Help in recipe organization Pro Cooking and Baking Tips and Tricks: Help in recipe organization
By Deb Dickinson on Saturday, July 08, 2000 - 03:39 am: Edit

Does anyone have some suggestions about organizing
recipes? I have a ton of recipe clippings from magazines, the internet, newspapers, etc. I can't decide how best to organize it all.

I read in one of the postings by W. Debord some comments you made about how you organized recipes. Would you please share your method?


Deb Dickinson

By W.DeBord on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 08:48 am: Edit

I use file boxes by rubbermade (to carry to work). One day when I own a scanner I'll put them on disk.

I'm brutal and rip out the article that interest me, file it then throw away the rest. Everyone cringes watching this, but it works for me, I can find everything. If I love a recipe in a book I don't use often (have at work with me) I write a note and file the note telling me where to find it.

The more recipes you have the more specific you can be with your filing system. For instance my file has catagories for small decorative cookies, rolled cookies, x-mas, biscotti, favorites etc...

Every now and then I eliminate recipes that for some reason I've avoided and are now dead weight in my system.

I understand there are some great programs out there that would be better than my old fashioned way. Hopefully someone else will tell you about it because I'd be interested to know about them too.

By Deb Dickinson on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 11:26 pm: Edit

Thanks, W. Debord, for your ideas. I hadn't thought about using the bigger containers. It would be better actually, since I like having
alot of categories.

I know what you mean about the scanner. I have Mastercook software, but you have to type all your recipes into the program. I would love to find a recipe program that would allow scanned recipes to be stored in the program. It would also be great to be able to cross reference recipes. Sometimes, I save a recipe because I'm only interested in a certain part of it (filling or sauce, etc.).


By JRRYAN on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 09:57 am: Edit

Try a photo album...or a three ring binder.

By Dominique (Dominique) on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 08:45 pm: Edit

I've got my recipies all still in the notebooks I originally wrote them down in and I know where to find them based on which restaurant I was working in when I picked it up and which notebook I was using at the time. Certainly not the most efficient system, not to mention in the back of my mind I always knew that were I to lose those notebooks, 15 years or more would be lost. Yikes! I finally just buckled down and spent a few nights typing in all my recipies into a program. I looked at it as an investment since I can now easily back up the files with a couple clicks of the mouse. I've got it on my Zip drive, on a floppy in my filing cabinet in the office, and on a floppy in my toolbox. I'm set! LOL

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 07:20 am: Edit

Very Smart!!!!
I wish I had taken the time that I just had off to do that...eek!

One day I will...I just don't know enough about the programs/formats out there to know what's the best way or program to use??????????????????? What did you use Dominique?

By Dominique (Dominique) on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 05:23 am: Edit

I used one called MealMasters.. it's freeware off the internet. It runs on DOS. Not very pretty but I liked the price. LOL! It's pretty cool though, you can crossreference your recipies under like 5 different catagories. It can change your recipe from American standard to metric, and it's got some other cute tricks too... I thought I had it bookmarked but now I can't find it. I've got it written on the floppy in my office at work.. I can get it from there later today.
There's probably better ones out there though, maybe someone else can tell us what they like. :)

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 08:13 am: Edit

I would be most interested in looking at MealMasters. I hope you'll post the address. THANKS!

By Dominique (Dominique) on Friday, January 26, 2001 - 01:07 am: Edit

Oh SHOOT!! I forgot to bring it home with me! I'll try to grab it tomorrow. promise!!

By Dominique (Dominique) on Saturday, January 27, 2001 - 02:21 am: Edit

got it. Sorry for the delay. :)

By Anna (Anna) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 11:09 am: Edit

There is a program called master cook. It is free, you just pay S&H ($4,99) you can find it in
It is an great program, esay to use and full of featrures, like cost analisys, nutritional info. about the recipes, etc.

By Ilpro (Ilpro) on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 03:11 pm: Edit

I scan and save them as jpeg files. Must have thousands by now.


By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 03:59 pm: Edit

What do you use to view them with.

I like using text files because they can be searched using the Explorer seach utility.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 05:50 pm: Edit

I believe the original question was about how to organize them, whether in a computer or paper.
The easiest way is by what they are; beef, veal, poultry, fish, lamb, pork, game, soups, sauces, vegetables, starches, pastries, cakes, cookies, breads, specialties,....etc.....

By Ilpro (Ilpro) on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 10:16 pm: Edit

Wordpad or paint. They sort themselves. I just type search pork and there is all of the pork items on my pc. Definatley nothing fancy but who has time for fancy. I just need to know that when I want the recipe again I am guaranteed to find it.


By Corey (Corey) on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 12:43 am: Edit

I use mastercook and group by type of food in it's own cookbook file, then alphabetical.
so to find blueberry muffins I would go into the bread cookbook, then type blue.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.