Cell phone as kitchen gadget

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The cell phone has crossed the technology barrier from the office into the kitchen and has become an essential kitchen gadget for everyday cooks and professional chefs. What other tool could combine the functions of timer, measurement converter, recipe generator, shopping-list creator, expert-advice conduit, food-history resource, and camera?

Why should I be aware of this?

  • Internet and instant-messaging capabilities are of great help to those new to cooking. They consult with friends, family and online sources as they get started in the kitchen.
  • It puts college students in touch with their mom for instructions to cook.
  • Many seasoned chefs see multifunction devices like the iPhone as the real technological revolution for chefs.
  • You can carry it with you to the farmers’ market, take it to another city, use it as a camera. Chefs can look up the history of dishes so they brief their servers, and make voice notes while cooking.

All about cell phone as kitchen gadget

As mobile technology permeates modern life, buying ingredients, sharing recipes and working in the kitchen is becoming more phone-friendly. Following their penetrating into our domestic lives, and subsequently into the kitchen, cooking has become far more interactive and mobile than it was a decade ago.

Culinary students use cell phones to document their dishes for class portfolios, to set reminders for the ingredients they will need for the next day’s classes, and to develop restaurant-business skills like purchasing, inventory and budgets, via mobile links to the school’s online resource material.

Great teaching tool

It’s a great teaching tool. What works with yelling in low-tech kitchens, can't be effective in large, departmentalized kitchens. Electronic communication is simply more effective.

As all such kitchen possibilities open up, software designers, food companies and Internet entrepreneurs are racing to stake out space on every cook’s phone. Most of the mobile apps now available are simple timers or list-making programs which can hold quirky chunks of information like lists of environmentally friendly seafood, vintage cocktail handbooks and a timer for making the perfect soft-boiled egg.

The iFood Assistant

When you get the inspiration to cook a specific kind of meal when you're wondering through the grocery store, the whole spin concept is more than a little frustrating. iPhone apps suggest dish types, ingredients, and cook time. If you actually know what you want, you can lock in individual categories or lock them all in and check out the results.

In November 2008, Kraft Foods introduced iFood Assistant, the most detailed and user-friendly mobile cooking app yet. It provides access to Kraftfoods.com, the most-visited Web site of any food manufacturer, according to Nielsen Online.

The iFood Assistant is the first cooking application to make use of the iPhone’s global positioning system. When you finalize a recipe, it will pinpoint your phone’s location and provide directions to the nearest grocery store where the phone can play Kraft’s instructional video on the basis of your shopping list.

What can I do?

  • If you are too lazy to make a list of ingredients take pictures of your recipes with your phone, then go to the supermarket and buy all the ingredients - rather than making up a list.
  • A cell phone, especially if it comes from Apple, can organize your shopping list by aisle.
  • Drag and drop categories of grocery items on your iPhone into the order of the aisles of the store you're shopping. Automatically, your list will re-order itself to match the layout of the store.
  • Use the phone as a timer to switch off the gas when cooking is done.

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