Ovens & Ranges

Can the Apple Watch Make You a Better Cook?

New Epicurious app puts smart timers on your wrist.


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Whatever you may think about the Apple Watch—or any other smartwatch—it's probably best to reserve judgment for the time being. History tells us that it takes a while for new technologies to find their footing, and these wrist-worn computers are anything but mature.

The Smart Timer provides simple timers for more than 40 common recipes.

Right now, enterprising app developers are working hard to exploit the new form factor's raw potential. Prime example: Popular home cooking and recipe site Epicurious just unveiled a new app for Apple Watch that provides a hands-free way to master your culinary timing.

It's not a recipe app—there are already plenty of those for phones and tablets, and a watch interface isn't likely to improve on that experience. Instead, the Epicurious Smart Timer provides simple pre-set timers for more than 40 common recipes and ingredients.

While the Smart Timer app is also available for iPhone, its real value is providing you with a way to keep an eye on a set of simple, time-based cooking instructions without the need to flip through a cookbook or sully a screen with greasy fingers. It also provides a source of quick reminders for cooking basics—like how long to roast a chicken, and at what temperature.

"Tell us how much that chicken weighs or how you like your steak," explained Epicurious’ Eric Gillin. "Halfway through, we'll remind you to flip your food. Before the timer's up, you'll get some advice on how to tell if it's done—you'll even see a picture of what done looks like."

Specifically, the app includes timers for cooking five cuts of steak, seven chicken dishes, four pork options, six kinds of seafood, and 16 different vegetables. There are even four egg timers. Of course, not everyone agrees on exactly how long, or at what temperature, you should grill a flank steak. So Epicurious also included options for setting your own timers.

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Ultimately, it's a nifty option for cooks who find themselves forgetting the details of common recipes, and its place on your wrist might offer some additional convenience. The Epicurious Smart Timer will be available tomorrow, April 24, for free.

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