Great fish sticks! There are a LOT of recipe and cooking apps out there: Cookpad, Appetites, Epicurious, AllRecipes, BigOven, Pepperplate… I don’t even feel like typing any more. Just know there’s a lot—like too many. And for the most part, they are all pretty similar. Let’s call them the “traditional” recipe apps. But today I want to introduce you to Kitchenbowl, your new favorite recipe app (and one that’s actually different). I’d go so far as to say that Kitchenbowl is the best new recipe app I’ve seen—and I’ve seen a lot.
Kitchenbowl is not the best in terms of recipe volume; it’s new, so it’s collection is building—but recipe volume is hardly a good feature these days. What good is a good recipe if it’s hard to follow? Kitchenbowl is the best recipe app in terms of usability. Usable is a term that is way overused on tech blogs—but here is holds special meaning. The interface is as minimal (or lets say to-the-point) as a cooking app should be. But don’t think that because it’s minimal it’s boring. It’s not. The interface is gorgeous; there’s just no distractions and no confusion. I know I’m raving here, but I’d love to see someone try to improve on this design because I’m not sure how they could.
The biggest, most notable difference between Kitchenbowl and other cooking/recipe apps is the step-by-steppiness of the recipes; each step is illustrated with a big photo or short 7 second video. The steps are clear-cut too; there’s no small type, no cramming the ingredient list, a photo and the steps all onto one page. If apps could taste, this would be delicious.
As do many cooking and recipe apps, Kitchenbowl promises to make it easier to share and learn new recipes. But in this case, it’s actually true.
Ryan Waliany, Kitchenbowl’s technical CEO, tell me that in a double-blind test, 55% of consumers preferred Kitchenbowl’s recipe format, 23% preferred the traditional format (i.e. AllRecipes), 16% preferred blog format, and only 6% preferred video format to consumer recipes. “We have the highest quality recipes on the internet, which are easier to follow and easier to create (50% are created and published in less than 30 minutes),” he says.
Aside from sharing and documenting recipes, Kitchenbowl is blowing up with bloggers who are using it as unique place to begin building an audience. “We have a blogger named Annie who’s a pretty big deal in the offline world of food and restaurants, but she’s just getting started with her own blog Frites and Fries. As an early adopter of our product her recipes and photos are wildly popular on Kitchenbowl and are immediately indexable by Google—she now ranks #3 for her Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken,” Ryan says.
One killer little feature Ryan says people love when the find it in the app is the ability to use bookmarks for meal planning. Ryan says, “We’ve all got to eat dinner tonight and bookmarks organize the recipes you want to try this week from the more elaborate recipes you’ll want to tackle over the weekend, like Molecular Gastronomy Mojitos.”
It is notable that the former CEO of AllRecipes is betting on Kitchenbowl’s team to win in the recipe space. A couple of top chefs from the Seattle region have also been putting some weight behind the app.
What’s on the horizon for Kitchenbowl? Ryan says, “We’re working on improved functionalities in the app for easier content creation, bookmarking, and sharing. We’re also building out a more full-featured website, so people will be able to engage with a wider audience.”
Take my word for it, once you use Kitchenbowl, you may never look back.