easy Cooking for Men ($7.99) and Cooking for Dads (99 cents). The former, which dubs itself as "the bachelor's grub guide," does a nice job of explaining the foundations of cooking, and provides numerous stock recipes. The latter is made up largely of cooking demonstration videos, with the focus on kid-friendly food, such as chicken roll-ups.

Another child-oriented cooking app is Cooking With Kids ( $4.99), good for moms and dads. It has dozens of recipes that will appeal to the under-18 crowd, and they are organized into categories such as "brilliant breakfasts" and "special occasions." The app itself has a bright, colorful design, with lots of big pictures of delectable delights sure to conjure up your inner chef.

For cooks who have several years of experience and are looking to take their art to the next level, start by downloading the Free Culinary School app ($2.99). The app is the work of TV chef Jacob Burton. It includes lots of professional cooking techniques and plenty of demonstration videos, including how to make a great baguette at home and the basic composition of canapes. You can save favorite recipes to view at a later time. And if you have questions or comments on recipes, the app allows you to call or email Burton's show directly.