Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals for iPhone full review

What do you get if you cross a cooking programme, a recipe book, and an iPhone? Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals. It’s quite an ingenious idea. You pick a recipe, the app gives you a shopping list, videos to guide on certain areas of food preparation (for example, cooking with herbs, or knife skills), and simple-to-follow steps with photos at each stage of the way.

We made ‘Grilled lemon and herb chicken with mash’. There are 15 steps to that recipe that cover everything from bashing the chicken with the underside of a frying plan (to flatten it), to putting your plates in the oven to warm up. As well as the steps, every now and then Jamie pops up on your speakers to remind you about the potatoes (just in case they’re boiling dry) or some other part of the process. The photos of each step are helpful – and something you wouldn’t get in a standard recipe book.

We were a bit disappointed that there were only 50 recipes in the app – and we don’t expect to use all of them. However, the price has come down since its launch – it’s now £2.99 rather than the £4.99 it was previously – making it a much better deal.

The recipes are broken into categories: soups, pasta, risotto, stirfry, fish, meat, curries, salads, vegetarian, and puds. You can also search for ingredients. Our search for lamb brought up just one recipe, however, illustrating how limited the collection is. The limitation can perhaps be explained by the fact that these recipes are supposed to take just 20 minutes to cook.

The philosophy behind the app is that we are all time poor so if cooking a good meal only took 20 minutes we could do it more often. We agree with the sentiment, although our attempt at the chicken and mash took us 30 minutes (it was nice, though).

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