NEW YORK (MainStreet) – We doubt cookbooks will ever go out of style, but more than ever people are turning to the Internet to find their recipes. After all, if you come home with a tuna steak and want to know what to do with it, you might only be able to find three or four tuna recipes between the cookbooks on your shelves. By contrast, you can type “tuna steak recipes” into Google and immediately get dozens of recipes from numerous websites like AllRecipes.com and Epicurious.
The downside, of course, is that it can be difficult to sort through all the recipes floating around on the Web before you find one that works for you. So Google has stepped up and begun offering Recipe View, a way to filter recipe searches to meet the home cook’s needs.
Here’s how it works: When searching for a recipe, click the Recipes link to the left of your search results, and a number of filters will appear below it. (Sometimes the filters will appear automatically when you enter a search term like “tuna steak” or “pot roast,” but it’s inconsistent.) The filters will allow you to narrow your search by calorie count by clicking “Less than 300 cal,” for instance. And if you’re in a hurry, you can tell it to only return recipes below a given cook time. (Note, however, that this doesn’t included prep time – a search for steak tacos under 30 minutes cook time returned one recipe that required you to first marinate the steak for an hour or two.)
Perhaps the most helpful feature is the ability to narrow your search by ingredients. So if you’ve got a tuna steak but don’t feel like running back out to get sesame seeds, you can filter out all recipes that require sesame seeds; likewise, if you’ve got ginger you want to use, you can narrow it to recipes that include ginger. In that sense it’s a bit like another great recipe search engine, SuperCook.com, which asks what you have in the house and then tells you everything you can make with the ingredients on hand.
Google’s ingredient filter doesn’t seem quite as sophisticated or comprehensive as SuperCook’s, and some home chefs will still stick to Epicurious or another site as their go-to destination for recipe searches. But for cooks in a hurry, the new feature certainly makes sorting through online recipes a lot easier.
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