4 Apps for the Thanksgiving Chef

Home chefs across the country are prepping their carving knives, picking up their reserved birds and setting the table for guests. But pulling off the perfect meal where every dish comes out hot at the same time, is seasoned just right and everyone goes away with leftovers and a slightly warm buzz isn’t easy. It’s a high-pressure day for the home chef! (Can you tell I speak from experience?)

So here are four apps to help your turkey day go well–even fantastic.

Thanksgiving: A Bon Appetit Manual: This 2013 newcomer for iOS from the editors of that foodie magazine Bon Appetit delivers 100 gorgeous recipes and how-to tips and videos that will be sure to allow you to stun guests–and it’s free. It even comes with a handy calendar function that lets you time out each Thanksgiving meal task (peel the potatoes! defrost the bird! chop your bread crumbs!) and sync it to your iCal for reminders.

Turkey iCue: This app from Chef Shellie Kark of the Kitchencue DVD series offers a beginner to foodie guide to cooking for Thanksgiving with recipes, tips and tricks, conversions, and even station set-up and equipment guides.

The app boasts of nearly 60 hours of how-to videos, which is where Kark excels. And when you’re trying to figure out exactly what “done” means in terms of a turkey or gravy, that how-to video can come in handy. At $0.99, though, it has some stiff competition from free apps.

Butterball Cookbook Plus: For Butterball turkey loyalists this free app offers tons of recipes to sift through. You can store the recipes and then use the “meal builder” tab to plan your menu and easily refer back to recipes. The “info” tab offers lots of extras, such as simple measurement conversions, a substitution list, how-to videos and a built-in timer. An extra timer can come in handy when cooking several dishes at once. Just remember which one it belongs to.

The only thing missing from the app is the reliable “Butterball Calculator” that quickly shows you how many pounds of turkey feeds how many, how long to defrost and cook your turkey by weight and other essential calculations.

Pies: This app, recently under new ownership, is a little rough around the design edges, but it’s still a great place to find tons of pie recipes. For those looking to move beyond the obligatory pumpkin, pecan or apple pie, you can search from among the 100-plus recipes in this free app to pick a new favorite. There are nearly a dozen under “chocolate.” Just saying. The app allows for a quick and easy print function, so you don’t have to leave your phone open while you bake.