If there’s one thing the Internet made easier, it’s cooking. I have a big collection of cookbooks (yes, real ones) which I rarely use anymore, despite how great they are. The ease with which I can find recipes online is just too tempting. The only problem with this never-ending recipe source is that I can rarely find again the ones I really liked, and even if I bookmark some of them, I can never remember which is which in the resulting mess.
As with any pressing (or less pressing) need, the Web has come up with an amazing solution for this specific problem – recipe bookmarking sites. These sites let you gather your favorite recipes from all over the web, and save them all in your very own cookbook. Instead of just bookmarks, you have titles, tags, descriptions and even images, so you can know at a glance which recipe you’re looking at. What more can you ask for?
Yumm lets you gather your favorite recipes from all over the web, and save them under your personal Yumm roof. Yumm is also a refreshing collection of recipes saved by others, which you can start browsing without even creating an account. To start saving recipes, sign up for a Yumm account and install the Yumm bookmarklet [No Longer Available]. Next time you encounter a recipe you want to save, simply click the bookmarklet.
Yumm will automatically gather some information, and let you add tags and your own description. You can also add recipes from scratch, ingredients and all, and save them to Yumm, thus creating your own private recipe collection, just like the old recipe card box.
When you browse your recipes, you can sort your list by date, by the number of saves this recipe has on the Yumm network or by name. Bookmarked recipes contain some useful information such as number of servings and preparation time, and of course, a link.
I do wish Yumm let me choose the recipe’s thumbnail from all the available images instead of deciding on one which I cannot change (unless I want to upload one of my own). While the image engine works well on most sites, it does falter at times, which is why I ended up with a cup of milk next to my peach crisp recipe.
There are many more features to be explored on Yumm, including some iOS apps and interesting social features.
Cookmarkit is another online personal cookbook where you can gather your favorite recipes and explore what others have saved. To start, sign up for an account (or sign in using Facebook) and add the Cookmarkit bookmarklet (you can also copy and paste your favorite URLs, if you prefer). Adding a recipe is not as fancy as on Yumm, and redirects you away from the recipe itself.
Here, however, you can choose your thumbnail out of several options. You can also add tags to make your recipes easier to find.
To access your recipes, click on the “Your cookbook” tab. You can then browse your recipes in the order in which you’ve added them. You can also browse only recipes containing a certain tag.
The interface is somewhat bare-boned compared to Yumm, but if simplicity is what you’re after, and all you need is a place to save your links, Cookmarkit is a good solution. Here, too, you can follow your friends and find recipes others liked, and download a matching iOS app.
On first glance, KeepRecipes does not seem very visually appealing, but when you start the sign-up process, KeepRecipes emerges as the most user-friendly and well thought out service of them all. The sign-up process will take you through several steps, where you can follow interesting KeepRecipes users, connect with your Facebook friends (you don’t have to), add the bookmarklet and access your personal recipe book.
Your personal page includes a Pinterest-like image board of recipes kept by people you follow, and of course, your own saved recipes. Each recipe can be toggled from “I want to make this” to “I cooked this”, and people can comment on it or like it, and also keep it in their own cookbook. You can sort your list according to your recipe tags, which are conveniently organized by ingredients, type of dish, course, etc.
When you browse the Web and find a recipe you want to add, click the bookmarklet. You can highlight interesting text from the recipe itself to automatically add it to your bookmark.
From the bookmarking page you can also choose your thumbnail, add notes and tags, and choose whether this is saved from a source, inspired by a source, or created by you. If you create a recipe, you can make it either private or public. There is also an impressive collection of recipes on the website itself, which you can easily keep in the same way. KeepRecipes seems to have quite a big community, and sports an iOS app as well.
Saving recipes online has never been easier. I couldn’t believe how much better this is than regular bookmarking. All three services were easy to use and provided a great home for my favorite recipes, but for me, KeepRecipes had some extra touches I was missing in the others. If the social and visual aspects are not as important to you, go for Cookmarkit, and try Yumm for a nice combination of simplicity and community.
Do you know of more recipe bookmarking website we should try? Do you have a favorite we missed? Let us know in the comments!