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Oct 17, 2011 01:27 PM

How do you store/archive your recipes?

For years I kept my recipes as "hard" copies. The good old fashioned method of keeping recipes on paper within plastic sleeves in binders. That seemed to work well for years but with the advent of the PC I transferred all of them and saved new ones as Word docs on my PC.

That worked well until my PC crashed and I lost many recipes. Now I send them to my e-mail account so I can save them without worrying my computer will crash and I can also do a rudimentary search for what I am looking for.

It is probably not the best system. How do you store/archive your recipes?

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  1. I still do it the old fashioned way. I have a slew of Composition Books that I use, all color coded.

    1. I used to bookmark them and cook using my laptop. I hated the fact that I had to touch the computer while cooking. If you are making chicken, or your hands are covered in cake batter the last thing I want to do is touch a laptop. In the end I copied them all from my laptop and printed out a binder with all my best recipes.

      1. I cut and paste them into a file on my pc. I print them out when I'm using them and keep a stash of most-used recipes in my kitchen pantry shelf 'til they're too gross with food splatter to use. They're so much easier to find as a computer document!

        2 Replies
        1. re: rcallner

          I do exactly the same. I put some of the most used recipes in plastic sleeves, to keep them clean when I am cooking. I also back up my pc weekly. So I won't lose much except for the past week's work.

          1. re: rcallner

            I also keep them as Word files, and print them out when I want to make them. Inside a general recipe folder, I have separate folders for main dishes (and sub-folders for beef, chicken, pork, etc.), cakes, cookies, etc. I also keep a separate folder for recipes I haven't tried yet, arranged in the same sub-folder system.

            I usually stick pretty close to the original recipe when I make it the first time--but I almost always tweak and change and make notes on tricks that helped or changes I want to try next time. Having the recipes on my computer makes that so much easier than trying to scribble notes in the margins of a hard copy. It's also easy to print a copy or send as an email attachment or cut and paste a recipe to a web post when someone asks for a copy.

            And I also back up obsessively (continuous backups with Time Machine, plus a monthly backup to a drive I keep off-site), so I don't really worry about losing them!

          2. I do what you do. I don't have a gazillion recipes though. I have put mine under subject headings in my saved conversation file in my gmail account. If I ever switch email providers, I'll have to move them elsewhere, obviously.

            I also subscribe to this service now:

            This website provides indexing for cookbooks. In future they will provide a way to store personal copies of recipes. But in the meantime, I can search an index of recipes from my own cookbooks and/or food blogs. If many of your recipes originated in cookbooks you own, this would be ideal for you.

            Otherwise, you can figure out how to use to save your recipes. Doing this seemed too hard for my situation, because I don't have a lot of loose recipes. There are some templates for saving recipes that can be used with

            Good luck! I hope you find just the right solution.

            1. I have started using Pinterest for most of my recipes. especially since i can collect from stumbleupon, foodgawker, tastespotting, chowhound, etc. plus once theyre there, theyre just a search away