Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 3, 2010 12:23 AM

Recipe Should it Stay or Go?

New to cooking about a year, starting to collect a lot of recipes that I like. Putting them in catagories but one question I have is what do you guys do with similar recipes?

For example,lets say you have about 3 or 4 pot roast recipes you like, one with wine, one with a friends, one cooked slighly different. Now suppose they are all equally good in different ways but you dont like pot roast that much. Maybe at most you will make it once or twice a year.

What is your thought process or criteria on what should stay and what should go?

Trying to avoid 1000 recipes syndrome to no more then 365 total or days in a year.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I usually try them all and pick the best one to keep. Sometimes I add a short remark at the bottom of the recipe to include a variation of that recipe. Like say, substitute wine for broth. Most recipes of the same thing have basic ingredients as does with pot roast.
    At some point in time you will remember how to do it by memory and make your own variation.

    1. I don't really cook from recipes anymore; I rely more on technique, but I do still read cookbooks for ideas and tend to combine recipes; that is, I use ingredient suggestions from a few different recipes to come up with my own version, via trial and error, mostly just trial.

      Perhaps you can do a similar weeding out. Get your list down to two favorites, say, of pot roast, that you've developed, culled from four variations on the theme, that are specifically yours.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        I agree. Combine the recipes and maybe the OP will come up with the ideal pot roast recipe for them.


      2. I know you are trying to avoid collecting 1000 recipes, but in my experience that is kind of part of the process! :) I agree with others that you can combine, or just save two and jot down variations, etc.
        When I started cooking I saved wayyyy to many recipes but weeding them down was part of my education- with time you compare and contrast and eventually it gets easier and you dont even have to reference them too much.
        Have fun and get spontaneous as soon as possible to keep it all from getting too rigid.

        1. Thanks, I guess I am getting hung up on specifics. Which kind of leads me to another question. I have tried combining recipes and methods with some success. I usually make a note Inspired by, or adaped from but at what point do you call it your own?

          I know Tyler Florence or Ina Garten didnt invent pot roast, yet thier minor twists seem to be enough to call it that. If I am referencing 3 recipes into one, it starts to get a little long. I am just thinking in terms of if I ever hand down or share the recipe. Not writing a book.

          1. If the recipes are only slightly different, I keep the one I like the best and add footnotes listing any variation in ingredient9s) and/or process, and what the results may be.
            Then, sometimes you want diffenent recipes. I have at least ten variations on your simple basic chocolate cake; some call for sour cream, some call for mayo, some call for dutch process cocoa, some for chopped unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate. I keep them all because when I need to make a cake, sometimes I'm out of sour cream and need the mayo recipe, or I want to make a sheet cake or cupcakes vs. 2-layer 9". Or sometimes I need a dairy- or nut-free recipe, in which case, I have all my options covered. (Obviously, if I'm not happy with the results of ANY recipe, I ditch it).