Current state of recipe management
August 22, 2016 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Last recipe management question was quite some time ago. What are current suggestions for Recipe Management?

I have a variety of sources for them (books, iPad apps, online, etc.) Some of the book recipes are hard to find online, so easy entry would be nice.
Cross platform is a bonus, but not absolutely required.
posted by GnomePrime to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I'm still using Paprika, and I've not found anything else that works for me at all. It was expensive when I bought it, and you'll have to pay for every platform you want it on, but man it's painless. I don't enter recipes by hand, but it looks pretty easy. Online recipes are imported automagically, from a constantly expanding variety of sites. The iPhone and iPad apps are great, I use them constantly. I'm looking forward to seeing others' suggestions, but it'd take a lot to move me from Paprika.
posted by Huck500 at 6:20 PM on August 22, 2016 [9 favorites]

Best answer: I've tried a lot of different things, but Paprika is the only one I've ever stuck with. It won't take a photo and turn it into text (you can paste into something like Evernote if you want that, then paste it into Paprika) but it is nicely device agnostic and does everything else well enough that I don't think about using anything else.

It's pretty good at slurping recipes from web pages, and when its fails, it makes it easy to do it manually (ie: Select the Ingredients, click [ingredients], select the directions, click [directions], etc.) It's good at doubling/halving recipes (or even thirding them, etc). You can make menus and create shopping lists from them, but I don't use that much. Has timers built in, and pulls times from directions, etc, etc. The desktop version allows importing from at least a dozen formats, and can export a couple, though I've never used it.

I believe every major platform (desktop, phone and tablet) has most all the features of the others, but they have a different focus. The desktop version is about browsing and entry, while the phone version is more for shopping lists, and the tablet version for cooking. (Though I use the phone version for cooking and browsing too.) It syncs recipes across platforms. The only minor gripe is that you have to buy each platform separately. $5 each for phone and tablet, $20 for desktop.
posted by Ookseer at 6:26 PM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thirding Paprika. It's legit helped me cook healthier and more often the past year, and I only shelled out for the phone version.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:45 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Paprika!
posted by spinturtle at 7:31 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nthing Paprika. I completely forgot about paying for it (again and again) until someone just mentioned it because it's so indispensable. Worth it.
posted by supercres at 8:29 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I ended up moving all of my cooking bookmarks from Safari to Paprika (iPad version). As others have noted, it's pretty swell. The one downside is now I'm a recipe hoarder.
posted by Eikonaut at 9:27 PM on August 22, 2016

Nthing Paprika. They do run a 50%-off sale every Thanksgiving, so that helps with pricing.
posted by evoque at 4:25 AM on August 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yep, Paprika here too. For turning print recipes to text, try the OCR in ScannerPro on iOS.
posted by sgo at 4:48 AM on August 23, 2016

Aside from the different functionality emphasis, can you use the web version of Paprika on your tablet & phone, or do you really need to paying for all the versions?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:48 AM on August 23, 2016

I've been happy with Pepperplate, which is free and multiplatform... but now I'm thinking I need to at least take a look at Paprika.
posted by Kriesa at 7:57 AM on August 23, 2016

Came here to say Paprika. Well worth the $.
posted by oblique red at 8:24 AM on August 23, 2016

Going against the grain to recommend Plan To Eat. Super easy to use, lots of cool features (like a step by step, tablet-friendly cooking interface) and it's a family's livelihood. It stores recipes, does meal planning and generates a shopping list that you can use in the store. We've been super happy with it.

Be aware that they use a website and are not an app, which has not been an issue for us. They've been responsive the few times we've had to contact them.
posted by cnc at 9:36 AM on August 23, 2016

Paprika for sure. I also like that when I bring something to a party/potluck/dinner and asks me for the recipe, I can pull out my phone and easily send it to them from the app.
posted by thejanna at 10:30 AM on August 23, 2016

Ah, I was just thinking about this last week! Now that the free version of Evernote sucks (it only lets you view your notes on two devices!), I had to rework things a bit. I realized that I have two different problems that my recipe system is trying to solve.

1. Recipe Discovery: When I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner, I want something visual. I'm not excited by lists of ingredients, but if there's a sexy picture of a lasagna I'll actually be motivated to make the thing. Here, I want a wide range of recipes; recipe storage has to be as simple as possible, and the resulting list of recipes has to include a photograph of each recipe.

To solve this problem, I started a Pinterest account. This lets me visually bookmark interesting recipes in two clicks.

(The only thing I didn't like about this system is: what happens if the page I've bookmarked gets redesigned or deleted and the link breaks? Currently I have a janky system where I use If This Then That to store the source URL to a text file in my Dropbox account and then run a script to download a PDF of that URL to my dropbox as a backup. It's ugly as sin but it works. There's probably a better way to do this though.)

2. Recipe Lookup: For a much smaller range of recipes, I want them stored in an easy to find location. This is only for recipes I actually intend to make (like in the next week) or recipes I have made and like. I don't need every recipe for chocolate chip cookies I've ever seen; I just want the one I like best. And because it's a much smaller volume of recipes, I can take time to make sure formatting looks good, and I can add my own notes as I go.

For this I'm using OneNote, with different tabs for different categories of recipe (e.g. "Desserts" and "Appetizers" and "Main Dish - Poultry") like you would do for a physical recipe book.

I looked at Paprika, and it looks very nice but it costs money for each device you want to connect to it, and OneNote syncs to all of my devices for free. Pepperplate looked nice too, but there was enough friction to getting recipes into it that I was turned off (for example, it doesn't automatically strip out bullets from bulleted lists of ingredients, which means that it doesn't recognize the numbers as numbers for scaling).
posted by JDHarper at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2016

I use TiddlyWiki along with the TiddlyClip plugin for Firefox. The search is powerful enough and you can add tags as well as use wikipedia like features. It is a single html file that you store where ever you want.
posted by Infernarl at 4:56 PM on August 23, 2016

Still using Evernote (the free version) after all these years. Once I figured out how to paste recipes and strip the formatting while doing so (Cmd+Shift+V on macOS) it made things a lot easier.
posted by furtive at 6:40 PM on August 23, 2016

Paprika is well worth the money. It's a really well put-together product; you do have to buy a separate phone app (and a tablet version if you want that) but that still adds up to $10 total. That's very little for a very good piece of software, with no ongoing fees. (You can keep it on your next phone, the price is per version of the software, not tied to a specific device, meaning you're actually paying for the work of porting it to the devices you want it on.)

I think users are much better off with reasonably-priced software than with the compromises entailed by software supported by ads/spyware.
posted by mister pointy at 7:29 PM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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