Which app should you download?
I think we all want to unleash our inner chefs at some point but end up getting lost in scrappy recipe books or random phone notes. So before getting into a search to find the perfect app that will push us to the kitchen, I need to ask: what do you look for when you download a food recipe app?
In my case, I have three criteria which usually determines if an app deserves mobile storage privilege:
- An easy-to-use app
- A free app with no ads
- An app with unique & useful features
Are Yummly and BigOven User-Friendly Apps?
Once you download Yummly, and sign up with your Google, Facebook or Apple account, it will bombard you with questions that you get asked on a first date. What is your favorite cuisine? Do you have any allergies? Any foods you dislike? Are you on a diet? How would you describe your cooking skills? As hilarious as it sounds, I was actually impressed with how much the application intends to personalize your experience according to your preferences. Once you put in all the details, tutorial bubbles will start popping up wherever you go to guide you through the app.
As for BigOven, once you download the app and sign up, it directly takes you to the “get ideas” home page, letting you explore on your own. It is not nosey enough to ask about your diets or your favorite food, but you can edit your filters later on when searching for recipes. You will also receive a notification to watch their 90 seconds video that quickly sums up its features, yet I still ended up wandering around; unsure of what to do now in this unaesthetic app
To sum it up, Yummly takes the lead in round one due to its ease of use, step-by-step assistance, and its modern and vibrant style.
Are Yummly and BigOven Free with No Ads?
When it comes to free apps, the last thing you want is to download one that overwhelms you with ads more than actual content. Good news! Both apps can be downloaded freely either on Android or iOS, without any unnecessary ads. But here is the catch; both apps have features that are only available for “pro users”.
The two apps offer a 30-day free trial for the premium upgrade, where you will need to fill in your payment details to start. But rest assured, the full amount will only be charged after the trial period ends.
Yummly Subscription – $4.99 per month
BigOven Subscription – $2.99 per month
Regardless of the subscription price, both apps do not let you access several features such as meal planning, recipe scheduling, exclusive instructional videos, and so on.
Now once I started browsing through Yummly, the number of recipes that were locked because they are labeled “pro”, “guided” or “original” was disappointing. On the other hand, BigOven provides you with millions of recipes for free, because what is the point of having a recipe application if I cannot access most of them?
On the flip side, BigOven locks the “nutrition” tab of recipes for pro-users only, while the Yummly app provides this feature free of charge, so you can check any recipe’s nutritional values according to the number of servings you want
Both apps win points for not featuring ads, but the paywall they’ve put on important features is disappointing. For this second round, I am not sure which one was more unsatisfactory than the other, so we can certainly call it a tie.
Any Useful Features in Yummly and BigOven Apps?
Let’s say you are a kitchen guru who would love to have access to every recipe found on the internet, then BigOven is your go-to app. With its social integration, you can connect with your favorite bloggers and comment on other people’s recipes, making it more of a “Facebook” app for cooks. You can also say goodbye to scattered recipe screenshots in your gallery, because with over a million recipes available on the app, you can create your own virtual recipe book with a click of a button.
Nevertheless, BigOven’s search engine is all over the place with limited filter results. For example, if you search for low-calorie recipes, you will find random recipes that are not sorted in a logical order. And if you filter your search by adding a dietary restriction such as “vegan” or “gluten-free”, you will only get around 10 recipes that match your search.
In contrast, Yummly’s search engine is its greatest feature; as the app gets to know your preferences, it will start offering recipes that are more suited to your needs. Plus, further to the thousands of results you will receive, your results can also be tailored in all aspects to meet exactly what you are looking for.
Yummly may not have communities that you can connect with, as interactions mostly occur through reviews, but it definitely does the job if you want to find recipes to match your preferences quickly and effortlessly.
At the end of the day, it all goes down to whether you want to chitchat with other cooks and share pictures of your dinner last night or find a quick source of new and different recipes that suits you.
Ultimately, my winner for the third and final round is Yummly!
Compared to many recipe apps out there, BigOven turns cooking into a social experience. It allows you to follow your friends or other cooks on the app, get inspired with what they do, and share your own ideas and recipes. However, if you don’t need another social media platform, especially one that just revolves around food, then there is nothing really special about this app.
The Yummly app, on the other hand, makes it simple to find recipes that you’ll enjoy. Are you always looking for quick lunch ideas? The app has you covered with their 15-minute recipes. Do you have a crazy lactose intolerance? Yummly will avoid all dairy products for you. You can narrow down your search whether by ingredient, occasion, diet or even seasonality, and it will pull the best results from its database of hundreds of thousands of popular recipes.
Yasmin is a former chef and event planner, currently pursuing her degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and adding a dash of spice to content writing.