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Have an old tablet?Put it to work in the kitchen

Tablet PC off-cabinet operation
Joe Fedewa

Many people hide old gadgets in dusty drawers. I found that one convenient use of an old tablet is as a dedicated kitchen hub. This simple thing really improved my cooking experience.

With old tablets, computers and phones, you can do many beautiful things. Focusing on one-time use is a great way to get some features from an outdated device (which may be insufficiently functional).

Why do we need a kitchen tablet?

The Internet is a great resource for recipes, which makes your phone the best recipe in the world. However, phone calls are not as convenient as physical recipes. You keep scrolling between ingredients and instructions, and the screen turns off when you are busy cutting onions.

Of course, there are many ways to improve this experience, but one of the most life-changing methods I found is to use an old tablet as a recipe that is essentially connected to the Internet. The size of the screen is perfect for reading recipes, and the mounting rack under the cabinet makes it even better.

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Start with a clean plate

The great thing is that it is open-ended. You can use almost any type of tablet you carry with you: an old iPad, a cheap Kindle Fire tablet, or even an old Microsoft Surface RT.

I am using Asus Transformer Book T100TA, which was released during the Windows 8 2-in-1 revival ten years ago. The new version of this tablet is priced at about $400, which means that it consumes very low power according to today’s standards. For such a project, it is a perfect candidate.

After owning an old tablet, it is recommended that you restore the factory settings or delete all unnecessary applications and files. The idea is to make it a simplified single-use device. I basically deleted everything except Microsoft Edge.

related: 10 convenient uses for an old iPad or Android tablet

Distribute recipe apps and websites

The next thing to do is to customize the equipment used for cooking. Maybe you just need a web browser to search for recipes, or maybe you have a favorite meal planning app.

If you are using an old iPad or Android tablet, this is very simple. Go to the app store and download the app you use. Once you have an app, it’s best to clear all other content on the home screen so that you can easily find the cooking app.

Windows 10 in tablet mode

I am using a Windows tablet, so the concepts of “application” and “home screen” are somewhat different. I put Windows 10 in tablet mode to have a more touch-friendly interface. Then, I fixed the web bookmarks to the recipe organizers and light meal services we used.

related: How to turn tablet mode on and off on Windows 10

The key here is to peel off everything and place the kitchen tools in the front and center. Think of the tablet as a beautiful cookbook.

Extra credit

Dedicated recipe equipment is already a good thing in the kitchen, but there are a few things you can do to further enhance the experience.

For me, what turned it from a cool concept into a really useful tool is the cabinet underframe. Taking the tablet off the counter to a more readable position can make all the difference.

There are plenty of tablet holders online. I bought it, and it can actually be used as a shelf on the counter. It has great adjustability and can be folded up when not in use.

Another tip is to turn off the lock screen or login screen. Ideally, there is nothing to worry about on the tablet, so you can also easily access it. This is especially good if there are multiple people cooking at home.

Similarly, you should stop turning off the screen or set the screen timeout to a longer time. When your hands are messy during cooking, nothing is more annoying than turning on the screen again. You can do this on Windows, iPad and Android tablets.

Start cooking

Tablet PC installed under the cabinet

You are all ready to cook! I really like using this tablet in the kitchen. It is much easier to have equipment dedicated to all my recipes. I don’t have to browse the complete application list on my phone, and installing this list keeps the counter clear.

If you have old tablets around, I strongly recommend you to try it!

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