Cookbooks are often treasured possessions, handed down through generations and full of little notes and tips. There is a bewildering array of cookbooks available, and they still sell in their millions, as people’s appetite for cooking and food-themed TV shows continues to increase. With access to so many different cuisines from all around the world, you can try your hand at anything, from Indian and Chinese to Korean or Moroccan. There are also diet cookbooks, food allergy cookbooks; you name it, there will be a book devoted to whatever food niche you are interested in. With all this choice you can’t be disappointed, but there are some advantages to leaving the books on the shelf and opting for the Internet instead.
Why use the Internet for recipes?
The primary reason is that you can find recipes on all the same cuisines and themes as you’d get in cookbooks, but you can try something new without having to pay for a whole book. Say you’ve seen a program about Thai cooking and feel inspired to have a go yourself. You could go out and buy a beautiful book for $20 only to discover you don’t enjoy the cooking, you don’t like the food, or the recipes are hard to follow. Alternatively, you could look up a recipe for a basic Thai dish online and give it a go without spending a dime. If the recipe is tricky or you don’t like the dish, you can try a different one, and you’ve lost nothing.
Which recipes should you use?
If you search for a specific recipe, you will get an overwhelming number of results, and you will face the prospect of having to decide which one to try. It can be tempting to just click on the first recipe you see, but there are a few things to bear in mind that will help you choose the best site:
- What is the country of origin? If you’re used to working in cups or ounces, it will be a pain if the recipe is all in grams.
- What’s the source? If the site is affiliated with an organization you know and can trust, you can be more confident that the recipe will be a good one.
- Go to specialist sites. If you want a recipe for a specific niche, a website that specializes in that niche is likely to be the most informative and reliable. For example, if you are looking for ways to eat well on a budget, go to a site like pocketchangegourmet.com.
- How clear are the instructions? You don’t want to be squinting at tiny print or a method that disappears into an artistic background picture when you’re trying to follow a recipe. Read through the recipe first and see whether it makes sense and has enough information. If it only has minimal guidance or misses out crucial information like oven temperatures or length of cooking time, give it a miss.
There are so many amazing foods and recipes to try, and the internet is, in essence, the largest cookbook in the world!