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Jan 19, 2013 01:34 PM

How do you use Chow/Chowhound?

In an exchange with Kaimuki Man about the new cheese board, I stated that I never go to the home page/Chow; he returned with the fact that he always does.
I must confess I'm guilty of going straight to my profile, then to saved categories, and that's it.
So I'm wondering, do you stay in your own little corner of CH or do you devour the whole shebang?

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  1. I go to the main page and look at the first few new posts that show on my screen, which is why I read and am responding to yours.
    I then go through all of my saved categories, and lastly my profile, in case there have been responses to posts such as this which are in categories that are not in 'my categories.'

    BTW>>>until, now I might glance at it. reading your post, I did not know there is a cheese category

    1 Reply
    1. re: bagelman01

      The slow start of the cheese board was the subject of that thread. Interesting.

    2. Usually once or twice a day I review a select number of boards: chains, general topics, home cooking, not about food, special diets, and Washington DC/Baltimore. Then if I venture to the site between those times I review the home page for anything that changed in the past few hours or so. The only time I venture into boards not on my usual perusal list is if I see a thread on the recent posts page of interest.

      1. I always go to the main page as well. There are so many topics that could be of interest and it's a nice round up.

        1. I go to CHOW for the videos and I wish there were many more new ones from many of the "series" started some time ago (Obsessive, Cooking with Grandma to name a few). The CHOW tips I find amusing and fun but also silly and redundant. Mr. J-Supertaster gets my "keen vote" because he's taking one for the team with such sheer joy for exploring. The blog kinda bores me and I don't see a need for the recipe section given the wealth of information happening minute by minute on the HCooking board. My 2 cents on CHOW. Hard working staff all round and my respect to everyone "over there."

          Chowhound is the gem in my very humble but invested opinion. No longer a diamond in the rough either. Chowhound is the stuff of a food explorers dreams-ghastly, glorious and golden. Not a day goes by that I don't learn something old, something new and something to share with my RL chowhounds. My admiration is quite full.

          The main page gets my attention when something visual hits my eye...otherwise, I'm straight to my own profile and where it leads from there is always an adventure!

          6 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            A word about the recipe portion of the site:

            All of the recipes from the CHOW Test Kitchen are tested very carefully to ensure that they are clear and that the results are delicious. It's a reliable and trustworthy resource, and I can personally attest to the fact that the food is great.

            I do think that looking up a recipe on a website is different from asking for advice in a discussion environment, so I think in many ways the Home Cooking Category and the Recipe portion of CHOW have different use cases (though there's certainly some overlap). I find both extremely useful, and I'd definitely encourage those that look at published recipes elsewhere to remember that there's a great resource right here, too!

            1. re: Dave MP

              My apologies DaveMP if your need to explain the trustworthyness of CHOW recipes in this thread as a resource to any of us here had anything to do with my comment or your need to attach a reply to mine directly. I never suggested anything of the kind.

              I said in my opinion that the recipes on CHOW were redundant. Nor did I say the food wasn't great. If I go by CH s/n's a good deal of the recipes on CHOW are posted by Chowhounds and some are selected and reworked by the CHOW kitchen. Many more are taken from other sources and offered on CHOW in text and video.

              Many of the recipe discussions on CH's HC Board are links from other sources, linked from personal collections, shared from family experiences or just suggestions. I look at the entire thing as one site with many purposes. Useful, resources and yes overlapping (hence my use of the word redundant) can't beat the greater discussion with the Chowhound community.

              I am a bit surprised that you would take my personal observation to make your point. It's hardly gospel. Was my comment an attack on CHOW? If so, not my intention. The OP asked how do you use both sides of the site. I answered.

              I use the recipes on CH and read the recipes on CHOW. Different for two reasons:

              The commentary area on CHOW is underutilized and as members we are unable to see comments in our personal profiles as reference and those recipe section get buried fast & deep without a way to save them to your profile should a new comment come along. and,

              The recipes on CHOW can also be found on Chowhound with deeper discussion or on the Net through an easy search if I want the original source.

              1. re: HillJ

                Thanks for your post, HillJ. Definitely no hard feelings — the reason I responded to you directly is because you brought up the idea of "not seeing a need" for a recipe section of CHOW, and to me there's a very clear need, at least for many people. That's why there are so many websites that do this (FoodNetwork, Saveur, CHOW, MarthaStewart, etc.)

                In my opinion, Chowhound Home Cooking and the CHOW Recipe section are offering people two different services, and I've found them to compliment each other well.

                But anyway, I definitely didn't mean to single you out. :) I realize that since I work at CHOW, my experience might be different from other users, but as someone who has used Chowhound for many years, and also likes to cook and try new recipes, I can say that I find both Chowhound Home Cooking and the published CHOW recipes very useful.

                1. re: Dave MP

                  That's very fair. If you feel the distinction needed to be made, I can appreciate that.

                  I wouldn't dare compare CHOW/CH with other websites (let alone the few you mentioned by name) because this company has enough to contend with. These websites follow their own model and best practices. Seems to me what you each have in common is a team of hard working people who believe passionately about their place of business and future goals for the site.

                  Another point, I'll try to expand on is the keeping of CHOW and CH so separate in the mindset of members. I truly see one site. Collaboration btwn the two sides of the site seem to be expanding and I hope more opportunities will be considered. That is why I don't see the need for two recipe collectives. CHOW could be directing recipe traffic to the HC board and demonstrating recipes and tips via video from restaurant finds recreated for the home cook (as one example). Again fwiw, my two cents.

                  ....but as someone who has used Chowhound for many years, and also likes to cook and try new recipes...
                  and fwiw, this also describes me and probably thousands of us enjoying the HC Board.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I actually like having the separate recipe section... I don't consider it and Home Cooking board to be the same, whatsoever. The recipe section is recipes that have been made and tested by the Chow kitchen, and provide photos and reviews, and they are very easy (at least for me) to save to my Pinterest, which is my preferred method of storing recipes online. The recipes listed in Home Cooking are a lot more difficult to save, at least for me and my methods, and while an individual user may have tried and liked it, they aren't necessarily really "tested". For someone like me, who is on a budget and relies on one dish to provide at least 2 meals, I can't really afford to have a recipe turn out badly, so I really like to use recipes that have been tested extensively. I've also found many of the recipes shared on HC to be not well written, or paraphrased (throw in a little of this, a little of that). I'm not so advanced a cook where I am able to cook without specific instructions and ingredient amounts, so a lot of those recipes are not something I'm comfortable with using.

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      Good for you!

                      One of the reasons I enjoy well established food blogs is because the blogger tests the recipes for the reader much in the same way you and DaveMP have described the CHOW Recipes. And, I can very much appreciate saving time and money selecting a recipe for yourself and your family. I prefer the videos on CHOW and not all of the recipes I've recreated from CHOW recipe archives have worked as written and many of the comments under CHOW recipes ask about measurements, substitutions or errors found that the team was happy to fix. So in terms of reliable, I find the same experience on both CHOW & CH. An important difference is that I can't save anything on CHOW to my personal profile; a big plus on CH.

                      The CHOW print function is not as good as it good be. I've read several OP's asking for an improved print function. Right now, I cut & paste recipes from Chowhound into a word doc with ease or use Evernote, a free tool.

                      It's always nice to hear differing experience, juliejulez. Thank you for sharing yours!

          2. I use my profile page as my staging spot. I click on my saved boards, starting with the slowest and ending with Home Cooking.
            I check my profile page again to read any updates to the threads I've participated in.

            On days when I cover the usual territory quickly I will take a look at the main page, boards that I seldom read or CHOW. This happens perhaps 2 - 3 times per month.