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We’re not quite sure what Recipe Secrets base their claim to be “the number one recipe website since 2003” on, but our first impressions left us slightly doubtful. Anyone will agree that the look and feel of the site is distinctly budget, especially in comparison to some of the sites in the top ten of this category.
The whole website is designed like one big forum which makes it quite basic. Recipes are organized into basic categories such as barbeque, vegetarian and dessert, but beyond this there is no way to close in on the exact recipe you are looking for. Likewise, the search option is quite basic and only really useful to those with a firm idea of what they are looking for already in mind. Once, or if, you have located your recipe you will find that it simply consists of a blog post; do not expect accompanying video, pictures, links, sharing options, the option to save, or ratings. You will get some text and, as with all forums, members can post replies. We found most of these to be unhelpful; no ratings, tips or variations.
There are instructional videos and cooking tips which are quite interesting. These are also organized and presented in a blog format, with links to YouTube videos being pasted in the relevant post. This makes it very difficult to find what you are looking for; the format is best suited to browsing and coming across something of interest simply by chance. Although Recipe Secret’s user interface is undeniably basic, it is also one of the websites most open to community input in this category. Users are able to post recipes, suggestions, tips and questions in the very same forums as appear in the main website content. On the one hand, this means that if you are looking for anything in particular on Recipe Secrets you may have to sift through a lot of rubbish. On the other hand however, if you have a burning cooking question, it is very easy to post it and receive a quick, helpful reply from one of Recipe Secret’s 100,000 community members.
Undoubtedly, Recipe Secret’s unique selling point is its selection of copycat recipes. These are tried and tested copies of recipes used by famous American restaurant chains. For those looking to recreate TGI Friday’s, or The Cheesecake Factory in their own home this feature is fantastic. However, the selection of restaurants featured is towards the lower end of the culinary scale. This is not to say there is anything wrong with them, in fact we found them to be pretty good recipes, but those looking for gourmet ideas or who like using fresh, seasonal ingredients will need to look elsewhere.
In sum, if you want to find out how Macaroni Grill make their Penne Rustica, check out this site. For all other culinary needs, you will find better quality recipes and cooking tips more easily elsewhere.
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