Paprika Recipe Manager is the best solution I’ve found for storing recipes I treasure. The recent release of version 3 of Paprika is the best yet, resolving some of my complaints and bugs with the app on MacOS and iOS. There are now only two items left on my wish list for the Paprika Recipe Manager.
I do a lot of cooking here in our Siem Reap studios and I often get asked how I manage to keep my recipes together for Grantourismo. Up until a few months ago I was using MacGourmet Deluxe to manage my recipes. However, I was not completely happy with it and I don’t recommend it.
After undertaking a lot of research on recipe apps I changed my recipe manager to Paprika Recipe Manager and I’m so pleased I did. Here are the most important features I require in a recipe manager and why Paprika Recipe Manager met my criteria.
Paprika Recipe Manager 3 Review
Well Established and Frequently Updated Recipe Manager App
Moving between recipe managers is a world of hurt, so going with a new recipe manager app or one that hasn’t been updated recently is a huge risk. Paprika Recipe Manager 3’s recent update makes me think they’ll be around for the long haul.
Available on all Devices I Use with No Omitted Features
Paprika Recipe Manager is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. I use it on a Mac and iOS for my iPhone and iPad, so I can’t really comment on how the apps work on Windows or Android. For a Mac environment you only need to purchase a Mac license and one iOS license for multiple devices on your App Store account.
Paprika works wonderfully on all three devices and how I use them is pretty straightforward. I input and write recipes in Paprika on my MacBookPro, I cook using Paprika Recipe Manager on my iPad, and I shop using Paprika Recipe Manager on my iPhone.
Paprika Recipe Manager is super easy to use on my Mac, looks fantastic on my iPad when cooking, and I’m always pulling the iPhone out of my pocket when I’m shopping after I decide what produce and ingredients I want to cook with that night.
I have over 480 recipes in the app and it works great on all devices: fast, smooth and not buggy.
Easy Import of Recipes from the Internet
As I was about to import all my recipes from Grantourismo Travels I found using MacGourmet Deluxe’s ‘Get Recipe from Web’ feature too cumbersome to use.
Even with the recipe in the import window, every step (name, source, keywords, ingredients, directions etc) needed to be manually selected and imported and I could not find a workaround.
Paprika Recipe Manager not only imports data automatically, it’s pretty close to perfect in getting the right recipe elements in the right place.
Link and Format Recipes
Until the Paprika Recipe Manager 3, linking and formatting recipes were not a feature – and yet it was the feature I wanted the most. Where this comes in handy is where a recipe requires another recipe to be made as part of the final recipe.
For instance, if I’m making a Salade Niçoise, I’ll need a vinaigrette to dress the salad. With the latest version of Paprika Recipe Manager I can link to my Vinaigrette recipe from the Ingredients panel in the app.
After you’ve established this link, when looking at the Salade Niçoise recipe, the vinaigrette ingredient is highlighted as a link. Clicking the link takes you to the recipe and while you look at the recipe, you can ‘browse’ back to the Salade Niçoise recipe. This is a very handy feature and one I now use all the time.
The new formatting panel allows you to also format recipes with bold or italics. You might think that’s not really a big deal, but it really helps clarify a recipe that has several components. For example, a recipe like a passionfruit pavlova will have three components, the pavlova itself, the passionfruit curd, and a vanilla cream. Being able to separate these tasks in a recipe with sub-headings really simplifies how the recipe looks.
You can also now add photos to the Ingredients and the Directions sections. This is perfect for recipes like the pavlova, above. You might want to add a photo to show what a pavlova’s ‘stiff peaks’ look like. It’s also fantastic if you want step-by-step photos to go with the directions.
Leading on from linking recipes, you can also ‘pin’ them, so that swapping between two or more recipes becomes a one-click action as the pinned recipes appear at the bottom of the app screens.
Multiple Timers for Recipes
This feature is simple, but so brilliant. Paprika basically looks for timings in your directions (such as 10 minutes) and adds a link to activate a pop-up timer. But even more useful is that you can set multiple timers – perfect for those multiple component recipes.
Scale and Convert Recipes
These are a great couple of features in this app. Scaling means exactly what it says, perfect for taking a dish for four down to two or up to sixteen. You can actually scale a recipe down to 1/8th of the original or up to eight times the original amount.
However, there is a little caveat. If you have an ingredient like ‘315 gm eggwhites (about 10)’ and halve the recipe, the ingredient will appear as ‘158 gm eggwhites (about 10)’, which of course is incorrect, it should read ‘(about 5)’. That’s a real programming challenge, I think.
Converting means you can convert from Metric to ’Standard US’ and vice versa, although I don’t know why Americans insist on still using the antiquated and illogical Imperial system. Leave your angry comment below.
I don’t really use this feature that much currently as I tend to use the handy system where you bring up a recipe on your iPhone while shopping and touch on each ingredient to grey-out and strikethrough that item, indicating that you have it in your basket.
The grocery list will be fantastic if you’re making numerous tapas dishes or a Thai table with multiple dishes. You can add several recipes to a grocery list and it automatically adds up the total for a particular recipe ingredient that’s used twice or three times in recipes for the meal.
Other features of Paprika are ‘Pantry’, ‘Meals’ and ‘Menus’. The Pantry section allows you to list what you have in your pantry. While this appears to take recipe management to a new level of pedantry, it’s actually brilliant because items you have in your pantry are automatically removed from shopping lists.
Another useful feature of the Pantry section is that it adds the date of purchase of the pantry item and also automatically adds the item to a category. So if you add caster sugar and corn flour to your pantry they are automatically added to the ‘Baking Goods’ section. Very smart programming and brilliant thinking.
The Meals section gives you the ability to add recipes to ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks’ and add the date that you intend to make it. Fantastic if you need to plan a week’s worth of meals for a weekly shopping. I think this would be great for busy families with lots of mouths to feed.
The last feature is Menus and it doesn’t do what I thought it would – allow you to construct a multi-course meal. Instead, it’s where you plan daily menus that can be put into the calendar function of Meals.
I’d love Paprika to have a ‘Chef’s View’ like MacGourmet Deluxe. What this does is take away all other distractions when making a recipe. All there is on the screen is ingredients and directions in large type.
I also wish that Paprika would have either a database of nutritional information or link to one. Instead of having to go to a website that calculates nutritional information and cut and paste the ingredients in then add them to Paprika, the app should be able to auto fill the nutritional information section of the recipe.
I really have a thing for stylish design in apps and poor interface design makes me sad. MacGourmet Deluxe makes me sad as it’s just so dated and clumsy. Paprika makes me want to add recipes – and makes me want to cook them.
Visit the Paprika Recipe Manager Website.