The Internet is great for a lot of things, however when it comes to the recipe department, there is plenty of content out there that falls short. Whether you know exactly what you want to make or you don’t even have the slightest idea as to what the HECK is going to be on your dinner table tonight, being able to assess and understand the recipes that you come across in your digital excursions is a skill. There is a lot of deception lurking around every corner of the world wide web, and rather than letting it get the best of you (read: don’t pick a losing recipe that will make you and your loved ones extremely sad), we want to see you come out on the other side victorious and empowered! Here’s how:
Know Your Source
Look at your journey to find the perfect recipe for your desires like writing a book report. Where you are getting your information is crucial to your success. Just because it appears at the very top of the web page when you type something into the Google machine does not mean that it is the best. Remember folks, Google uses a computer-generated algorithm to prioritize search results, but you have a complex, human BRAIN!
Stick to brands with strong followings and recipes that have gone through rigorous testing in a professional test kitchen. Have you heard of MyRecipes.com? All of our recipes have been tested and cross-tested to ensure that they yield a delicious result. How ‘bout that?! Not to say that recipes coming from user-generated sites or DIY blogs are any less special or functional, but you always will run a higher risk for failure when using them. If it is from a blogger that you like and trust, then yes of course, go ahead and stay loyal to your person. However, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that these recipes will work.
Check For Reviews
We know, we know—looking at the comments section is oftentimes an awful hole to start digging through on the Internet, but every now and then, you may just uncover a nugget of wisdom. Of course, the larger the sample size, the better. If you can arrive at a recipe with an outpouring of positive reviews, then there’s a good chance that your fellow home cooks consistently find it to be a good one. Sometimes, reviewers will note minor appendages they made to the recipe that did or did not work for them. It’s like someone already suffered through disappointment so that you didn’t have to make that same mistake! Don’t let one sour review deter you, but if negativity is a recurring pattern among reviewers, it might be something to consider before you start planning your ingredient list.
Read it Through
This cannot be emphasized enough (read: I preach this to others yet often do not do it myself), but giving a recipe a full read-through before touching anything in the kitchen is imperative. You need to know what you’re in for. If your first impression from the recipe is that it seems confusing, vague, unclear, hard-to-follow, or any sort of reaction that leaves you even the slightest bit uneasy, that’s probably a good indication that the person who wrote it feels uneasy about it, too. #TrustIssues
Stay Away From Pinterest
Even though there is no better social platform that is home to everyone’s curated, picture-perfect lives, Pinterest truly is not the place for recipe scavenging. Yes, the images are detailed and beautiful, and the options seem endless, but finding a solid recipe that you’ll want to make over and over again on Pinterest is like fishing for a needle in a haystack. In my humble opinion, you’ve got better things to do with your time. For those of you that live and die by Pinterest, that’s cool too, and sure, it’s still possible to find a keeper. In your perusing, I would focus less on imagery and more on general skillful recipe writing and any user feedback, if available.
Understand That You are Your Harshest Critic
Branching out and trying a new recipe is not an easy thing to do, so props to your for trying! If you feel like you’ve landed on a winner, yet the result was not exactly what you had been hoping for, understand that this is okay. Take careful note of what you didn’t like or what you felt could have been improved upon, and make the necessary changes next time around. Before you start drowning yourself in a pool of self-hate (it’s just dinner, relax), recognize that sometimes it might be the recipe, not you. But if it’s from MyRecipes.com, then it’s definitely you. Sorry.*
*Okay, not really. But our recipes are dope. See for yourself.