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Time your turkey right and convert measurements easily: cooking apps to help with a calm and organised Christmas day


Christmas dinner is, notoriously, the most stressful of meals to cook. From putting the turkey on several hours before you even think about sitting down to trying to balance a mountain of trays in your oven, while laying the table and greeting your guests, it can become overwhelming if you haven't made a plan beforehand.

But thankfully the dawn of the smartphone and tablet means that there are now hundreds of apps that can help with timings, recipes and even leftovers. And without having to flick through books that end up covered in gravy, many of these apps can be used hands free so that you can get 100 things done at once, and end up looking like superwoman. 

Prepare for a calm, argument-free Christmas.

1. Substitutions


Free on iOS

This app offers a host of alternatives if you have a guest coming with an allergy to a particular ingredient - offering alternatives to milk and butter for lactose intolerant guests for instance - but is also very handy if you found you've run out of a key ingredient in a recipe.

2. Cookbookkey


£1.99 on iOS, soon to launch on Android

If your kitchen shelf is groaning with cookbooks and you can never find the exact recipe you want, this app is a lifesaver. Simply scan in the barcodes of your books and it gives you a searchable database of their recipes. 

3. Butterball Cookbook Plus


Free on iOS and Android

Made by American turkey company Butterball, this app is full of ideas for cooking turkeys. Although it is aimed at Thanksgiving celebrations, the recipes can easily be used for a delicious Christmas meal.

4. Great British Chefs Kids


Free on iOS 

If you have children around at Christmas, it can make it a lot easier to show them how the meal is being put together than worrying about what they are up to while you're cooking. This app has a host of child-friendly recipes from Michelin-starred chefs for fairly complex dishes and how you can cook them with a child.

5. Paprika


£2.99 on iOS and Android

This recipe app lets you search by ingredients offering up a compendium of recipes with nutritional information and meal planning so that making a meal when the shops are shut is as easy as pie.

6. Kitchen Timer Pro


£1.99 on iOS 

Having just one kitchen timer can be a nightmare when you have several dishes on the go - thankfully this multi-timer app lets you note down how long everything has left, all one one screen.

7. Love Food Hate Waste


Free on iOS and Android

From the government campaign against food waste, this app offers up recipes and ideas for leftovers. With a portion planner as well as a shopping list function it gives you hundreds of ideas for the inevitable leftover Brussel sprouts.

8. Riverford Veg


Free on iOS

Struggling to do something inventive with swedes? No idea how to tackle a butternut squash? This app from the Riverford farm shop gives you hundreds of ideas for vegetable dishes to go alongside, or as the main event at a Christmas meal.

9. Epicurious


Free on iOS and Android

Highly rated, this app from the magazine of the same name suggests recipes accompanied by beautiful photography and the option to make your own shopping lists to make the most impressive Christmas meal possible. 

10. Escoffier Cooks Companion


Free on iOS

If you're cooking with a recipe that uses imperial measurements, converting to metric can be a nightmare, but this app makes it simple to convert pounds to grams and inches to centimetres.



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