A few years ago, I reviewed Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything app, and said it was a bargain at $4.99. Right now, it’s basically a steal because Apple is celebrating its 5th anniversary of the App Store, and the How to Cook Everything app is free– the full version of the cookbook. The app usually runs $4.99 for iPhones and $9.99 for iPads. Both are free right now, but I don’t know how long they will be free. If you want the app, get it right now. I mean it- now. The offer could disappear at any second.

This is a full-functioning app with all 2,000 recipes and their variations that are in the book, basic cooking skill instructions, search capabilities, shopping lists, built-in timers, and more. The iPad app has added features that iPhone version does not like illustrated tutorials and the ability to make your own notes on the recipe.

My hard copy of “How to Cook Everything” is stained and tattered – the signs of a much-used cookbook. I always recommend it to anyone who has decided they want to learn to cook as the first cookbook to buy. Mario Batali has called this cookbook his "desert island" cookbook - meaning if he could only have one cookbook, this is the one he'd chose. It's that good.

What are you waiting for? Go download it!

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Free! How to Cook Everything app for iPhone and iPad
Apple's app store hasMark Bittman’s go-to book on the basics of how to cook just about anything you can imagine for free.