Finding the best recipes for home cooking is easy with access to the Internet. There are millions of home style recipes from every culture and country available to anyone with WiFi and a search engine.
The official definition of home cooking is simply “home cooked food, food cooked at home” but it is much more than that. Home cooking has come to represent warmth, comfort, love, and safety. Certain dishes just seem to be the epitome of home cooked meals.Consider how you feel when you think of:
- Macaroni and cheese
- Chocolate layer cake
- Apple pie
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Chicken noodle soup
- Mashed potatoes
Of course, if you live somewhere other than the United States your list of comfort foods may be very different!
Best Recipe Sites for Home Cooks
If you didn’t inherit the old, tattered cookbook from Mom or you don’t have a grasp of what home cooking actually is you can begin to create your own comforting home cooked meal with the recipes on the following sites. Keep in mind that the sites listed are home cooking from a purely American viewpoint.
All Recipes is just that. Every recipe that you can imagine is cataloged there by home cooks. Few people who add recipes to the site are professionals so the dishes are representative of what is cooked in homes across the country. This also means that not all of the recipes have been tested and they may not all work or event taste good. To combat that the site has instituted a rating system that allows you to see what other people who have made the recipe thought about it and there are reviews and comments that can help you avoid pitfalls. Always read through the comments to get an idea of substitutions and changes that others have made.
Taste of Home
Taste of Home is site that is connected with Taste of Home magazine. Not only does it have recipes from the publication but it also has recipes that have been added by home cooks from across the country. There are forums where you can ask questions and get answers from other, more experienced cooks, and a system of ratings and reviews that is similar to the one that All Recipes uses. The recipes tend to be a little more country style, Middle America in scope while All Recipes seems to have everything from local to international.
Just a Pinch
Just a Pinch is a recipe community that is designed to bring the users together more intimately than the sites listed above. There is a lot of chatting, you can follow your favorite cooks in a similar way to Facebook or Twitter, and there are ratings as well. Think of it as the love child between a social media site and a cookbook. Some of the recipes are chosen by the webmasters to be tested in the Just a Pinch test kitchen and if they pass muster they get a blue ribbon by their title. Seeking out the blue ribbon recipes will pretty much ensure that your recipe turns out well.
Betty Crocker is a manufacturer’s site that has hundreds of recipes developed to help customers and fans use their products. Because the recipes are developed by professionals for home cooks to use they tend to be easy to follow and have a high success rate for most people. The pictures are better quality than most of the images that the average home cook would upload with her recipe and there are videos to help with technique.
Other Home Cooking Recipe Sites
Of course there are millions of recipe sites, blogs, and communities on the web. Here are more that you may want to check out.
Tips for Recipe Success
For the best results follow these tips no matter what recipe site you use.
- Always read the recipe through to the end to make sure that you understand all of the ingredients and techniques used.
- Watch videos on site or on You Tube to familiarize yourself with any techniques that you aren’t familiar with.
- If you are a beginning cook choose recipes with more reviews. A four star recipe with 500 reviews is better to start with than a five star recipe with three reviews.
- Always read as many reviews as possible. If there are thousands (and sometimes there are) read a few from each rating to get an idea of what worked and what didn’t. For example, if a recipe has several five star, a few three star and a one star rating then reads comments from each to see what people liked, what they didn’t, and what totally didn’t work. Sometimes a recipe will get a low rating because the person that tried it didn’t follow directions properly or tried their own ideas before fully understanding the recipe.
Do you have a favorite recipe site?
image credit: Marye Audet