ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Find Great Recipes Online

Updated on September 30, 2007

The Internet is a limitless recipe resource, but separating the wheat from the chaff can be a real chore. Most searches turn up giant recipe databases with directions of dubious quality, usually with no images to inspire and help you along. There are a few easy rules you can follow, however, when making recipe searches that can lead you to the best resources quickly and without hassle.

Several years ago, my husband and I decided to attempt to perfect that most elusive of Southern foods-the ideal biscuit (something we still haven't fully succeeded in creating). Being somewhat naive at the time, we turned to the internet and Google for our recipe. We started with the first recipe we found out of some giant internet recipe index. The results of our baking--not helped by being a biscuit novices--were simply inedible. We soon realized that the recipe had called for far too much baking soda, and the biscuits were very salty and bitterly alkaline. We learned nothing about making biscuits that day, but we did learn how important it is to have a more discerning eye when searching for recipes online.

Since then, we've continued to use the wealth of cooking information available online, but with much more caution. I've developed several important guidelines that help me unearth real recipe gems from the common mud. Hopefully they will help you, too!

Avoid Indexes and Archives

Google loves giving you these results first--ignore them. Distrust any site that advertises itself with the words "index," "archive," or "database." These sites usually encourage anyone to submit his or her favorite recipes, and the submissions are generally not reviewed in any way. It's a gamble as to whether you're going to find a recipe that is good, bad, or mediocre. Since your average internet user isn't a gifted chef, it's a safe bet that these recipes aren't usually going to be first-rate. You're much better off looking elsewhere.

Look for Specialized, Authentic Sites

If you are looking for a recipe on biscuits, see if you can find a website that is just about biscuits. You'll probably need to look past the first page or more of search results. Use the site's address as a quick way to filter the results: "" is hardly the sort of site you'd expect to be an expert on biscuit making. The same goes for "," "," "," and many, many others.

First off, try narrowing your search. I started with "biscuit recipe" but then made it "Southern biscuit recipe" to eliminate the British cookies and recipes for dog treats. Even then, it wasn't until the 52nd Search result--the 6th page--that I finally found a site devoted entirely to the Southern biscuit (""). Unfortunately, it was only selling the recipes, not displaying them.

On the way, I noted that the White Lily and Martha White companies also had recipes on their sites. If you can't find a site solely about the food you're trying to make, then recipes by ingredient companies or restaurants are at least likely to be well-tested.

Look for Pictures

Does the recipe include pictures? Do they look to be taken by the author, not simply pulled from a stock image site? Not only do pictures help get you excited about the recipe, but it shows you that the author has actually used the recipe.

When the Search Engine Fails, Turn to Bloggers

In the case of the biscuit search, I just wasn't happy with what I could find on search engines. Instead, I turned to the interlinked network of food blogs. Looking again for the same criteria as above (specialization, authenticity, pictures, and other signs of a tested recipe), I found several likely candidates and one that seemed very good at Pinch My Salt.

The author at Pinch My Salt has already gone through the travails of searching and experimenting with her recipe. She has created an explanatory guide that provides plenty of good information, images, and tips. Here is a recipe that looks like a much better starting point than that disaster my husband and I tried to use years ago!

Through a little searching and sifting, it's possible to find a superior recipe that can teach you plenty in addition to making a great dish.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)