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Incorrect Recipe Directions Yet Again on Food Network

OK, this has happened to my sister and I yet again this fall!

I go onto Food Network after watching one of my favorite shows to get a recipe, follow the recipe to a T, then it fails and I later find out that the recipe was posted to the website with errors in the cooking instructions.

Most recently, this happened this week, when Paula Deen's video posted one set of cooking times/oven temperatures, but whomever posted the actual recipe made mistakes.

Anyone else experience this? Frustrating! Why does this happen?

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  1. Happened to me once with a Kelsy Nixon (I think that's her name). It's sloppiness like with so many other things these days.

    1. Yeah, but you have the internet.

      I always read at least three or four versions for any recipe just to get a consensus on the technique, (i.e. Time and Temp).

      If you have three very similar recipes that show 350' for 4 hours and one that says 250' for two hours, you can be pretty sure that the last one is suspect at least.

      As an aside, the internet is an incredible resource that at my advanced age of 53, I am still awed by.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DoobieWah

        That's a good policy, Doobie, and I actually do that too. I just made triple ginger cookies and had three different recipes laid out. One called for much less ginger than the other two, so I ditched that one. Sometimes I'll combine ingredients from a couple of recipes to make my own version that suits my personal taste better.

        1. re: sandiasingh

          Same here.

          As I've stated here before, I've never been known to leave well enough alone.

      2. A lot of Aunt Sandy's recipes are rife with errors.

        Some of them quite hysterical.

        They are very sloppy editors.

        3 Replies
          1. re: coney with everything

            Some of the comments on her "recipes" at FN are comic gold

          2. re: C. Hamster

            Mistakes in Aunt Sandy's cooking. Hard to believe. Shocking!

          3. Because Food Network wants you to BE a couch potato, not bake them. ;-)

            Like others have said, it's about entertainment and selling advertising, not great cooking.

            1. FN does not have the corner on recipe errors. Even venerable cookbooks have them. Celebrity cookbooks are often written by ghost writers who shadow the professional chef, trying to convert their pinch-of-this, splash-of-that cooking into recipes that homecooks use reliably. Testing recipes can be tricky. If the tester is too experienced, she might gloss over omissions and details that would mess up a cook follows 'the recipe to a T'.

              A segment from The Splendid Table about recipe testing.

              With online recipes, it's a good idea to scan through the comments. If there are errors, it's likely that others have caught them. Just watch out for the comments that say 'I made this subtitute and that ..., and it turned out horrible`. Sometimes the errors are in the execution, not the recipe itself.

              1. Question, do you ever send the error link to FN so they can correct it?

                1. Wait.

                  You watch the Food Network for recipe and cooking information?

                  Huh, what will the world come up with next.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I've gotten some worthwhile results from Alton, Anne and Claire. That's about it.

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      And Ina--never had a problem with her recipes.

                  2. A while back when people were making fun of too-short-to-be-recipes on FN, I opined that some intern or other low paid clerk was charged with adding show recipes to the database.

                    Sometimes FN (or other online) recipes have a disclaimer - 'this recipe has been provided by a professional chef, and has not been tested for homecooks'.

                    1. Easy solution: Stop watching Paula Deen.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        not an issue since she's pretty much persona non grata at FN these days

                      2. I'm a big fan of Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. Her cookbook is fantastic because she gives EXACT times --i.e. beat the egg, sugar and butter for 8 minutes....and is very detailed. However, I did see a couple of her recipes on other websites with errors. That does drive me nuts and I blame sloppiness.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jarona

                          There was talk about 'errors' in Flour, Joan Chang's baking book. Seems that some had to do with differences between home ovens and professional ones.

                          Exact times aren't always the best. Beating something for 8 minutes in a professional stand mixer is not the same as doing the same in a home stand mixer, and even less so if it is a hand held mixer. Often it is better to specify a target texture and/or appearance. But even that is tricky. My interpretation of 'lemon colored beaten eggs' might not be the same as yours.


                          1. re: paulj

                            Why in the world would they use professional equipment when writing a cookbook for home cooks?

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              Because the chef is too busy running multiple restaurants to test the recipes on the stove in her little NYC apartment. :)

                        2. Interns, exactly. That's what I was thinking. . . . I'll have to check out FN's site and see if they have an "error" button or whatnot. Thanks!