March 4, 2006 2:52 PM   Subscribe

What's the absolute best website for good basic recipes?

I'm looking for how to cook everything from 1 website.
posted by SwingingJohnson1968 to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My favourite site is Epicurious. Despite it being a repository for recipes from Bon Appetit & Gourmet which might at first glance suggest a higher degree of difficulty, it's a great resource that I continually turn to. You can save your recipes to a virtual recipe box, there are useful comments/ratings for recipes posted by other users, and you can also log your own comments online.
posted by phoenixc at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for that link!
posted by SwingingJohnson1968 at 3:05 PM on March 4, 2006

I'm a fan of That's My Home. The site owner is my cousin and its fun to see my grandma's recipes on the internet. Very solidly midwestern American fare, so don't go looking for anything too trendy.
posted by disclaimer at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2006

If you need to find everything in one place, Epicurious is a great start, but my favorite is Recipe Source only because you can find like 100 recipes for the same thing (they have 70,000 overall), and then compare and contrast to see how the recipes are alike and how they are different. It's fairly ugly, but it's very barebones, easy to navigate, completely cruftless and I've made some very tasty things from there. Assuming you want a really wide variety of things to be able to pick from, I'd suggest it as a top five site. It sucks for teaching you how to cook, but it's great for showing you how to combine ingredients into interesting prepared foods. My favorite sections copycat recipes and their holiday section.
posted by jessamyn at 3:12 PM on March 4, 2006

I second My other favorite is Allrecipes.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 3:14 PM on March 4, 2006

Cook's Illustrated is an excellent resource for basic recipes. Testing recipes to get the "best" recipe for any dish is their whole purpose. It looks like a 14 day free trial is available, but otherwise the database is subscription based.
posted by MadamM at 3:14 PM on March 4, 2006

Cooking Light has some fantastic stuff. Don't let the name fool you, they've got some really tasty recipes..

You have to buy a cookbook or subscribe to their magazine to get full access to the online recipe database, so I would most certainly NOT recommend you leaf through a copy of the magazine next time you're at a bookstore, memorize the monthly password printed therein, and then use that for free access. That would be wrong.

I'd also second epicurious. Be sure to check the user reviews and comments for each recipe -- sometimes they suggest changes to the recipes that are vast improvements over the originals.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2006

This doesn't really answer your "one recipe site to rule them all" question, so I don't know how useful it will be.
If you use Firefox, rightclicking on a search field on any website will let you set a keyword for that search. I set "f" for, "e" for, and "all" for You can then use the keyword in your address bar to search the sites-for example, typing "f buffalo burgers" would search Food Network for buffalo burger recipes. Whenever I want to compare and contrast recipes, I search Food Network and Epicurious, then fall back on All Recipes if they don't have anything good. These sites are usually somewhat clunky and slow to load, so being able to do a quick search helps a lot. I don't know if you have some grander plan behind your request, but if ease and speed of searching is your main concern this may help.
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:43 PM on March 4, 2006

It's not a website, but the great book How To Cook Everything will show you just that.
posted by mkultra at 4:11 PM on March 4, 2006

How to cook everything from one website? Google. (It's all one site if you use the Google cache!) Just add 'recipe' to your search string -- the name of a dish, the style of cooking, the three ingredients you've got to use up ere they spoil, whatever -- tack 'recipe' on and huck it into Larry and Sergey's backyard.

Yes, that's cheating. I thought I'd make Juliet Banana feel a little better by becoming the second poster not to really answer your question. But seriously: Google is my cookbook. And it rocks the socks off of every other cookbook I know. It indexes a plethora of recipe sites large and small, with a crawler that invariably beats the pants off of their local site search;* it will give you several takes on any one recipe so you can see what is essential and what is mutable; it is almost guaranteed to turn up some kind of recipe for any remotely-plausible pair of ingredients you suggest; and it even has a unit converter. I, for one, welcome our new googly overlords.

