Choosing the best food blogs/websites

Discussion in 'Kitchen Appliances, Cookware, Gadgets & Cookbooks' started by Rbmaddy, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Rbmaddy

    Rbmaddy New Member

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Mod.edit - moved from new member introductions to start new thread.

    With so many blogs, websites and social media outlets giving advice and sharing recipes, how do you know which ones have merit? I'm sure they all have something to offer, but I don't want to form any bad habits while I'm starting out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2018
  2. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Not an easy question to answer - but a good question. I spend a lot of time researching recipes on-line and after a while you get a feel for the best websites. I tend to avoid those that simply let all and sundry post recipes because you really have no way of knowing how good the recipes are. There are quite a few well known bloggers who I do trust - I can try to put up a few links for you when I get time.

    One US website which tends to be good is Food52. In order to post recipes there you have to painstakingly enter every line separately which I think probably puts off the 'cut and paste' mentality. They also run challenges and recipes are tested - if you look at 'community picks' there, most are pretty good recipes IMHO.

    Is there a particular area of cooking which you are interested in? It might be easier to suggest something if you are looking for specific types of cooking/regional food.
     
  3. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Well, this one of course is good! :D I trust recipes I get from Serious Eats, The Spruce, The Kitchn (not a typo), King Arthur for flour-related recipes, the New York Times site (though you have to pay to play there now). All Recipes and Genius Kitchen can be good spots, but you have to look at the reviews because there are some clunkers on both. There are several ethnic blogs I go to and trust because I've made several of their recipes and liked them. Once you develop some cooking skills, it will be easier as you will be able to look at a recipe and have a good idea of whether or not it will work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  4. Rbmaddy

    Rbmaddy New Member

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    This is great info - exactly what I was looking for! I am very fond of Mediterranean food, so I would like to start there, but I'm up for anything!
     
    morning glory likes this.
  5. The Late Night Gourmet

    The Late Night Gourmet Über Member

    Location:
    Detroit, USA
    I subscribe to the New York Times Cooking newsletter; sign up for it here (for free):

    https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/cooking

    This shows up in my inbox a few times a week, and includes some terrific meal ideas, along with some lighthearted writing. And, for whatever random reason, I can sometimes access the recipe links included in the newsletter. It's worth a try, and like I said, it's free!

    I agree with all that @medtran49 said, especially the part about reading the reviews: a 5-star recipe might not be all that good! I have my recipes on Genius Kitchen, and I did notice something when I first started to get serious about cooking. I recall that I wanted to get a good Hot & Sour Soup recipe, so I searched everywhere. I finally found a recipe described as PF Chang's Hot & Sour Soup, and I was excited. I prepared it and...it tasted nothing like the soup at PF Chang's. So, I went back to the posting, and I started looking at the 5-star reviews. A lot of them read like this: "Great recipe! But, I decided to put in half as much soy sauce, twice as much rice vinegar, and a little bit more cornstarch, and I added tamarind paste."

    I was dumbfounded. WHY THE 5-STAR RATING IF THEY HAD TO CHANGE SO MUCH???? It seems that some people are just really nice, and they want to give you a great review, even if they had to change it. If I had to change so many things in a recipe, I'd give it 2 or 3 stars.

    Another thing I noticed is that you'll see one recipe for something will have hundreds of ratings, and then hundreds of recipes for the same thing will have no rating. Why? Well, if you look at the posting date, you'll notice that the heavily-reviewed recipe was likely the first posting of that recipe on that site. If you wanted a recipe for chicken soup, then that's the one you got. Subsequent - and often better - recipes get posted, but no one notices because the first thing that comes up when you search is that first recipe (which probably also has a very high rating for the reasons mentioned above!)

    I avoided amateur sites for a while for those very reasons. Now, I do look at them from time to time, because amateurs often have excellent ideas (just look around this site if you need further proof of that!) But now, I'm comfortable enough with my ability to recognize flavor combinations by looking at the recipe itself. Until that happens, I'd suggest the ones @medtran49 and @morning glory mentioned. Food Network also has their own site, with recipes from people you know, and that's also a good resource.

    But, my personal favorite is Serious Eats. The thing I love about that site is that J Kenji Lopez-Alt is a "food scientist". His dad was a chemist, and that sort of attention to the science of cooking seems to have rubbed off on him. There are frequently "experiments" within the posting, where he or his colleagues try different ways of preparing the recipe so you can see what happens. This is exactly the sort of thing that we think about as a cook: what happens if I cook it for longer, or add this, or try that? Here's an excellent one for ceviche:

    https://www.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-ceviche-and-the-science-of-marin.html

    In that, he shows how soaking the fish in the citrus for different lengths of time affects the texture of the fish. Instead of saying "soak for 15 minutes" (most recipes will give you an exact time), he tells you increments from 1 minute to 2 hours, and tells you what happens at each.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
    morning glory likes this.
  6. Elawin

    Elawin Über Member

    I use Food52, The Spruce, and Great British Chefs (also Great Italian Chefs) most of the time, and also The Kitchn and King Arthur flour. The Daily Telegraph and the Times and Sunday Times often have articles by very well known chefs. The BBC bbc.com/food is a useful site too - and where you will find recipes featured in many of the BBC cookery programmes (including Mediterranean food) - but not necessarily the BBC Good Food site which is one where anyone can post - these I tend to avoid. I have also "cultivated" my own list of Asian and European sites which I find pretty good/useful. And, of course, there is a good selection of recipes on here :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  7. rascal

    rascal Well-Known Member

    Late night gourmet, I share your thoughts on recipes being changed, I make a really nice pate that everyone I know loves, a friend we have over at our place once a year was taken with how nice it was,she asked me for the recipe, I wrote it down for her and I ran into her and her hubby about a month later and her hubby said his wife made my pate but it was nothing like mine, I asked her why it was different. She said I couldn't use that much butter or cream, because of my diet, wtf, DONT ask for a recipe if you are going to change it!!!! We all know pate is very rich.

    Russ
     
    morning glory likes this.
  8. Yorky

    Yorky Uncomfortably numb

    In addition to my own site I use "food.com" (now called "geniuskitchen.com") to store my recipes but I rarely use the latter to search for other recipes. If I have an idea of what I want to cook or wish to use a particular ingredient then I just "Google" to obtain a list of what recipes are out there. Going through the ingredients will normally give me an idea of whether I'm likely to find it to my taste or not. It's normal for me to reduce/increase quantities or add/omit/substitute ingredients that I cannot obtain or maybe just dislike.
     
    morning glory likes this.
  9. I have joined here, I use all recipes.com. food.com, chowhound.com and a couple of others. I also follow Asian, Indian and other cooking websites that specialize in food from those regions and are based in them as well. I would like to find a few blogs that I like and could follow but still on the lookout for them. I don't join most of the sites I use I usually just bookmark them and use them for reference. I have only joined 3 sites including this one. I have a small blog that I do for my own amusement. I also just duckduckgo.com it (rather than google it). Also going through all the replies to this thread and seeing what others have posted that I may also like.
     
  10. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I do that too - its a really great way to learn about specific regional cooking.
     

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