There is nothing worse than standing in the middle of the supermarket with a copy of a recipe for “Ultimate Double Chocolate Cake” that you pulled off the Internet and realizing that all the ingredients are in a measurement system not used in your country. Sure, the Internet can help you convert those measurements, but it can be long-winded, time-consuming and let’s face it, you don’t always have an Internet connection.
Luckily, that’s where the app Kitchen Calculator Pro can step in and save the day (or at least the recipe). Kitchen Calculator Pro lets you quickly and easily convert measurements and scale recipes. So, no matter if you are standing in your kitchen or in the supermarket, you can always convert the amounts into a measurement unit that works for you. Let’s run through how the app works in more detail and explain what the various buttons do.
Kitchen Calculator Pro is a simple yet incredibly useful app that allows you to quickly scale recipes and convert measurements. Never before has it been so easy to get your hands on a recipe – whether you printed it off the web, ordered a world cuisine cookbook or picked up the details during your last holiday abroad. However, those recipes are not always in the size or measuring system that you would like. In the past you might have thrown the recipe out or opened a number of conversion sites online but now you can do it all in one place, without the need for an Internet connection.
Once downloaded from the Apple Store, Kitchen Calculator Pro is ready to use. There is no set-up or registration required. Provided you have some measurements to convert, you are ready to start using the app.
What You See
When you open Kitchen Calculator Pro, you are presented with a green, white and orange screen. The main options stem from the four buttons towards the top – a measuring jug, scales, a thermometer and a ruler. In addition to these four buttons, there are an additional four smaller buttons dotted around the top-half of the screen.
The Buttons and What They Do
Measuring Jug – The measuring jug stands for the volume units (e.g. gallon, fluid ounce, milliliter). When you want to convert a measurement from or to a volume amount, this is where you will find them.
Scales – The scales icon stands for the weight units (e.g. grams, pounds, kilograms). When you want to convert a measurement from or to a weight amount, you would head here.
Thermometer – The thermometer provides you with a chart showing the different cooking temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas Mark formats. You also have the option to use the calculator on this screen (press “F” or “C”) to convert temperatures between Fahrenheit/Celsius.
Ruler – The ruler icon brings you to the distance units. Never again do you have to try and remember the relationship between yards, feet and meters. It’s all right here for you to convert with the calculator.
Checkmark – Located in the top-left corner, the checkmark lets you set the units to US or UK measurements. The setting then applies to teaspoons, tablespoons, quarts, pints, liquid ounces, gallons and gills.
Question Mark – Located in the top-right corner, the question mark takes you to the help screen.
Plus/Minus – The plus/minus button takes you to the fraction calculator.
Paper and Pencil - From this button you can add and edit ingredients.
Weight to Volume & Volume to Weight
Converting an ingredient from one measurement unit to another is incredibly simple once you have done it a couple of times. Here’s how:
- Tap the scale or measuring jug icon, depending on if you are converting from weight or volume.
- Select the unit.
- Select the unit you want to convert to. You will have to change screens if you are converting between weight/liquid measurements.
- When the ingredient list appears, select the ingredient you wish to convert (if you are converting from liquid to liquid or weight to weight, an ingredient list will not appear). If your ingredient is not on the list, you can add it by pressing the “+” button.
- Enter the amount you wish to convert. The conversion will show at the top of the screen automatically.
- Repeat for the rest of your ingredients.
Scaling a Recipe
From the home screen, scaling a recipe is done by pressing the plus/minus button located at the top right-hand side of the screen. This takes you to the calculator screen where you will enter the amount that you are looking to scale (e.g. 500 for 500g). You then press the scaling button (it looks like four people of decreasing size) on the right-hand side of the screen.
When you press the scaling button, a new half-screen will pop up with two revolving panels. On the left panel you can enter how many portions the original recipe serves and with the right panel you set how many portions you want the recipe to be scaled to.
Let’s use the 500 example from above. If I want to know how much chicken I need when I scale a recipe that originally serves seven people down to two servings, I would press the plus/minus button, enter 500 and then press the scaling button. In the left panel I would set the dial to “7 servings” and the right dial to “2 servings”, then I would click “ok”. Kitchen Calculator Pro tells me faster than I could have grabbed a calculator and tapped all the numbers in, that I need just 143 grams of chicken for my dinner for two.
Before you go off scaling all your recipes, you might like to know:
- as long as you press “C” (rather than “done”) the calculator will remember the serving settings you previously used
- pressing “done” resets the serving settings
- you can also scale recipes when using the conversion feature
Adding and Editing Ingredients
Kitchen Calculator Pro recommends that you add ingredients that you use on a regular basis that are not already on the ingredient list. The easiest way to do this is by clicking on the icon that looks like a piece of paper with a pencil on top. As explained on the help screen, from here you will be able to “enter the volume and weight for a typical ingredient portion. Example: 1 cup of flour equals 125 grams.” Once you have entered the volume and weight, you will be asked for the ingredient name.
If you are feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of finding out the relevant information for an ingredient you want to add, Kitchen Calculator Pro does give some tips on the help screen, including a website where you can look-up many of the ingredients.
Kitchen Calculator Pro costs $3.99. You can get a “light” version, called Kitchen Calculator, for $2.99. You do however lose some of the options, including the ability to scale recipes. For the small difference in price, I would recommend you go ahead and splurge for the Pro version.
Between the simple design, great help menus and pure usefulness, Kitchen Calculator Pro is an excellent app. The one point that I would love to see improved is to have a more obvious back button. Returning to the app homepage is usually achieved by pressing the “done” button. However, if you want to go back to the beginning mid-conversion, it feels slightly unnatural to do so. Meaning I often forgot and ended up closing the app and re-opening it.
Overall, Kitchen Calculator Pro is a handy app for those that like to cook. Whether you are an expat trying to recreate some of your favourite foods or just mathematically challenged in the kitchen, Kitchen Calculator Pro is sure to become one of your must-have kitchen utilities.
There is nothing more infuriating than finding the perfect recipe only for it to be in different measurement units or too large for your needs. Kitchen Calculator Pro, in its easy, simple and convenient format takes away that issue and without the need for an internet connection.9