... If it's techniques you're looking for, and not recipes, I'll second what mkultra says about How to Cook Everything. I've been drooling over it myself. Early editions of The Joy of Cooking are pretty awesome too. One or the other is likely to grace my shelves before the year is out. Google isn't so strong on the how-to side of things, and I've seen few websites that are.

*In fact, I've pretty much given up on using any site's local search whatsoever. But that's another rant.
posted by eritain at 4:37 PM on March 4, 2006

Simply Recipes, available RSS style.
posted by disillusioned at 4:39 PM on March 4, 2006 Ran by a seventy-something year old lady who knows how to make simple ingredients into something elegant and great tasting.
posted by haplesschild at 4:57 PM on March 4, 2006

I feel like I'm always pushing eG these days, but I'll put in a word for it. The eGullet Forums have been going strong for quite a few years now, and there are in-depth discussions of pretty much any dish you'd want to make. You not only get one or two great recipes, but all sorts of expert opinions on methods and ingredients. Say you want to make X, just do a search among all post titles for X.

Free registration is required to search and post.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:00 PM on March 4, 2006

I'd recommend against Epicurious as an authoritative source for recipes, becuase the recipes come almost exclusively from gentrified middlebrow home-cooking magazines. Allrecipes is more democratic but it tends to contain a lot of recipes that are just plain crap, rated "5 stars" or whatever because the audience is a lot less culinarily literate/experienced.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:02 PM on March 4, 2006

I agree with the Epicurious and Allrecipe suggestions, both are sites that I visit frequently. However, my most absolute favorite site has to be Williams and Sonoma. I love their recipes, and I fantasize about owning all of their special toys and tools. Another good site for simple recipes is Nigella's site.
posted by msali at 6:20 PM on March 4, 2006

A lot of these recipe sites simply rip each other off. Or they have a whole pile of 'user submitted' recipes that are mostly the same.

Pick a few cans out of your cupboard and visit the manufacturer website.

I like a lot of the stuff I get from Campbell's Soup.
posted by drstein at 6:41 PM on March 4, 2006

I exclusively use the Food Network and Epicurious sites.
posted by gatorae at 8:31 PM on March 4, 2006

Response by poster: Wow! Thank you everyone for all these links.
posted by SwingingJohnson1968 at 8:55 PM on March 4, 2006

I've been teaching myself to cook these past months, and I live by the Cook's Illustrated site, but it is pricey, $30/yr w/o a print subscription, IIRC. But it has spinoff site of their TV show, America's Test Kitchen which offers the current year's recipes for free. The Food Network's recipes from the How to Boil Water show generally pretty reliable as well.

I've also had success with the EveryDay Food's recipes. Don't hold the Martha Stewart connection against them

Can I high jack this a little to ask whether Alton Brown's Good Eats recipes are available on-line? They didn't seem to be, but perhaps I didn't look carefully enough.
posted by mojohand at 9:07 PM on March 4, 2006

I'll second the Nigella Lawson suggestion and add that the BBC Recipe section has a huge searchable range of articles and recipes from big name British chefs such as Rick Stein (fish specialist), Gary Rhodes (British classics), Madhur Jaffrey (wonderful Indian) and so on. Oh and there's a Back to Basics section too.
posted by ceri richard at 3:26 AM on March 5, 2006 yum.
posted by eve harrington at 7:36 AM on March 5, 2006

mojohand, recipes from recent Good Eats episodes are available on the Food Network site. Scroll down the page I linked to and click on the recipe title.
posted by katie at 7:36 AM on March 5, 2006

I use Foodieview, the recipe search engine, which I swear I got from here at some point. You can enter any ingredients you happen to have lying around and get back recipes that include them. It pulls from all over the place and does your work for you. If only I could teach it to chop onions, I would be in love.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2006

Thanks mygothlaundry, I was always wondering if there was a site like that. Not to derail, but for some reason my work computer blocks epicurious. It's the same thing that keeps me from visiting any website with the word "sex" in the URL... though I cannot figure out what's the deal with this one.
posted by shokod at 10:06 PM on March 5, 2006

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