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Apr 2, 2008 10:43 PM


is totally, utterly, and completely useless. Not that anyone on this board will ever read my post, because they surely get deleted quickly, but somebody on this board isn't doing their job. You look up "jalapeno poppers"? And what do you get. Nothing. Jalapeno's, and popcorn (just an example), and nothing else. These chowhound dudes have to be making some money. It would be nice to see them spend a little on the actual site. You guys made a change about a year ago, and your site has been worthless to me, ever since. But, like I said, this post will definitely be deleted.

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  1. Anybody else having my problem with this site? Is it just me? I can't find anything using their search feature.

    1. I just did a search (using the search box that appears in the upper right of the page, under the "Hey, ElsieDee" text) for "jalapeno+popper" - here's the results:

      Note that searches using the search function located in the upper right area of the page searches all of Chow and Chowhound. If you want to look for something on a specific board, you need to go to that board and click the "Search this board" link which appears next to the board's title.

      A search on the Home Cooking board, for "jalapeno+popper" gave these results:

      (with the board-specific searches, they only search for the last year of posts - older than that and you have to change the date range when you get to the results page).

      Hope this helps!

      16 Replies
      1. re: ElsieDee

        Another trick that I use sometimes is the title search.

        title:"jalapeno poppers" gets this result when using the general search function (as opposed to the board specific one).

        The general search returns results by "relevance" and so I usually click on "show options" and change it to "sorted by newest first." The default on "search this board" is by newest first.

        At first, I did find the search function unwieldy, but the more I use it the better I seem to get at finding what I'm looking for. - this might be helpful for the OP. Often I'm searching for a recipe or thread that I remember someone posting on (or that I posted on), so I use the "user" function - i.e., "user:mmruth title:hopkinson" if I'm looking for posts I made about that cookbook author.

        1. re: MMRuth

          mmruth, methinks your proficiency with lexis/nexis has given you a great search concept advantage! thanks for your tips!

          1. re: alkapal

            Ha! One thing I've learned is to look at the search results, to see what comes up, and then refine the search as needed. For example, I just did the very general "jalapeno poppers" search, noted that it didn't highlight "jalapeño " in the phrase "jalapeño poppers" in the results because of a tilde, so I did another search for "jalapeño poppers":


            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks for your tips on searching...i too have a really difficult time searching for any topic with 2 or morewords, such as Key West, New Milford, chocolate meringue. So, just to make sure i've got you right, i should search for my topic in Florida as Key+West, not "Key West"? I've tried the latter, and will get everything with the word Key and the other word West...

              1. re: sixelagogo

                Hmm - I usually just use the quotation marks. I thought that the AND just means that both words have to be in the same thread, where as the quotation marks mean the words have to be together. Let me give it a try.

                Search for "key west" - the phrase "key west" is in bold, as are the words key and west. But, the phrase "key west" must appear to capture the thread in the search results.


                That search is sorted by most recent - but it could make sense also to sort it by relevance - which assume means "the most hits of 'key west" in a thread".

                Another useful way to hone in on helpful posts is to use title:"key west" - threads where presumably someone has been interested enough in the area to put the name in the thread:


                Key West is probably not the best example, as those words often go together. But, a search for "chocolate meringue" versus chocolate AND Meringue might generate a lot more disparate results.

                Edit: And - as Alkapal intimated - I am a lawyer and used to searching certain legal databases, and so I probably come to CH with a search ability "level" that I probably assume that others have (out of sheer ignorance on my part), that is probably not there for those who don't search for a living!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Sometimes it does help to read the FAQ! I hadn't seen or forgot about the "title:..." syntax. That could have helped me many times. Thanks, Ruth!

                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    You are welcome - it really does help, particularly to find threads that are focused on a topic, though I think searching "by relevance" may help with that as well.

          2. re: MMRuth

            where does one find the "user" function??

            1. re: Sarah

              Just type user:"username" (no spaces between user: and the username) in the search line.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                I just had a problem with this not working. user:"scargod" gave me posts with "user" in it one time and then nothing the next time and then 56 (I think) of my posts the next time. I don't seem to get it to work if I add any other word to it.
                I have had times when "wordX wordY" did not work when I knew the combination existed. It seems flaky and non-standard for a search feature.

                1. re: Scargod

                  I believe that stopped working a couple of months ago - I think the Tech team said that it would be fixed in their next round of updates. I used both the "user:" and "title:" searches all the time, and find it quite frustrating these days that I can't use it. If I know I've posted about something, I put in "mmruth" "other search term" and then sort by relevance, and that seems to get the best results for now.

            2. re: MMRuth

              Does the "title" search function actually work? It used to be that you'd type title:cilantro, and all threads with cilantro in the title would come up. This doesn't seem to work anymore. I note you used quotation marks in your example. . . is that the trick to get it to work? TIA!

              1. re: DanaB

                If the search feature really worked dependably, you would think that Chow would elaborate on how we should best use it with a FAQ, or state that it follows standard conventions. They barely mention it. I have found it undependable. Sometimes it works, but often not. Google has been useful.

                1. re: Scargod

                  I seem to recall that they *used to* say how to search, using "title," "user," etc., but they don't anymore. Btw, I tried my search using title:"cilantro" and it didn't work, either -- well, it worked in a fashion, but I got all threads on the home cooking board that had the words "title" and "cilantro" in them, rather than threads that had the word cilantro in the title.

                  Can't chow just get a search function like they have on every other forum on the internet? Many allow searches by title, etc.

                  1. re: DanaB

                    That was eliminated in the last round of search changes, but a specific field for title searches, and username based searches, should be coming back in the next round of search changes.

                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      Thanks for the response! I hope you will be able to impliment that change soon, because the search function is not nearly as useful without it.

          3. Sometimes, if I can't find exactly what I want with the chowhound search feature, I go to google and do a search on domain can often get the hits I want that way, too. Don't know why it works, but it often does, especially if you're looking for something specific.


            1. Thanks to everyone for all the great tips!! And, thanks to Chowhound for not deleting my post. I think this could be real helpful to a lot of people and it certainly makes the experience more enjoyable.

              1 Reply
              1. i use google to search, with in the search terms, and my screen name if i've posted, etc.