Writing your first recipe

So it’s your first time, and you’re nervous.

Fear not! Writing a recipe is actually much easier than you might think, especially if you follow this guide:

1. Keep a notepad in your kitchen

It’s easy to forget how much of what you’ve included in your creations – so keep a pen and paper handy at all times.

Or, for the more technologically adept, you could use your iPhone like a Dictaphone (remember those?!) to record notes. Either that or set up a camcorder on a tripod to record the entire experience – My Drunk Kitchen style!

2. Make your recipe as specific as possible

One of the joys of cooking is that you can generally always have fun by adding whatever takes your fancy in the heat of the moment.

However the rules are different when writing a recipe, as you want to make sure the person following it ends up with a dish that closely resembles the original.

So instead of saying ‘a handful’ of this or ‘a dash’ of that, use specific measurements such as ‘half a cup’ or ‘two tablespoons’. Because you never know – the person reading your recipe might have giant bear claws for hands, and their version of ‘a dash’ might resemble your drunk aunt’s version of ‘just a small one’.

3. Familiarise yourself with cooking terms

Chop, dice, mince, crush, fold… do you really know what these terms mean? Double check your knowledge here:

Dictionary of Cooking Terms

…Or you could try the Epicurious Food Dictionary – simply type a term into it to see if your understanding of that term matches up to the official version!

For example, if you type ‘dice’ into this thing, it will tell you:

To cut food into tiny (about 1/8- to 1/4-inch) cubes.

So if you’ve been ‘dicing’ your onion into inferior ½ inch pieces all these years, now you know!

4. Use a basic recipe template

The scariest thing for any writer is facing a blank page. Where do you even begin? This is why we strongly suggest you follow a recipe template.

Not only does using a recipe template make your life easier, it makes your recipe easier to understand.

Best Home Chef’s Basic Recipe Template:
• Title
• Ingredients
• Equipment
• Introduction
• Method
• Serving suggestion

Simply by following this template, you’ll end up with the start of what could be a fantastic recipe. From there, you can work on perfecting your recipe and adding personal touches.

5. Get someone to proofread it

Once you’ve written down your recipe, it’s always a good idea to get someone with good attention to detail to read over it. It’s easier than you think to overlook key ingredients (chicken schnitzel without the chicken, for instance!) which your proofreader should be able to spot.

Even better is to get someone to ‘test drive’ your recipe before you upload it. Doesn’t matter if they’re not much of a cook – in fact that’s probably a good thing! If your recipe can help a non-cook to make something yummy, then you’re onto a winner!

Louise Carter
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Louise Carter

Best Home Chef's resident writer and sweet tooth, Louise once decorated ice cream cakes for a living. Although this job had several health consequences, osteoporosis was not one of them. Louise is also an ex barista whose biggest pet peeve is burnt milk. She loves travelling, and has recently returned from a pasta-eating excursion to Italy. One day she hopes to grow vegetables and make her own cheese and wine. She lives in Sydney. Google+

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