Please note that iChef has been discontinued and is no longer available. You can read our old review of iChef below, or check out the rest of the Online Recipe Websites we've reviewed.
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The first thing that jumps out at you when visiting iChef.com is the impressive array of recipes on offer. They seem to have everything, from candy to condiments, and pizza to preserves. However, 5 minutes into your iChef experience, things will begin to fall apart. Despite an impressive array of categories, finding a recipe to suit your preferences can be difficult as iChef’s archive is catalogued in the most basic way. Their search engine does not really speed up the process and will likely require several attempts and considerable patience if you have something specific in mind. Upon finding your desired recipe, do not expect links, nutritional information, pictures or useful user comments. Users can, however, print, add to their personal cookbook, Email to a friend and rate recipes. These features do save iChef from being completely pointless. This said, these features are not available with many recipes found on iChef because many of them are nothing more than links to other websites. Really, you might as well just use Google to find what you are looking for.
Additional features on iChef such as iChef T.V., The Radio Kitchen, Cartoons, and the wine cellar are nice ideas, but unfortunately lack content. iChef T.V., for example, features a grand total of 8 videos, The Wine Cellar consists of 3 articles and we couldn’t really see the point of the cartoons. To be fair, The Radio Kitchen, with programs on a range of cooking related topics is not bad, but not enough to save this website from our disdain.
With forums, member profiles and the option to save recipes, iChef community features do exist but unfortunately, as with the rest of the website, the content leaves a lot to be desired. The forums appear to have largely been abandoned or taken over by hardware related spamming! Finally, if you encounter any problems with iChef, and you probably will, there is not even an FAQ or site map to help you out.
In conclusion, the only thing iChef has going for it is its extensive archive of recipes which can be easily found elsewhere. The site has some nice ideas, and if you are into cooking podcasts you may find something of value, but a lot of work needs to be done to make a visit worth your while.
Please note that iChef has now been discontinued.